L-R: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Chairman, Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Hon. (Mrs) Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Founder, African Renaissance Foundation (AREFO), Mr. Babatunde Olaide-Mesewaku during the Governor’s meeting with the Commission at Lagos House, Marina, on Thursday.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday said the reason the state government has been appealing to Federal Government to open up Badagry was to boost commerce, businesses and tourism potentials of the axis.

Speaking when the Chairman, Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, led members of the organizing committee for the annual ‘Door of Return’ to pay him a courtesy visit at the State House, Marina, Lagos, Sanwo-Olu stated that ‘Badagry’ has become a brand that had been recognized globally over the years as a tourism destination in Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu said: “The potentials in the tourism sector is enormous and that is why we have included it as part of our agenda to take Lagos to an enviable heights. That is why we have continued to tell the Federal Government that we need to open that corridor for commerce, business and tourism.

“No matter how people take tourism to another location, if you have historic presence somewhere, no matter how they take it away, they will still come back to the historic base.”

The governor said the government would provide both operational and logistic supports for the event scheduled for October to assist Africans in Diaspora reunite with their ancestral home, adding, the traffic and other infrastructures aimed to be completed in Badagry would be fast tracked.

“I can assure you that I will get my people to work immediately because the time is less than two months to the event. I can assure you that all the logistics required would be provided,”he said.

Earlier, Dabiri-Erewa said that the 2019 festival would mark 400 years of the history of slave trade in Africa.

The commission chairman said that they were taken out of Badagry through the point-of-no return.

She said the purpose of the visit was to intimate the governor on the project.

According to her, the festival will enable the commission to build a permanent “Door of Return” platform to further promote tourism in the area and as well in the state.

Dabiri-Erewa said that the festival would showcase Africa to the world in good light and on a positive note.