The Lagos state government has taken over the Presidential Lodge located in Marina and plans to turn it to heritage centre.
The presidential lodge recently handed over to Lagos state by President Muhammadu Buhari would be turned to heritage centre for leadership.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde, said in a statement that the it would be re-designed and equipped for research and to serve as tourist arena.
Commending President Buhari for approving the hand-over, he said, the lodge located at Marina, would be open to local and international visitors.
The handover followed a request by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the presidential lodge to be released to the state government to transform the Marina-Onikan axis into a world-class arts and tourism hub.
The president’s approval was communicated in a letter signed by his Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari to Ambode, he said.
“Ambode noted that the president’s large heart demonstrated his admiration of Lagos State as the Centre of Excellence that was well suited to become Africa’s foremost hub for arts, entertainment and tourism,’’ he said.
“On behalf of the government and people of Lagos State, I wish to express our gratitude to President Buhari for his kind hand-over of the Presidential Lodge at Marina to the Lagos State Government.
“This, in my opinion, demonstrates the president’s special interest in Lagos State which is in line with the promise he made in Lagos during the electioneering campaign.
“The promise is that the interest of Lagosians will always be paramount in his heart,’’ he said.
Buhari’s approval came at a time when the State Executive Council had approved that the old Lagos House, Marina, be turned into Lagos History Centre for tourism purposes.
He said that the proposed Lagos History Centre would be a mark of honour for former governors of Lagos State as well as for the benefit of mankind as a whole.
The governor’s plan for Marina-Onikan culture zone included a skywalk that would connect Marina all the way to the Freedom Park on Broad Street.
He explained that the skywalk would offer the ultimate view of the “culture arcade’’ that would emerge between Marina and Broad Street as well as the entire zone to tourists and local visitors.