Apapa Traffic: Lagos Takes Over 3000-Capacity Truck Terminal In Orile-Iganmu

Apapa Traffic: Lagos Takes Over 3000-Capacity Truck Terminal In Orile-Iganmu

…As LASG Unveils Plans To Fix Alternative Roads

…Holds 11th Town Hall Meeting

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday said that the State Government would immediately take over the ABAT Truck Terminal Orile-Iganmu and commence immediate repairs on the terminal as part of efforts to permanently address the perennial traffic in Apapa axis majorly caused by breakdown of operations at the ports.

Governor Ambode, who disclosed this at the 2nd Quarter 2018 Town Hall Meeting, the 11th in the Series, held at the Apapa Amusement Park, said he was seriously concerned about the hardship residents in the axis were being subjected to as a result of the activities of containerized trucks and tankers moving in and out of the ports and tank farms, hence the decision to hold the meeting in the area to find lasting solutions.

“I cannot end this address without acknowledging that in Apapa, we have a major challenge; the menace of trucks on our roads and bridges causing endless traffic and loss of business time by Lagosians. This is why we have come here today. To see for ourselves and find a solution.

“Effective today, our government will take over the ABAT Truck Terminal Orile-Iganmu and commence immediate repairs to make the park ready for effective use. In the meantime, we will appeal to the Tanker Drivers Association to conduct themselves in an orderly manner and cooperate with our Task Force to ensure smooth flow of traffic and better access to the Ports.

“We thank the people of Apapa for enduring such harsh conditions but I assure you that this situation will be a thing of the past by the end of this year,” he said.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, being greeted by residents during his arrival at the 2nd Quarter 2018 Town Hall meeting (11th in the Series), held at the Apapa Amusement Park, Lagos, on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, being greeted by residents during his arrival at the 2nd Quarter 2018 Town Hall meeting (11th in the Series), held at the Apapa Amusement Park, Lagos, on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

Governor Ambode said the ABAT Truck Terminal has a capacity to accommodate at least 3000 trucks, adding that the government was already working with security agencies to see how some of the trucks parked on the Western Avenue Bridge would be moved into the park.

“Already, we have cleared the shanties and the way we are trying to run it is such that we will be able to accommodate at least 3,000 trucks in the park. In addition to that, we will work with security agencies and see how we can move the trucks into the park because right now the park can accommodate about 300 trucks but the people are not using it.

“So, if I tell you that one of the areas that I always feel very bad about is this Apapa gridlock and that is the truth and that is why I have decided that lets bring all our resources together; let’s discuss with people; let’s also talk to the experts and see what is happening there,” he said.

The Governor, while responding to complaints from residents on the menace of motorcycle operators popularly called Okada riders, ordered the Police and other security agencies to enforce the State Traffic Law especially with regards to their restriction on major highways and roads so as to bring about sanity in the Apapa axis.

He added that as part of his administration’s efforts to regenerate the axis, Fadaini Road currently in a deplorable state would be fixed while Orile- Mile 2- Trade Fair- CMS Road would also be repaired to open up alternative roads for motorists plying the axis.

Besides, the Governor while alluding to the fact that the 2019 election is fast approaching, said his administration would nonetheless complete all ongoing projects in the State and continue to ensure that residents enjoy the dividends of democracy.

He also urged residents to go all out and collect their Permanent Voters Card (PVC), saying that the State must use the election to confirm its status as the most populous State in Nigeria and thereby help to correct the anomaly in distribution of resources.

“I want to strongly appeal to all Lagosians, this coming election is a different one. We want to define once and for all where the population of Nigeria lies. So it’s not just about APC or about any other party or people that are not interested, we want to use the PVC to send a message that the real population is in Lagos State.

‎”So the duty of all of us ‎is to say that before any census, there is one census, the census of votes and that PVC, so it becomes a finality that the real population is in Lagos State and that is why we must encourage each and every one of us to push ourselves if it is door to door or house to house, in our various groups and unions to ensure that they go out and get our PVC.

