President Muhammadu Buhari, has finally agreed to hand over the Presidential Lodge, at Marina, to the Lagos State Government, for onward transformation into a world-class arts, and tourism hub.
This is coming, following a request by the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, to have the lodge released to the State Government, in its bid to transform the Marina-Onikan axis, into a global tourism center.
The President’s approval, was communicated in a letter signed by his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, to the Lagos State Governor.
In a statement on Sunday, signed by the Lagos State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, Governor Ambode said the President’s gesture, was a demonstration of his “keen admiration for Lagos State as the Centre of Excellence that is well suited to becoming Africa’s foremost hub for arts, entertainment, and tourism”.
The statement, said with the Presidential approval, Ambode has consequently unveiled plans to turn the lodge to ‘The Heritage Centre for Leadership’, which would be redesigned, and equipped as a landmark research and tourist arena, that will be open to local and international visitors.
“On behalf of the government and people of Lagos State, I wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, for his kind hand-over of the Presidential Lodge, in Marina, to the Lagos State government.
“This in my opinion, demonstrates the President’s special interest in Lagos State, which is in line with the promise he made in Lagos, during the electioneering campaign, that the interest of Lagosians will always be paramount in his heart.”
It added, that President Buhari’s approval had come at a time that the old Lagos State House in Marina, which is next door to the Presidential Lodge, is also being prepared for a transformation to ‘The Lagos History Centre’, as a mark of honour to, and celebration of all former Governors of Lagos State, as well as, for the benefit of humankind as a whole.
Earlier, the Lagos State Executive Council had approved the Lagos House Marina to be turned into Lagos History Centre for tourism purposes.
The statement added: “With the handing over of the Presidential Lodge to Lagos State, the Lagos State Government will begin a process that will transform the whole area into a culture zone in the next two to three years, that every Lagosian will be proud of.
“These two buildings will be nurtured as world-class monuments by the Lagos State Government, to compliment the ongoing larger plan that aims to transform the Marina-Onikan axis, into a multi-sectorial culture zone.”