COVID-19: Lagos Bars Foreign Nationals,Targets Locals For Regatta, Festival Celebration

By Benjamin Omoike

In a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly and globally pandemic coronavirus disease, Lagos State Government on Tuesday, said it will restrict participants for the Greater Lagos Regatta and Festival earlier scheduled to hold during the Easter period to local tourists, and fun lovers.

The state’s Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture , Mrs. Uzamat AkinbiIe-Yusuf, who disclosed this at a press conference in Lagos, said it is part of measures to prevent the spread of the disease among tourists and entertainers who would be willing to participate in the event.

She added that the three days event, ‘Greater Lagos Regatta and Festival’ has been put on hold pending when the issue of Coronavirus ravaging the world generally subsides.

According to her, the state government is not cancelling the event but would disallow participation from foreign countries, in view of the negative posturing the Covid-19 is gaining globally at the moment.

The Greater Lagos Regatta and Festival, which is an initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, is being jointly organised in collaboration with a consulting firm, Gradient Hill Company Limited and has been designed to espouse the tourism potential of Lagos State, celebrate the Aquatic splendour of the state and market the Lagos brand to tourism investors across the world.

AkinbiIe-Yusuf  said, “Our intention is to market Lagos tourism to investors beyond the shores of this countr. 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 a good media coverage could still help market the tourism potentials of Lagos State to the international audience.”

She said that the state government prioritises the well-being of its citizens and would not compromise the life of any resident of the state or organise an event without due consideration of the health implication of such event on the entire populace.

Speaking on the preparedness of the State Government for the event, the Commissioner stated that adequate measure is being put in place to guarantee the safety of participants at the event.

In her words; “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.” 

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