The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) says it will organise an international investors forum to promote and attract investors to the Eko Atlantic City in Lagos.
Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the UNWTO, stated this during a technical visit to the city by African Tourism Ministers, UNWTO executives and delegates to the 3-day UN tourism conference hosted in Nigeria.
The team was led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed as part of activities scheduled to close the 61st Conference of UNWTO/Commission for Africa (CAF).
The conference was declared opened on Monday by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This is the biggest ongoing project in Africa and this will be the next stop tourist destination because it is unbelievable and everyone has to come here to see it.
“It is a fantastic place and I can assure you that we will come back as the project continues to progress.
“The UNWTO is fully committed to assisting the Lagos state government to promote this project by attracting investors.
‘We will consider organising an international investment forum dedicated to the project.
“The field is prepared, the roads are done and the economy of Lagos is growing very fast. This is where international tourist investors should be,” he said.
The team also visited Freedom Park – the old Broad street colonial prison, now a memorial and leisure park in Lagos Island.
The delegates were conducted round monuments in the park including, the old cell blocks, hospital, gallows and other relics
Notable prisoners at the then Broad Street Prison were nationalists, Herbert Macaulay Anthony Enahoro, Obafemi Awolowo and labour leader, Pa Michael Imoudu.
The minister said that they chose Lagos for the technical visit because of its foremost place in the country’s tourism architecture.
He thanked Gov. Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos for his support and cooperation towards successful hosting of the conference.
During an earlier courtesy visit to Gov. Ambode by the team, the governor said the support and partnership with the Federal Government for a successful hosting of the event was in the best interest of the state.
The governor noted that Lagos is an integral part of the entire diversification agenda of the Federal Government through tourism.
He said it is important for the state to integrate itself and share available possibilities and opportunities in tourism with the country and the continent at large.
Ambode said Lagos has about 24 million population and the recent UN survey and report stated that 86 people entered the state every one hour and many of which will not go back.
He said based on the statistics, the state considered tourism as a low hanging fruits for creating employment for the high inflow of people and generating revenue for the state.
The governor said the Eko Atlantic city was conceived, among other reasons, to create tourism infrastructure that will grow the state’s economy.
Ambode said that the new city within a city is the biggest project of its kind in Africa with its massive shopping malls, facilities for water sport and other tourism attractions.
The Eko Atlantic City, is a unique city being constructed on vast area of land reclaimed from the Atlantic ocean along the coast of Victoria Island in Lagos.
The city adjoins Victoria Island district of Lagos city and the Phase 1 area of Lekki, to the north, while the entire Western, eastern and southern borders is a coastline.
It is designed to have a total of 10 districts, spread across a land area of approximately 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi),
Upon completion, the new peninsula, is anticipating at least 250,000 residents and a daily flow of 150,000 commuters.
The city will also satisfy needs for financial, commercial, residential and tourist accommodations, with a state of the art high tech infrastructure.
The development will also have a positive environmental impact, as it will help in stopping the erosion of Lagos State’s coastline.
The development is being carried out as a Public-Private-Partnership, with private companies and investors providing the funding, while Lagos State Government is a strategic partner, with the support of the Federal Government.