Tourism and cultural heritage promotion before the 90’s was relegated to the background, especially in Nigeria. This was largely due to the heavy reliance on oil revenue.
In 1999, following the debut of the multiple award-winning culture and travel TV show Goge Africa, (coincidentally on Nigeria’s independence day), interest in tourism and the appreciation of our cultural heritage was ignited.
In celebration of these two epochal birth anniversaries (Nigeria’s @ 61 & Goge Africa @ 22), Goge Africa in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Lagos Ferry Services, feted over 150 people to a boat cruise themed: Greater Nigeria Independence Cruise aboard the expansive MV Adimu Orisa Ferry, along the waterways of Lagos state.
The event which was a progressive synergy between the government, tourism practitioners, entertainers and water transport sector players led by the doyen of Lagos waterways, Lagferry, featured lip-smacking cuisines, networking parley and lots of entertainment including an electrical performance by ace dancehall musical act, Blacky.
Strolling down memory lane, the CEO, Goge Africa, Amb. Isaac Moses, recounted the debut of the show on television and the company’s dedication to the development and promotion of domestic tourism in Nigeria and Africa.
Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism Arts and Culture, Mr Solomon Bonu pointed out that the event was put up in a couple of days by Goge Africa with his collaboration, to showcase the viability of Lagos tourism.
He used the opportunity to tell Lagosians, and the whole world that boat cruise is safe and enjoyable in Lagos. He called on everyone to find time to experience Lagos through the Waterways.
Noting the importance of the waterways in the promotion of tourism in Lagos State, the Commissioner of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Pharm. Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf affirmed that: “using the waterway would make it easier for Lagosians to move from one destination to another”. “So we want to encourage the public to continue to use our waterways” she urged.
Reiterating the adoption of the waterways as an alternate means of transportation in Lagos, MD, Lagferry, Hon. Ladi Balogun encouraged Lagosians to “see a viable and reliable alternative to road transportation, not only to commute people, but also for entertainment, tourism and social events on the waterway”. Lagferry he enthused, “is setting a standard for everybody, because this is a Lagos for the future, this is what we want to see…we are showing it to the world, we are demonstrating to everyone that yes, we can do it. Not only on the road, but also through the waterway. So, this will give way for the multi-modal transportation that we’ve been preaching since year 2000.”
Other dignitaries who were present to grace the occasion were: the Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi, the Chief Corporate Services Officer at MTN Nigeria Mr. Tobe Okigbo and his lovely wife Chioma, tourism entrepreneurs ably represented by Nnenna Fakoya-Smith – Nene-Uwa Hub Ltd, Michael Balogun – Tour2Nigeria, Sam Adeleke – Travel With Sam, Onyinye Oduniyi – Explore Travel Magazine, Mrs. Farida Bambo Sagaya – Angel Style World Travels and Tours among others.
Nigeria’s movie industry was ably represented by Lilian Amah-Aluko, a highly respected film producer, actress and writer who also contributed to the success of this event.
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