Lagos State Government has disclosed that it would redesign, equip and convert the Presidential lodge, located at Marina area of the state to Heritage Centre for Leadership.
The move followed the Federal Government’s handing over of the facility to the state government.
The lodge which the state governor Akinwunmi Ambode said would also serve as a landmark research and tourist arena to local and international visitors was handed over to the State in a letter of approval addressed to him by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari.
Transfer of the Lagos Presidential lodge to the state government for monitoring and maintenance according to the letter was part of the Federal Government’s effort to cut expenditure.
The State Government had last month written to the President, appealing for release of the facility to be included in its bid to transform Marina-Onikan axis into a world-class arts and tourism hub.
Appreciating the approval, Ambode described the handing over of the edifice as a demonstration of the president’s admiration for Lagos State as Centre of Excellence and Africa’s foremost hub for arts, entertainment and tourism.
“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”, he said.
Ambode said that the President’s approval had come at a time the old Lagos State House in Marina, which is next door to the Presidential Lodge, is also being prepared for a transformation into Lagos History Centre, as a mark of honour to and celebration of all former governors of Lagos State, and for the benefit of everyone.
The governor noted that the Lagos state government would transformation the whole area into a culture zone in next two to three years which every lagosians would be of proud, adding the state executive council has already approved Lagos House Marina to become Lagos History Centre for tourism purposes.
He said that his plan for Marina-Onikan culture zone include a skywalk that would connect Marina to Freedom Park and Broad Street in order to offer ultimate view of the ‘culture arcade’ that would emerge between Marina and Broad Street, to make the entire zone an attraction to tourists and local visitors.
Ambode added that the axis would also accommodate a tourist welcome Centre that comprises of a multi-layer car park, mall, Lagos Aquarium Centre and other tourist facilities.
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