Inagbe Resorts: Jewel on the Island
By JIMOH BABATUNDE
“Please, this type of trip is not meant for people like us o”, John was held telling the boat rider as he was handed a life jacket as he made to enter the boat that was set to ferry us to one of the Islands in Lagos on a tour of a new resort.
John’s expression represents the fears of many people living in Lagos who see water everyday but always scared to travel on water. For many Lagosians, the fear of water is the beginning of wisdom though the state prides itself as a state of aquatic splendor.But as we boarded the flying boat and headed westwards through the Fort oil head office, the American embassy then under the Ikoyi Bridge at Bonny Camp before we went through other waterways that pass by Tin Can, Snake Island, and Apapa, the fear started disappearing as most of the occupants of the boats became lively while enjoying the cool breeze.
As most of us were busy snapping shots of one another in the boats, some professional photographers among the team were seen taking shots of other seafaring people and views on the Islands along the route that transverse Banana Island
After about 25 minutes of boat ride, the sight of coconut trees dancing to the cool breeze of the sea under the heat of the sun was what welcomed us to the Inagbe Island – A natural landscape graced with tranquility and peaceful atmosphere.
Inagbe Island is host to a Grand Resort and Leisure which is set on the tranquil banks of the magnificent Lagos Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. This showpiece resort captures the essence of nature, culture and tradition.
What a beautiful sight to behold! As we disembark from the boat, warmly welcomed at the VIP Jetty, a 40,000 square metre well landscaped garden and park awaits us.
Richly adorned with waterfalls and natural artistic elements, a 300 metre long enthralling musical fountain combined with an array of rhythmic water display and coloured lightening effect graces our entrance to the resort from the Lagoon front.
Welcoming the team, Adeyeye Ogunwusi , the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Gran Imperio Resorts Limited, disclosed that the resort is developed and promoted by his company in partnership with the Esinmikan Royal Family—the native land owners with strong history, culture and heritage.
The resort, according to him is a home away from the hustle and bustle of city life, adding that the resort is a place to be amidst pure natural elements, tranquil and resonating air of simple luxury.
“What we met here was a jungle; nobody was living here because the natives had migrated to Lagos, but now they are coming back because we are providing jobs for them. Unlike the locals who did not believe in us, a lot of foreigners have come here and could not believe that this kind of thing could be done in Nigeria”, Ogunwusi enthused.
The resort, which is fully functional with over 300 workers providing top-o- the-range services, is developed in phases. So far, the first phase which would be completed early next year already has in place 125-room chalets, 1,500-seater multi-purpose hall, an executive lounge near the lagoon, Essential Homes furniture factory, indoor sports hall comprising table tennis, long tennis court, snooker, squash and badminton.
As we were conducted round the facilities, one will not but marvel at the quality of the furniture in the chalets, Ogunwusi explained that beyond providing a home away from home, the resorts is also his company’s bold statement that good things could come out of Nigeria.
“We want to prove that good things can come out of Nigeria. We want to showcase national pride. Everything we have here are from Nigeria and, interestingly, this project started just last year and here we are, not just providing opportunity for leisure and relaxation, but also creating jobs for young Nigerians”, he said with a big smile playing around his lips.
Moving around the 300 hectares facility could be tiring for some, but it is fun and exercise for others. On the hot afternoon of our visit, some of us decided to go round the island on a couple of beach buggies.
Demola became the maser rider as some of us surrounded our fates to Ogunwusi and the lady rider, Jumoke as we moved towards beach front. The Lagoon front relaxation area, sports village and conference centers are simply magnificent.
SPORTSAside from the golf courses, the resort has sites for beach soccer, football pitches, race tracks, and lawn tennis pitches.
Ogunwusi disclosed that as they are set to become the most popular resort and tourist center in West Africa, providing recreational facilities, beach clubs, boat clubs, that they are not forgetting the children too as they will have a theme park.