By VICTOR NZE
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode is expected to lead a team of travel and tourism industry players as the Badagry Convention and Visitors Bureau (BCVB), Friday, reeled out a panel of keynote speakers for its maiden Economic Summit.
The Badagry Economic Summit which will be held between March 23 and 24 under the theme of; ‘Unleashing Investment Potential Around Seaport and Tourism Projects, along the Badagry-Epe Coastal Investment Advantage, will be the bureau’s first programme since inauguration last year.
The Lagos Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (LAHTIC), the Igbo Art and Culture Festival, as well as the Yoruba Cultural Summit are others on the card for this year by the agency set up by the Lagos State government and private sector tourism industry stakeholders in Badagry.
According to the Director of Marketing and Administration of BCVB, Dr Temidayo Hephzibah, the bureau is set to blaze the trail with its Economic Summit, billed for the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) Conference Hall, Topo, Badagary, Lagos.
“The summit is to open to the world the investment opportunities that abound in Badagry and for deliberations on how best to harness and explore the investment potential around Badagry economy.
“The governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, who has shown keen interest in the development of Badagary is expected to lead a powerful team of the state’s administrators to the event while some of the speakers and guests include; former Commissioner for Tourism, Lagos State, Senator Tokunboh Afikuyomi, the Group Managing Director of OBED Group, Chris Illoh, former Chairman of CRFFN, Hakeem Olanrewaju, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Whispering Palms, Professor Femi Pearse, David Skor of APM Terminals, former Head of Service, Lagos State, A. Sunny Ajose, Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Ashade Akinyemi and the Founder and President of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye,” Hephzibah said.
According to Hephzibah, the bureau with an mandate to market Badagry as a tourist destination, is poised to bringing together relevant stakeholders, investors and major players in the economy, both at the private and public sectors to Badagary to witness this historic event, which he said would a bi-annual celebration of Badagry.
“Badagry Economic Summit is a bi-annual platform established by Badagry Convention and Visitors Bureau to create economic opportunities surrounding the ancient city blessed with several natural economic endowments.
“This Summit is designed to bring together corporate organisations and individuals to share ideas about Badagry opportunities. Epe become part of the maiden edition of the summit because of its similarity in terms of history, location and resources.
“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 summit will also bring together regional and international industry experts including investors to discuss investments opportunities around Badagry and other coastal neighbourhood of Lagos state such as Epe axis.
Speaking further on the two-day event, the Managing Director of the Bureau, Mr. Ashamu Sewanu Fadipe, said that top tourism experts and investors are being canvassed for the summit to explore investment opportunities in the area, adding that the summit would showcase the abundant investment opportunities in Badagry so as to lure investors and tourists to the area.
“There is no doubt that investment opportunities abound in Badagry, we have all it takes for investors to invest in. The community is blessed with rich historical and cultural heritage, crude oil, serene beaches, coconut plantation, seaport and massive land for development,’ Fadipe said.