By Olasunkanmi Akoni
In a bid to harness the economic potentials of tourism, thereby enhancing its contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, the Lagos State Government, LASG, has partnered with the Nigerian Conservative Foundation, NCF to construct the longest canopy walkway on the continent. It is located in the Lekki Conservation Centre, LCC, Ibeju-Lekki council area of the state.
The state government said the partnership became imperative in its determination to block the loophole in the huge revenue lost to other tourist destinations across the world.
Other features of the beautiful landscape of the giant walkway include: a Family Fun Park, situated at the degraded portion of the NCF Biodiversity Park that has fish pond with exotic fishes, sections for family games, barbecue section, gazebos, jungle gyms and many others. At the park, there is so much to do and every member of the family from the youngest to the oldest would have something to busy with.
The LCC canopy walkway, built with metal pillars, is the main attraction to the destination, which is the latest innovation to the tourism sector of the country. The aerial foot bridge is 401 metres long, 0.6 meters wide and 22.5 metres high.
According to the construction firm, like other canopy walkways, there are safety measures which must be adhered to. “It is not recommended for persons below the age of 14 years. Even for adults, it is very challenging and for those afraid of heights, they should not venture into it while, nursing mother should not back their child to climb.”
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, while addressing tourism stakeholders, who attended the official unveiling of the structure, said “This is the longest skywalk in Africa and the second longest in the world. This is perhaps, the most defining thing to this environment itself. The skywalk is a lovely view. For those who are yet to visit it, they cannot understand what they are missing. I think this is one of the lovely things that I think that we can keep here.”
Fashola, however, warned that the Tour-Guide should, “continue to emphasis the safety element and the rules of engagement on the facility. It was a lovely experience, when I walked on it.”
The reason for the innovation, Fashola explained was aimed “to keep tourism in the country and to reduce what we spend outside the country, looking for destinations to relax and recreates by keeping those within the country. This is our contribution as a government to reduce the level of foreign exchange. If we spend the money we spend elsewhere in the country, it will help boost the country’s economy.”
Speaking further, he said: “Our investment in tourism is not accidental. It was a well thought out vision and it explains our investment in transportation, on a very expansive base. It is the bases for the expansion of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, for choosing the blue-line of the seven rail project that the state government will commit to.
“This was because over 60 kilometers of coastal waterfront of the Atlantic Ocean is on the Badagry axis. There will be no tourism without transportation. It is about destination and if people cannot get to the location, there will be no tourism. So the expansion of the Lekki-Epe Expressway is all for tourist based initiative,” he added.