Tourism: Expert advises Lagos govt to invest in attracting African-Americans

Mr Anago Osho, a tour guide, on Thursday advised the Lagos State Government to invest in attracting Americans of African descent to boost tourism in the state.

Tourism (VanguardNG)

Osho gave the advice at the Lagos State Theatre in Badagry, when officials of the state Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, state House of Assembly members and tourism stakeholders visited some tourism sites in the ancient town.

The visit is part of a three-day familiarisation tour to tourism sites in the state, tagged, “bestoflagosfamtour22”.

Osho, speaking on re-inventing Lagos as the prime destination for African diaspora, said that the state must focus on attracting individuals of African descent to achieve this.

“Due to the activities of the slave masters years back, many Nigerians and Africans believe they are of American origin, which is wrong,” he said.

He advised the state government to engage individuals suspected to be of African descent and invest in conducting the deoxyribonucleric acid test (DNA) for them to truly ascertain their origin.

He said that as a tour guide who had invested over 25 years practising, he had come across a lot of Americans who were products of slave trade and wish to retrace their root.

“From the knowledge have gathered on slave history, Lagos happens to be the capital of diasporians, we need to reconnect with them.

“This can be done when the state engages them, conducts DNA tests which is known as genomics for them, this will tell where they actually come from.

“I know so many of these Americans who are of African descent and willing to locate their root, if government can invest in this, it will boost tourism growth in the state.

“This will attract others to visit Nigeria

Personally, I did the genomics and I was able to realise that I have families in Togo, Ghana and Benin Republic, this shows that many Nigerians are experiencing same.

“In Badagry, we have the most authentic slave trade history across the globe,” he said.

Mr Solomon Bonu, Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tourism, Arts and Culture, hinted that the ministry was working on similar suggestion.

Bonu said that the state government would be hosting 10 Americans for one month , when they would be taught how to prepare Badagry delicacies, farming method peculiar with the ancient town and visit attraction sites.

He said this was part of the state government’s efforts in wooing tourists back to their roots.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other attraction sites visited in the ancient town were: Vlekete Slave Market, Lagos Theatre, Naija Tourism Radio, Heritage Museum and the Agia tree monument.

The history of these sites were relayed to the dignitaries.

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