Some stakeholders at the ongoing two-day Badagry Economic Summit on Thursday said that the town would, by 2020, become an international hub for investments and leisure activities.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the maiden edition of the summit in Badagry, Lagos State, organized by Badagry Convention and Visitors Agency.
The summit theme is:” Unleashing Investment Opportunities around Historic and Coastal Zones of Epe and Badagry”.
NAN reports that the summit is to create economic opportunities for the ancient city that is blessed with several natural economic endowments.
Speaking on the summit, Prof. Femi Pearse, the Managing Director, Whispering Palms Resort, said that the summit would bring about social and economy developments to the ancient town.
He said that the investment opportunities abound Badagry when fully harnessed would create millions of employment opportunities for the youth in the community, especially, the indigents.
Also, Sen. Tokunbo Afikuyomi, a former Commissioner for Tourism in Lagos State, said that Badagry had come of age to be the leading destination for business leisure and investment in West Africa.
He said that Badagry used to be a slave port and market, where the largest enslaved Africans were taken to Europe some centuries ago.
Afikuyomi said that the historical antecedents coupled with the natural endowments of the locality such as the border ports, oil exploration and upcoming seaport in Africa would project the town into limelight.
He said that without doubt, all these investments opportunities would draw a good number of visitors and investors to the ancient town, making Badagry prosperous than any city in West Africa.
Similarly, Mr Gani Balogun, the Managing Director of Tarzan Boats and Water Investment Ltd., said that the summit would expose the aquatic-tourism and water transportation investment opportunities in Badagry to the outside world.
He said that Badagry was blessed with enormous investment opportunities and cultural/tourism potential that investors could invest in it.
According to him, “The term aquatic refers to water body, the ecosystem and its biodiversities which can be transformed into leisure activities otherwise refers to as tourism.
“Tourism activities began with water transportation in Lagos State, movements of people from one community to another through the waterways.
“Example is the movement of people from Epe to Badagry, Ikorodu to other coastal communities within the state ,” he said.
Balogun said that these were some of the various opportunities that the summit would expose the community to for its social and economic developments.
Mr Fatai Shokunbi, Chairman, Badagry Convention and Visitors Agency, said that the summit was organised in partnership with Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture.
Shokunbi said that the summit was designed basically to bring together cooperate organisations and individuals to share ideas about tourism, culture and economic investments opportunities embedded in Badagry.
“The main objective of the summit is to provide direction into the reality of making Badagry an international market hub for investment and leisure activities.
“The ongoing deep seaport projects, railway, ultramodern market and Oil discovery/exploration in the ancient city when completed will make Badagry a preferred tourism and business destination in Africa,’’ he said.
Shokunbi said that Badagry opportunities lay on three economic agenda: Tourism and Hospitality, Seaport Development and Logistics, and Oil exploration.
He said that at the end of the two-day summit, Badagry would have experienced massive influx of tourists and investors that wanted to tap from the investment opportunities abound in the ancient city.