The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday said his administration would continue to make the state waterways cleaner and safer to boost water transport, tourism and investments.
Ambode stated this at the 2018 edition of the annual Lagos Boat Regatta at the Lagoon Waterfront on Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi, adding that although there had been significant investment in waterways, the government would make further investments and find right partners in the channelisation of the water routes, as well as provision of more standard jetties and ferries.
The governor, who was represented at the event by the Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule, said the success of the regatta, which was organised simultaneously in four locations across the state to mark the Lagos at 50 celebrations last year, brought the treasure of the state waterways to the fore.
He said, “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.
“We have expanded the scope of this wonderful fanfare from that of last year when we held the boat Regatta to celebrate the golden jubilee 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 to a major tourist attraction.
“We have made a modest investment in a few luxury boats that are meant for tourism promotion. The Lagos lagoon boasts of, perhaps, the busiest water route in West Africa.
“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 and provision of more standard jetties and ferries.”
The News Agency of Nigeria also reported that the General Manager, Lagos State Water Authority, Mr. Daramola Emmanuel, advised Lagosians to wear life jackets and urged boat operators to avoid drinking before embarking on journeys in order to prevent accidents.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said the event was a cultural and entertainment funfair meant to showcase the state’s rich aquatic cultural asset.
The event featured traditional Boat Regatta parade and display competition by 20 qualified boats from Badagry, Ikorodu, Epe and Lagos Island.