…to shut out foreign participants
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government, yesterday, announced the indefinite suspension of the “Greater Lagos Regatta and Festival” earlier scheduled to hold during the Easter period to local tourists, and fun lovers.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat AkinbiIe-Yusuf, who stated this at a press conference in Lagos, said that the postponement became necessary because of the outbreak of Coronavirus, and the need to ensure the safety of residents and participants.
AkinbiIe-Yusuf said: “The state government will not take any chances, though it is not cancelling the event, but will prevent participation from foreign countries because of the global threat of COVID-19 to human lives at the moment.
“The Ministry is aware of the COVID -19 and we are working with the Ministry of Health to create washing of hands points, provide hand sanitisers, and ensure the safety of Lagosians before, during and after the programme.
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“We intend 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 could still help market the tourism potentials of Lagos State to the international audience.”
On the state government’s preparedness, the Commissioner said: “We have concluded plans to provide a section where people can wash their hands; in addition, 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.”