Ambode: We are Already Replicating Dubai in Lagos


Pledges to expand tourism potential in Badagry, Epe
Gboyega Akinsanmi

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday unveiled another ambitious plan of his administration, noting that he was working to replicate Dubai, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) city, in Lagos.

 The governor, also, revealed the plan to expand the tourism potentials of Badagry and Epe, which he said, would bring new investors and at the same time boost the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR).

 He made the disclosure during an inspection of on-going projects across the state alongside some members of the State Executive Council during which he flagged off the Epe-Marina Lagoon reclamation project.

 He explained the lagoon reclamation project was at giving a leap to the tourism potentials of the state, noting that the projects in Epe and Badagry would look like that of Dubai in United Arab Emirates (UAE) when completed.
He said the reclamation project “will be completed by the end of August, this year. The Epe-Marina Lagoon reclamation project is a complete redevelopment of project site to facilitate development of the area and promote tourism.”

 The governor explained that the project “comes with sand filling to the lagoon up to about 200 meters and dualisation of the network of roads in the axis with functional walkways.”

Ambode said: “We want to actually duplicate what you see in Dubai-Marina. This is a whole stretch of two kilometers of real estate and new tourist centres that we are putting in Epe and Badagry at the same time.
“We believe strongly we are going to grow our IGR by 2017 to N30 billion and 2018 to N50 billion. We believe some of these projects that we are commencing now are just inlets to our dream of growing the IGR.

 “We know by the time we are expanding tourism potentials of Badagry and Epe at the same time. We will be able to get new investors that will be able to come to our new locations to do other things beyond what you see about recreation, tourism or entertainment and then get a whole lot of investments into Lagos State.

“This is part of our dreams and dreams do come true. We are looking at the future of tourism from both axis. You cannot put tourism in those places without providing infrastructure required to allow people to come in and that is why we are also doing the road network,” the governor explained.

 Ambode equally inspected the on-going dualization of about 25 network of roads in Epe, where he acknowledged that the massive investment of government in the area was part of the grand plan “to transform the axis and same was in line with the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) project.”

 He expressed satisfaction with the level and pace of work done so far, saying the quality “is of international standard. The projects will decongest the heartland of Lagos as people would be encouraged to move to Epe and Ibeju-Lekki axis.

“We believe with this expansion, the whole lot of what we are trying to do in Epe and Ibeju-Lekki axis will be developed. We are inspired to see how we can look at the phase two of this project as quickly as possible.

“This road dualisation is expected to be completed in 16 months, but because we are ahead of schedule, we are looking at the first quarter of next year. We have just injected 30 kilometers of standard roads into Epe and the meaning of that is of course changing the economy of Epe Township, real estate will be boomed and we are encouraging commerce and industrialisation.

 “This project is the backbone of the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Deep Seaport and the proposed Airport. All the state government is doing is stimulating the economy. That is what is happening here.”