“Because each time we make our own State to look good, other people coming in and also put pressure on it for us and that’s why we are having too much pressure on our health facilities, our schools and other facilities that we have arranged, but because we have refused to participate in our civic obligations, the long result is the shortchanging of the resources that is distributed across Nigeria. I want to appeal to all Lagosians and all party leaders that this mobilization for the PVC has a longer reach than what you think,” Governor Ambode said

Assuring that his administration would spare no effort that Lagos remains safe, clean and prosperous, the Governor said that the prosperity of Lagos would automatically translate to greater prosperity for Nigeria.

“Without mincing words, the prosperity of Lagos State is on a positive trajectory. We believe strongly in it, it is our vision and our mission and nobody is going to stop it that if we secure the prosperity of Lagos, we have secured the prosperity of Nigeria. Everything that we need to do to ensure that every Lagosian has something to do is what this government is committed to do. We would use everything within our reach to ensure that Lagos remains safe, clean and prosperous. Continue to fulfill your obligations and we would do more because that’s how Lagos stands to grow,” Governor Ambode said.

We’re Building Enduring Infrastructure To Drive Tourism

We’re Building Enduring Infrastructure To Drive Tourism

…Says Sector Contributed N800bn To Lagos GDP In 2017

…Lagos Can Truly Become Hub For Tourism In Africa-  Mahama

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday said his administration was consciously investing huge resources to develop an enduring infrastructural architecture that would ensure that the State’s tourism potentials are fully harnessed for all round economic growth and development.

The Governor, who spoke at the Lagos Tourism Summit, held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, with the theme- ‘Destination Lagos: Towards A Sustainable Tourism-Driven Economy’, said the plans, concepts and executions of his administration are deliberate and well thought-out to make the highly populated mega city-state culturally attractive and artistically functional.

“As a government, we are conscious of the fact that infrastructure, security, stability and partnership with all stakeholders are fundamental ingredients for tourism development. We have channeled a lot of resources into creating an enduring infrastructural architecture for the business of tourism to thrive,” he said.

He said his administration was not unmindful of the fact that for the State to match up with other leading world tourism destinations like Miami; São Paulo; Dubai, Singapore and Tokyo as well as African cities such as Cape Town, Cairo, Marrakech and Accra, the right infrastructure has to be put in place.

“In order to do this successfully, we must first build a solid infrastructural architecture that will endure. It must be safe and secure; it must provide functional and diverse venues for the arts, culture, festivals, creative industry, recreation and wildlife; and it must constantly and productively engage with its critical stakeholders.

“So when you see us reclaim 50 hectares of land at the Oworonshoki end of our lagoon; when you see us clear a whole stretch at the Badagry and Epe Marina; when we insist that our prime waterfront must not be taken over by shanties and slums; when you see us embark on some ambitious road, fly-over and modern bus terminal constructions; we are preparing the grounds for a major source of employment and prosperity.

“When you see us continue to plead for the control of wasting federal assets like the National Arts Theatre, National Museum and National Stadium and possibly declare our intention to have the Muritala Mohammed International Airport concessioned to us; we are focused on our tourism sector.

“When you see our unwavering commitment in changing the face of public transportation, committing more funds to providing jetties and expanding access to waterways, please know that we are driven only by the need to build and sustain the needed infrastructure upon which an enduring tourism landscape can stand and outlive our administration and those coming after us,” the Governor said.

Alluding to the massive opportunities available in the sector, Governor Ambode said that the activities within the tourism sector contributed about N800billion to the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017.

“The tourism sector contributed about $2.2billion (N800billion) to the Lagos GDP in 2017 and with the infrastructure and resources we are deploying in this sector, we expect this figure to double or treble in the next 5 years.

“The enormous resources we have deployed in physical and social infrastructure across the State will begin to crystallize by December into mega structures that will support tourism and market our state as a smart destination,” the Governor said.

Noting that Nigeria boasts of very rich culture and heritage, Governor Ambode said it was not in doubt that the country has the largest concentration of the black race, adding that Lagos sits in a better position to tell the story of the black race.

He said the Lagos Tourism Master plan, which would emerge at the end of the summit was premised in the context of the fact that the State can become an iconic brand of the black race.

“The Tourism Master Plan is focused on Six (6) key sectors; Culture and Heritage, Film, Art and Entertainment, Business Tourism, Nature and Adventure, Medical and Wellness, Beach and Leisure,” Governor Ambode said.

