The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, Monday, unveiled plans to transform some landmark areas in Marina and Onikan into world-class recreation and tourism center.
Mr. Ambode was speaking at the presentation of “Museum Possibilities” and the unveiling of the design for a new world-class Museum in the state at the Eko Hotels and Suites.
He said the state government will soon commence construction of a brand-new museum complex as part of its strategy to become self-sufficient and secure the future prosperity of the state.
While acknowledging the country’s rich cultural heritage, the governor lamented the neglect of the culture and traditions upon which the nation’s social institutions and interactions are built.
He also argued that Nigerian youth do not have a strong appreciation of the nation’s history over the years.
Mr. Ambode, therefore, said his administration has decided to lead the process that would deliver a new world-class museum to showcase the priceless treasures of Nigeria, adding that the project will be funded by the government, donors and concerned organisations and individuals.
“Every society must cherish its historical antecedents because they serve as a source of inspiration for succeeding generations to discover, appreciate and take pride in their identity,” Mr. said.
“It has become very imperative that we take a step back and revisit our history. It has become important that we renew efforts to preserve and protect our history and historical artifacts.
“This project will serve generations of Nigerians now and in the future. Our plan is to harness the potentials in our rich cultural heritage to drive tourism in Lagos State,” Governor Ambode said.
Apart from the planned museum, he said the state government has commenced the rehabilitation of the Museum in Onikan, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
Already, the governor said the Presidential Lodge, Marina, which was recently handed over to the state by President Muhammadu Buhari, would be developed into a Heritage Centre for Leadership.
“The Lagos House also in Marina will be transformed into the Lagos Historical Centre. The JK Randle Arcade will be remodeled into a world-class recreation/tourism center,” the governor continued.
“We intend to regenerate this axis and the museum into an iconic structure that will invoke a deep sense of pride for all Nigerians.
“This is the new possibility that is being presented to all stakeholders in the tourism sector and all Nigerians. On our part, our commitment is unshaken and we are eager to make this dream a reality within the shortest possible time.
“Given the mega city status of our state, we believe this is the right way to go in order to optimally harness the state’s tourism potentials for wealth creation and sustainable growth.”
He expressed appreciation to President Buhari for the fatherly role he is playing in the country and expressed confidence that new possibilities would emerge from preserving and showcasing the nation’s cultural heritage.
Also speaking, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, commended the state government’s effort to create an enabling environment for tourism and the creative industry to thrive especially in the areas of security, light infrastructure, and transportation.
He said the Federal Government has also set up a Presidential Special Committee on E-Business to ensure ease of doing business in Nigeria, especially in the area of visa issuance, so as to encourage investors, tourists, and visitors to the country.
The occasion was attended by dignitaries including the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu I, The Obi of Onitsha, Alfred Achebe, Senator Ben Murray Bruce, Mr. Guy Bruce, veteran art aficionado, Mr. Bruce Onobrakpeya, art collector, Omoba Yemisi Shyllon, players in the creative industry, and members of the diplomatic corps.