By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Lagos State Government has disclosed that foreigners would be restricted from participating in 2020 edition of Greater Lagos Regatta and Festival celebrations set to hold during the year.
According to the government, restriction placed on foreigners was to ensure that the event is 100 percent homegrown, to further showcase tourism potentials of the state.
State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat AkinbiIe-Yusuf, explained that the state, though constrained by the global pandemic, was set to ensure that Lagosians enjoyed the festivities fully and that tourists and foreign well-wishers also had a chance to be part of the activities without actually being there.
Akinbile-Yusuf, while addressing a press conference on Tuesday, stated that the government had taken into consideration health threat posed by coronavirus which could easily spread among tourists, entertainers, and residents of Lagos, adding that, it had instead made channels available through which the three-day party could be watched online by participants.
She reiterated that Lagos state government placed a premium on health and wellbeing of its people and that it would not jeopardize their lives by exposing them to danger in the face of global threat pose by coronavirus.
The Commissioner disclosed that the three-day event, would not be canceled but would ensure adequate provision for personal hygiene was installed and that participants from foreign countries would stay excluded from attending.
“We have concluded plans to provide a section where people can wash their hands, in addition to this, we are equally going to have enough provisions for sanitizers to complement other precautionary measures that would still be put in place through our working relationship with the Ministry of Health,”
“Our intention is to market Lagos tourism to investors beyond the shores of this country, we want them to see and appreciate the rich cultural heritage and Aquatic endowment of the State,”
“While we are being restricted to limit participants for this event to tourists and fun lovers within Nigeria because we do not want to expose Nigerians to the raging Coronavirus across the world, we believe that good media coverage and online presence could still help market the tourism potentials of Lagos State to the international audience”.
She added that the year’s edition would include Conference on Tourism and Business Opportunity on Lagos Waterways at Eko Atlantic, cultural displays from representatives from all the divisions of the State and the general public, boat regatta display, parade, racing and musical concerts that would feature notable Nigerian artistes, among others.