Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Thursday said that the Mile 2/Seme Border Expressway would boost tourism , international trade and commerce among West African countries when completed in 2019.
Ambode said this at the opening of the Badagry Economic Summit held at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Topo, Badagry, Lagos State.
The theme of the summit was, “Unleashing Investment Opportunities Around Historic and Coastal Zones of Epe and Badagry.”
The governor, represented by Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, the Special Adviser on Community Affairs and Development, said that the completion of the road would facilitate trade and boost tourism in and around the ancient city.
“Badagry is a historic city and its strategic location to other West African countries, makes the city to be of great importance to the state.
“With the completion of the Seme/Badagry/Mile 2 Express road, it will help in boosting tourism in the city and it will complement the soon-to-be-built sea port that will be established in the city.
“This will also provide half a million direct and indirect jobs for several youths in Badagry.
“Also, the Marina area of Badagry will be transformed into a leisure and holiday city, and this will attract several tourists from all over the world.
“This administration is committed to developing every part of the state and ensuring that everyone is carried along and no one is left out,” he said.
The governor said that his administration would soon connect communities which had not been connected to the national grid for them to start enjoying uninterrupted power supply.
“For several decades, communities at the Seme area of the city have not had any form of electricity, efforts are now being made to connect them to the national grid.
“Electric poles have been erected, so the connection will soon be completed. The government is committed in ensuring that every part of the state gets equal treatment,” he said.
He commended the organisers of the event and added that the summit would help in improving the lives of people in the ancient city.
Earlier, Mr Ashamu Fadipe, the Managing Director, Badgary Convention and Visitors Agency, said that the essence of the summit was to put Badagry on the global map.
Fadipe, who is also the Chief Organiser of the summit, noted that the event would help in tapping into the full tourism potential of the city.
“We want to ensure that in the next five years, Badagry will become the next Dubai where everyone in the world will want to visit on a regular basis.
“It will also help in creating employment opportunities for the youths as it will create awareness that will help in that aspect,” he said.
Also, Mr Jacob Kestomahun, the Sole administrator, Badagry Local Government, noted that the summit would create awareness on the benefits from investing in Badagry.
Some of the dignitaries that attended the event include: Dr Deji Femi-Pearse, Chairman, Whispering Palms, Iworo, Badagry, the Akran of Badagry, De Wholu Aholu Menu-Toyi 1, Sen. Tokunbo Afikuyomu, a former Commissioner for Tourism, Lagos State, amongst others.