Besides, he said the Tourism Summit, coming a week after a Security Summit was held at the same venue was a demonstration of the government’s commitment to find alternative platforms that can enrich and propel the State to prosperity continuously.

In his keynote address, former President of Ghana, Mr. John Dramani Mahama said that Lagos has the potentials to emerge as a foremost destination for tourism development in Africa.

While commending Governor Ambode for his efforts towards growing tourism through investment in infrastructure, he said with the billions of dollars revolving in the sector across the world and over 1.8billion tourists, the State was heading in the right direction in its bid to become Africa’s tourism hub.

“I’ve been following the progress Lagos has made on various fronts and I join those who have celebrated Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the contributions he has made within this short period to enhance the efforts and contributions of his predecessors.

“There are potential billions of naira in revenue that Lagos State could earn in the next several years with the successful implementation of the plan that you intend could come out of this summit.

“If you look at the nearly $7trillion that is supposed to be earned from tourism, then definitely Lagos State positioning itself as a favourite destination for tourism in order to get a share of this huge cake is a very wise decision by Governor Ambode and his team.

“Thankfully, Lagos in preparation for the launch of the State’s tourism master plan has began upgrading and expanding critical infrastructure including transportation, roads and of course the recent reclamation that is ongoing,” Mahama said.

Several paper presentations by speakers at the Summit including Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Professor Pat Utomi, Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi, Mrs Omotayo Omotosho, Mr. Philip Hughes, while commending the State Government for putting together the summit, made recommendations on what Lagos must do to harness the massive potentials in the tourism sector.

Special Message Delivered At The Opening Ceremony Of The 2018 Lagos Tourism Summit

Special Message Delivered At The Opening Ceremony Of The 2018 Lagos Tourism Summit

Just a week ago, we held the Security Summit here at this venue. This summit further demonstrates our commitment to find alternative platforms that can enrich our State and propel her prosperity continuously.

 

We are very proud of our culture and heritage. It has become very clear and evident; that there is no other concentration of the black race that is larger than Nigeria, and most especially Lagos that can tell the story of the black race.

 

The Lagos Tourism Masterplan; which is the ultimate end product of this summit is premised in the context of this analogy.

 

As a government, we are conscious of the fact that infrastructure, security, stability and partnership with all stakeholders are fundamental ingredients for tourism development.

 

We have channeled a lot of resources into creating an enduring infrastructural architecture for the business of tourism to thrive.

 

Our plans, concepts and executions are very deliberate and well thought-out to make a highly populated mega city-state culturally attractive and artistically functional.

 

We are humble enough to draw inspiration from what Cities like Miami; São Paulo; Dubai, Singapore and Tokyo are doing with Tourism and we see how AFRICAN Cities like Cape Town, Cairo, Marrakech and Accra have drawn attention to themselves as tourist havens of varying degrees.

 

Our reputation as the commercial and entertainment nerve-Centre of Africa is not in doubt. With our young and energetic population, coastal location and other natural resources, we are arguably the city best suited to promote the idea of an iconic super brand for the black race.

 

But in order to do this successfully, we must first build a solid infrastructural architecture that will endure. It must be safe and secure; it must provide functional and diverse venues for the arts, culture, festivals, creative industry, recreation and wildlife; and it must constantly and productively engage with its critical stakeholders.

 

So when you see us reclaim 50 hectares of land at the Oworonshoki end of our lagoon; when you see us clear a whole stretch at the Badagry and Epe Marina; when we insist that our prime waterfront must not be taken over by shanties and slums; when you see us embark on some ambitious road, fly-over and modern bus terminal constructions; we are preparing the grounds for a major source of employment and prosperity.

 

When you see us continue to plead for the control of wasting federal assets like the National Arts Theatre, National Museum and National Stadium and possibly declare our intention to have the Muritala Mohammed International Airport concessioned to us; we are focused on our tourism sector.

 

When you see our unwavering commitment in changing the face of public transportation, committing more funds to providing jetties and expanding access to waterways, please know that we are driven only by the need to build and sustain the needed infrastructure upon which an enduring tourism landscape can stand and outlive our administration and those coming after us.

