Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Sunday promised to make the state’s waterways cleaner and safer to attract more investments and encourage partnerships in the channelisation of the water routes.
Ambode, represented by his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, made the promise at the 2018 Boat Regatta funfair organised by the state’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in Lagos.
He promised to provide more standard jetties and ferries across the state’s waterways which he described as the coastal assets and strength that needed to be developed.
”It gives me a great pleasure to join you all at this year’s edition of the Lagos State Boat Regatta. This colourful parade on water has been a fairly consistent feature of our entertainment menu at Easter.
”The colouful displays and parades of culture and tradition on our waters reassure us of the treasure that our waterways represent and why we must nurture this God-given asset as a major tourist attraction.
”We have made a modest investment in a few luxury boats that are meant to target tourism promotion and the Lagos lagoon boasts of perhaps the busiest water route in West Africa.
”There is a vibrant boat club with members’ boat collection that is astonishing; there is a growing interest in surfing and our waterways are acknowledged as one of the best for scuba diving in the world.
”This is why our determination will not waver in making our waterways cleaner and safer with further investments and partnerships in the channelisation of the water routes, in the provision of more standard jetties and ferries, ” he said.
Mr Daramola Emmanuel, General Manager, Lagos State Water Authority (LASWA) read the water safety tips to participants.
He said that the state government was serious about promoting water transportation as an alternative to other means of transportation.
Emmanuel said the government was also serious about ensuring safety on it waters.
He advised participants to wear life jackets and avoid drinking before driving or using the water transportation to prevent accidents or emergencies.
In his remarks, Mr Steve Ayorinde, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the event was a cultural and entertainment funfair meant to showcase part of the state’s rich aquatic cultural asset.
Ayorinde explained that what had been displayed was a festival that is common to the traditional coastline communities.
20 boats from Ikorodu, Badagry, Lagos Island and Epe divisions participated in the traditional boat regatta parades and competitions.
The boats were decorated to showcase the peculiar culture and tradition of the different divisions and areas.
There were search and rescue demonstrations by LASWA as well as Jet ski stunt displays.
The boat from Agbowa-Ikosi in Ikorodu emerged the best regatta boat, Fanti Popo-Aguda boat from Lagos Island emerged second position while Olorunda in Badagry came third.