Sanwo-Olu urges FG to open up Badagry for commerce,business, tourism

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday said the reason the State Government has been appealing to the Federal Government to open up Badagry was to boost commerce, businesses and tourism potentials of the axis.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed this when the Chairman, Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, led members of the organizing committee for the annual ‘Door of Return’ to pay the governor a courtesy visit at the State House, Marina.

He stressed that ‘Badagry’ has become a brand that has been recognized globally over the years as a tourism destination in Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu said:  “The potentials in the tourism sector are enormous and that is why we have included it as part of our agenda to take Lagos to enviable heights.

“That is why we have continued to tell the Federal Government that we need to open that corridor for commerce, business and tourism”.

While justifying Badagry as a brand, the governor argued: “No matter how people take tourism to another location, if you have historic presence somewhere, no matter how they take it away, they will still come back to the historic base”.

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He assured that the state government would provide both operational and logistic supports for the event scheduled for October to assist Africans in Diaspora reunite with their ancestral home, adding that the traffic and other infrastructures aimed to be completed in Badagry would be fast tracked.

“I can assure you that I will get my people to work immediately because the time is less than two months to the event. I can assure you that all the logistics required would be provided”.

Sanwo-Olu, however, said that his administration would work with Diaspora Commission and residents of the community “to further boost the potentials that could be gotten from the community.”

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Earlier, Dabiri-Erewa hinted that this year’s event was designed to mark the 400th year since slave trade started and ended in Africa.

She noted that aside boosting the tourism of the state, the event would afford participants the opportunity to reunite with their ancestral root, saying, at the inception of the programme three years ago, we had about 25 returnees from Brazil, Jamaica and others.

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The chairman said: “The guests have the opportunity to walk through the door of no return where their ancestors were shipped out of the continent. They will also have the opportunity to have experience of how their fore fathers were taken out of the continent then. They will have the opportunity to see the different artifacts.

“From the point of no return which was the practice over 400 years ago, we open the door of return to the continent of their ancestors. And Lagos serves as the door that has helped them to return to their ancestral root.

“There is a spiritual and emotional connection attached to the exercise; many that have passed through the process often com

(The Nation)