 

Our Government recently commissioned the development of a Tourism Master Plan which will show the road map to be taken in the next couple of decades to make Tourism a major sector of the Lagos economy.

 

This masterplan is one of the legacies we are determined to bequeath to Lagosians and the coming generations

 

The Tourism Master Plan is focused on Six (6) key sectors;

  • Culture and Heritage
  • Film, Art and Entertainment
  • Business Tourism
  • Nature and Adventure
  • Medical and Wellness
  • Beach and Leisure

 

We have put Tourism at the core of our growth strategy at this point in the development of our State – Laying a solid foundation for the continued prosperity of Lagos and Lagosians.

 

The tourism sector contributed about $2.2billion (N800billion) to the Lagos GDP in 2017 and with the infrastructure and resources we are deploying in this sector, we expect this figure to double or treble in the next 5 years

The enormous resources we have deployed in physical and social infrastructure across the State will begin to crystallize by December into mega structures that will support tourism and market our state as a smart destination.

 

In conclusion, the time and input from today’s Summit can never be adequate. The outcome is just a bye-product of another legacy we seek to build. We seek the cooperation of every interested persons and groups; to build “Brand Lagos” that we will all be proud of.

 

I want to thank all our panelists and other invited guests, most especially His Excellency, the former President of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. John Dramani Mahama.

 

We remain committed to listening and learning more from all the experts in the tourism sector as I believe strongly that Lagos is on a journey to greatness and I want to stand up to be counted as being part of that history.

 

Thank you for listening.

 

Contractors: Airport Road, Pen Cinema Flyover Ready By December

Contractors: Airport Road, Pen Cinema Flyover Ready By December

 …To Deliver Ayinke House, Bariga-Ilaje Link Roads, Jetty In July, Oshodi Interchange By September

…Ambode Inspects Oworonshoki Lagoon Reclamation, Sabo Model College, Others

The contractors handling major ongoing projects across the Lagos State on Thursday assured that the 10-lane Airport Road and Pen Cinema Flyover would be completed by December 2018 as special end of the year gifts to residents and visitors.

The contractors, who spoke separately during an extensive inspection tour of major ongoing projects by the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode which lasted for several hours, also said the network of roads in Ilaje and Bariga as well as a new jetty through which Ikorodu, Apapa, Lagos Island, Badagry, Ajah and Epe could be linked via the waterways would be ready in July, while the Oshodi Transport Interchange would be delivered by September.

Speaking at the U-turn flyover point along Airport Road after being briefed by Messrs Hi-Tech Construction Company, the Governor appealed to residents to bear with government for the inconvenience being experienced as a result of the construction work, saying that the project was designed to change the face of Lagos for good and improve on the economy.

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Managing Director, Planet Project, Mr. Abiodun Otunola; Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya and his counterpart for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan during the Governor’s inspection of the ongoing construction of the Oshodi Transport Interchange, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Managing Director, Planet Project, Mr. Abiodun Otunola; Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya and his counterpart for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan during the Governor’s inspection of the ongoing construction of the Oshodi Transport Interchange, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

He said: “We have just seen the progress of work on the Airport Road. I want to appeal to all Lagosians to bear with us. As much as possible, we have tried to reduce the impact of traffic on residents and other road users believing that it is in the overall interest of all that we should have a standard road that leads to our international airport.

“I have been assured by the contractor that this project will be part of our Christmas gift; it will be ready before Christmas and we should be able to use it in conjunction with the Oshodi Bus Terminal and then make a major facelift of what we are having in this whole axis.”

While urging those whose structures gave way for the project to bear with government, Governor Ambode said the State Government would soon commence payment of compensation to them once the necessary paper works are concluded, adding that the project, upon completion, would be a pride to Lagosians in particular and Nigerians in general.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (right); his counterpart for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawason (left) during the Governor’s inspection of the ongoing construction of the Oshodi-International Airport Road, on Thursday, April 12, 20
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (right); his counterpart for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawason (left) during the Governor’s inspection of the ongoing construction of the Oshodi-International Airport Road, on Thursday, April 12, 20

Speaking during the inspection of Oworonshoki Lagoon reclamation which is designed to transform the blighted area to major tourism, transportation and entertainment hubs, Governor Ambode clarified that contrary to some reports in the media, the project was not a housing scheme but part of the overall programme for Lagos to emerge as the entertainment hub for Africa.

