To establish the Lagos State Government’s vision to develop domestic tourism and discover potential sites across the State, top officials of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture recently embarked on a two-day tour across the Badagry and Epe waterways corridors and identified new tourism locations.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, who led the officials of the Ministry on the tour, explained that the trip was necessitated by the need to explore the waterways and make them viable and sellable assets to tourists visiting the State.
She said that while the Ministry was keen on discovering new potentials, the State Government was also determined to rebuild tourism infrastructure in the two communities in order to attract more visitors to the Slave Trade relics and other historical spots in the coastal city.
Akinbile-Yussuf averred that the present administration under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu sees tourism as a veritable tool to enhance the economy of riverine communities in the State and also bring about needed development to them, stressing that the new tourism locations discovered in Olomo-metta and Ilase riverine communities would be nurtured and developed by the State Government.
While assuring residents of the coastal city that all abandoned tourism projects would soon be re-validated and assigned to different contractors for completion, she described the tour as an eye-opener for the Ministry, adding that the officials were able to discover new tourism potentials around the two coastal communities.
“For instance, we are looking at having a befitting jetty at Gberefu in Badagry, we have visited the place now to assess what was on the ground. The Lagos Theatres are in the two communities, Badagry and Epe, so the next step we are taking now is how to ensure we make them tourism products”, the Commissioner said.
She added that the State government would improve the infrastructure at Gberefu and ensure that the Jetty is of international standards, promising to equip the slave market at Vlekete and Heritage Museum as well.
During her visit to Epe Resort, the Commissioner said that the government will continue to provide a good atmosphere for tourism establishments to thrive, assuring that the tourism assets in the two communities would be connected to create a fun experience for tourists who visit Lagos.
While receiving the Commissioner in Badagry, the Supervisor for Tourism and Environment, Badagry Local Government, Mr Samson Apata said the visit by the officials from the State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture was a welcome development.
Apata disclosed that Lagos recently won some awards at the just concluded Abuja-Jabamah 2021 tourism event and commended the State Government for boosting the tourism sector, particularly in Badagry.
Other officials of the Ministry on the tour included the Permanent Secretary, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi and the Director of Hotel and Tourism Establishments Licensing, Mr Jobi Ibraheem among others.