Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday said that his administration will make the right investment in the coastline asset of the state to make it cleaner and safer to boost water transportation and tourism.
Ambode, who said this at the 2018 edition of the annual Lagos Boat Regatta held at the Lagoon Waterfront in Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi, said though there had been significant investment in waterways, the State Government nonetheless would continue to make further investments and partnerships in the channelisation of the water routes, as well as provision of more standard jetties and ferries.
The governor, who was represented by the deputy governor, Dr Idiat Adebule, recalled the last time a boat regatta was organised simultaneously in four locations across the state as part of activities to mark the Lagos at 50 celebration last year, saying that the success of the event again brought the treasure of the waterways in the state to the fore, and the need to invest more in the sector.
He said, “We have expanded the scope of this wonderful fanfare last year when we held the boat Regatta parade simultaneously at four different venues to celebrate the golden jubilee anniversary of the creation of our state. The success of that experience reassured 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. 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.”
The event, which held amidst glitz and glamour, featured traditional Boat Regatta parade and display competition by 20 qualified boats from Badagry, Ikorodu, Epe and Lagos Island, out of which five boats were eventually selected, while Agbowa Ikosi emerged overall winner.
It also featured search and rescue demonstration, water safety tips, entertainment boat parade and cultural performances.
Dignitaries who graced the event included Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule; members of the Lagos State Executive Council; former Deputy Governors – Femi Pedro and Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu; Oba of Lagos, HRH, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; former Secretary to the State Government, Princess Adeniran Ogunsanya; Senators Muniru Muse, Musiliu Obanikoro, among others.