LASG is elevating coconut prominence to showcase huge cultural heritage in Badagry – Official

LASG is elevating coconut prominence to showcase huge cultural heritage in Badagry – Official
November 28 10:18 2021 Print This Article

The Lagos State Government says it is elevating the prominence of the coconut product to showcase the huge cultural heritage of the Badagry people to the world through the annual Agunkefest festival.

Mr Solomon Bonu, the Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tourism, Arts and Culture, stated this on Saturday at the 9th Edition of Coconut Festival 2021 Agunkefest in Badagry, Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the festival is “Coconut Sufficient for Economic Diversification and Tourism Development in Nigeria”.

According to Bonu, the objective of this festival is to create increased awareness about coconut, its importance and viability in terms of economic value in addition to its huge tourism potential.

“The ministry realized that the coconut festival which has its agricultural impact could also be used as a veritable tool to market Badagry and Lagos a destination of choice in the area of coconut plantation.

“The festival is also aligned with domestic tourism initiative which is currently being driven by the ministry across different local government areas in the state in which Badagry is part of.

“The ministry realized the need to start marketing the arts, craft, festival, attraction and heritage sites that are peculiar to different communities in Lagos.

“The intention is to make all the communities in the state viable in the area of tourism, arts and culture through which they will be able to contribute to the growth and development of the state,” he said.

Bonu commended Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his unending support to initiatives like this which had the potential of contributing significantly to tourism through the ministry.

He said with the suspension of the Greater Lagos project, due to health warnings on imminent fourth wave of COVID-19, the ministry had come up with a proposal to hold a Christmas celebration in Badagry.

“This is in view of the contributions of Badagry to the growth of Christianity in the country.

“This is proposed to be the first of its kind in the state, as some preliminary efforts are currently ongoing while the ministry awaits the final approval from the governor,” he said.

Mr Sunday Kappo, a legal practioner and Commissioner at Lagos State Audit Commission, urged industrialists and investors to invest in coconut production and preservation.

Kappo urged the administration of Sanwo-Olu to invest more in coconut production by channeling more funds into the sector.

He urged the residents of Badagry to always replace any fallen coconut tree to boost production.

A Nollywood actor, Mr Yomi Fash-Lanso, said the presence of Gov. Sanwo-Olu would have added value to the festival if he was on ground.

“This type of festival, you don’t send your Special Assistant or Adviser to represent you, Governor’s presence at this festival will have sent the right signals to investors and stakeholders,” he said.

Mr Segun Arinze, another Nollywood actor and indigene of Badagry, commended the Federal Government on the ongoing construction of Agbara Badagry expressway.

Arinze urged the company working on the road to accelerate work, adding that the neglect of the road by the past administration has turned the road to a death trap.

He said that unless the road is fixed, no investors would like to come and invest in the town.

In his remarks, Prince Doheto Mesi, the President, African Coconut Heritage Initiative: Agunkefest, called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders towards ensuring coconut sufficiency in Nigeria.

According to him, Lagos which accounts for about 70 per cent of Nigeria’s production quota, is facing some challenges, especially in the Badagry division.

“This includes residents development, indiscriminate felling of coconut and other trees without adequate plans for replanting.

“This situation has caused deficit in Nigeria’s coconut production capacity, especially now that awareness about the utilization of coconut and its derivatives are on the increase.

“The situation is evident in the current practice of importation of coconut in large quantities from neighbouring African Countries through Badagry borders by traders to meet the high

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