The Lagos State Government has barred foreigners from participating in its forthcoming Greater Lagos Regatta and Festival.
The event was earlier scheduled to hold during the Easter period, but tourists from other countries have been restricted from the event, as local tourists, and fun lovers will enjoy the programme.
The reason for the restriction, the government said was to prevent spread of the deadly and globally pandemic coronavirus disease, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat AkinbiIe-Yusuf, at a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday said the move was part of measures to prevent the spread of the disease among tourists and entertainers who would be willing to participate in the event.
Akinbile-Yusuf stated that the three days event, Greater Lagos Regatta and Festival had been put on hold pending when the issue of Coronavirus ravaging the world generally subsided.
According to her, the state government was not cancelling the event but would disallow participation from foreign countries in view of the negative posturing the Covid-19 was 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 organized 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.
“Our intention is 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 a good media coverage could still help market the tourism potentials of Lagos State to the international audience,” she said.
The commissioner added that the state government prioritised 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.
The Commissioner stated that adequate measure was being put in place to guarantee the safety of participants at the event.
“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,” she said.
Highlighting major activities for the Festival, Akinbile-Yussuf stated that there would be Conference on Tourism and Business Opportunity on Lagos Waterways at Eko Atlantic, Victoria Island, cultural display from all the representatives from all the divisions of the State and the general public, Boat Regatta display, parade and racing and concert that will feature grade A Artists.