He said 30 hectares land space have so far been reclaimed out of the 50 planned for the scheme, while upon completion, the project would end the perennial flooding in the area, and would also accommodate boutique hotel, event centres, cinema, clubs, bars, bus terminal, parking space with capacity for about 1000 vehicles, among others.

The Governor, who also inspected the ongoing network of roads linking Bariga to Ilaje and a new jetty, commended the contractor handling the project, Messrs Avatar Global Resources Limited for the level of work done so far and the assurance that the projects would be delivered by July.

He said in a bid to cater for the growth in economic activities that the projects would facilitate to the area, a comprehensive health centre would be commenced immediately in Ashogbon, while the additional 14 roads already approved to be constructed in Bariga Local Council Development Area (LCDA) would also be delivered on schedule.

At the inspection of ongoing new Model College in Sabo area of Yaba which is billed to be delivered in December alongside that of Angus Model College in Shomolu, the Governor said the intention of his administration is to scale up infrastructure in public schools across the State, starting with commencement of massive rehabilitation of public schools.

“What we are seeing here is our new concept of what a model college should look like and that is why in this complex we have about 36 classrooms, nine laboratories and because of the land space here, we don’t really have a recreational facility around but the ones we are building in Ojo and Shomolu, they have all the necessary recreation facilities that should actually go with a modern secondary school.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right), being welcomed by father of Vice-President's wife, Elder Olutayo Soyode (2nd left); Divisional Police Officer, Sabo Police Station, SP, Mary Ubangha (right) and others during the Governor’s inspection of the ongoing construction of Lagos State Model College, Sabo, Yaba, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right), being welcomed by father of Vice-President’s wife, Elder Olutayo Soyode (2nd left); Divisional Police Officer, Sabo Police Station, SP, Mary Ubangha (right) and others during the Governor’s inspection of the ongoing construction of Lagos State Model College, Sabo, Yaba, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

“The idea is that we want to increase the number of model colleges that we have; we also want to create a new template of how public secondary school should look like moving forward. This is our own template; this is the way we want to begin with it; we are doing three now; we will move forward next year to expand model colleges in the State.

While inspecting the Maternity Centre in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja popularly known as Ayinke House and the Pen Cinema Flyover, Governor Ambode lauded the contractors and medical personnel for a job well done so far.

“When you add the total length of the Pen Cinema Bridge together, it is equivalent of Ajah and Abule Egba Bridges. In terms of the width, it is wider. We are impressed with the progress of work here; I am actually impressed with what has been done in the abatement area and the piling that is being done.

“We believe this flyover will change forever the economic landscape of the Agege axis because it comes with its economic value and expanding our infrastructure to this axis by complementing what we have in Abule Egba is the right way to go. I just want to encourage the contractors to deliver on schedule by December,” he said.

He said the Ayinke House, which is designed to be the major baby factory for the State, would be delivered in June and commissioned for public use by July, while other facilities ongoing in the health sector would be delivered to safeguard the health of residents.

The Ayinke House is a 162-bed space facility and expandable to 250, with other features such as 22 neo-natal intensive care units, 16 intensive care units for adults, five fully equipped theatres, laboratory, common ward, maternal and child care centre, among others.

UNWTO/CAF Meeting: We’ll Showcase Lagos Tourism Potentials To The World- FG

UNWTO/CAF Meeting: We’ll Showcase Lagos Tourism Potentials To The World- FG

… Our Quest To Become Tourism Hub Of Africa On Course

The Federal Government on Thursday said that it has concluded plans to use its hosting right of the 61st edition of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)/ Commission for Africa (CAF) Meeting to showcase the culture and tourism potentials of Lagos and Nigeria in general.

Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who disclosed this during a courtesy visit to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the Lagos House, Alausa in Ikeja, said Lagos would play a significant role in the success of the meeting considering its economic position in Nigeria and also as a foremost tourism city.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd right); Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (4th right); Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (4th left); Special Assistants to the President, Office of the Minister of Information & Culture, Mr. Williams Adeleye (3rd left); Mr. Segun Adeyemi (2nd right); Director, Federal Ministry of Information & Culture, Mrs. Ronke Wole-Fasanya (right); Deputy Director, Ms Dorothy Duruaku (2nd left); Assistant Director, Mr. Aliyu Abana (left); Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh (middle behind) and Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (right behind)  during the Minister’s courtesy visit to the Governor, at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd right); Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (4th right); Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (4th left); Special Assistants to the President, Office of the Minister of Information & Culture, Mr. Williams Adeleye (3rd left); Mr. Segun Adeyemi (2nd right); Director, Federal Ministry of Information & Culture, Mrs. Ronke Wole-Fasanya (right); Deputy Director, Ms Dorothy Duruaku (2nd left); Assistant Director, Mr. Aliyu Abana (left); Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh (middle behind) and Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (right behind) during the Minister’s courtesy visit to the Governor, at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

He said though the UNWTO/CAF Meeting would hold in Abuja from June 4th to 6th, 2018, a major part of the event, tagged Technical Visit, would be held at the Eko Atlantic City, adding that the decision to hold the visit in Lagos was strategic and pivotal to the overall success of the programme.

“The choice is not an accident. It is designed to showcase to the world a city that promises to be a tourism haven, with the largest shopping mall in sub-Saharan Africa and a city which also boasts of vast amenities for entertainment, such as food courts, cinemas and playgrounds, an ample parking space and a canal that can be used for water transportation and water sports,” Mohammed said.

He said during the day-long Technical Visit, Governor Ambode would also play host to top executives of the UNWTO, African Tourism Ministers and a select group of local and international media, saying that it would be the major highlight of the meeting and that Lagos was better positioned to host it.

“The meeting will give Nigeria the opportunity to showcase itself to the world especially in the area of its culture and tourism and of course, we have a lot to showcase; our tourism attractions, our rich culture, as well as our music and films which have take the world by storm”.

The Minister said the UNWTO, a leading international organisation for tourism with a global membership of 158 members and over 500 Affiliate members unanimously gave Nigeria the hosting right for the Meeting during its 59th Meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in April 2017, noting that it was a reflection of the growing positive perception of Nigeria by the international community.

He said the Meeting, which has the theme “Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst For Development”, would be attended by mostly delegates drawn from the 51 member states of the Commission for Africa, the Executives of UNWTO, International Organisations, local and international media as well as experts and stakeholders from the public and private sector.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed during the Minister’s courtesy visit to the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed during the Minister’s courtesy visit to the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

Thanking the Governor for the strong support so far towards the success of the meeting, the Minister commended the move by the State Government to hold a Tourism Summit on Monday, saying that the development was in line with the Federal Government’s quest to make Nigeria a top tourism destination in Africa.

“We will not only be participating at the summit, we will also be making a presentation that showcases Nigeria as the preferred destination for tourists”, he said.

Responding Governor Ambode said the State Government was pleased to support moves by the Federal Government to preserve the rich culture and heritage of the nation, adding that his administration was also working hard to make the State the tourism hub of Africa.

“So, we are in tandem with your vision and aspirations to make sure that we tell Nigerians the way our story was and the way our story is and also be able to tell outsiders who we are and who we want to be. So, for me it’s a no brainer that I need to support you because this is also in line with what we believe strongly that Nigerians ought to do.

“In the last three years, we have tried as much as possible to promote our heritage and also promote our languages. We do not want a situation where the Nigerian culture which is so rich and diverse will become extinct and that is why we must do everything in our own capacity to ensure that everything that the Federal Government is doing through the Ministry of Information and Culture, in bringing the unity of Nigerian together, is supported by this government,” Governor Ambode said.

Pledging the support of the State Government for the success of the UNWTO/CAF Meeting, Governor Ambode assured that his administration would continue to provide the necessary infrastructure that would attract tourists to the State.

We want to showcase Lagos as a tourist State; our drive is to make Lagos the tourist hub of Africa; we are getting near it; we are providing tourism infrastructure and you could see because tourism is not so much about what you see; it’s about the infrastructure that makes it to happen – the roads, the airport, the ease of doing business, the warmth and then the strength of the people because there is so much energy in the spirit of Lagos,” the Governor said.