Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Saturday said his administration is committed to transforming the state into preferred tourist destination.
He made this commitment during the commissioning of an ultra-modern Recreational Park in Oregun area of Ikeja, with a resolve to continue to guarantee enviable and sustainable environment that will ensure the wellbeing of the citizens.
The Governor, also named the park after foremost medical practitioner and elder statesman, Dr Abayomi Oluyomi Finnih, vowed to continually implement initiatives targeted at ensuring a healthy and prosperous State.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his wife, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said the unveiling of the park located in the heart of the State, was a testament of his administration’s resolve to ensure that recreation becomes a lifestyle for the generality of Lagosians.
Assistant Director Public Affairs in the office of the First Lady Olubukonla Nwonah, quoted the Governor as saying, “The milestone we have achieved in the conceptualization and execution of some of our set projects and agenda especially as it pertains to the environment at the dawn of this administration is the manifestation of our determination to ensure a healthy and prosperous Lagos.
“The commissioning of Dr. Oluyomi Abayomi Finnih Recreational Park today, has further affirmed our commitment to guaranteeing an enviable and sustainable environment that will ensure the wellbeing of the citizens and also help achieve our desire to actualize the status of Lagos not only as the commercial hub of the nation but also as a preferred tourist destination.”
Highlighting the importance of parks to healthy development of every metropolitan city and social bonding, the Governor said parks benefit the economy and improve the general wellbeing of the citizenry, while also serving as a place to significantly impact children as well as an avenue for families to spend quality time together.
“The importance of parks in a community cannot be eroded and this has been proven with the universally set standard which states that there must be a high-quality park within a 10 minutes walking distance from the community. Although, Lagos State still has a long way to go to achieve this set standard, we are however resolute in this quest,” Governor Sanwo-Olu said.
While congratulating Finnih, who is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist of note, as well as a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) on the eminently deserved honour, the Governor attributed Finnih’s immortalization with the park to his meritorious and extraordinary achievements and service to humanity over the years.
Also, Governor Sanwo-Olu urged residents to always protect and take ownership of public infrastructures, saying tax payer’s money must not be allowed to go down the drain.
“Let me use this opportunity to remind all Lagosians that Government infrastructures are built with tax payer’s money; your hard-earned money. Hence, you are automatically custodians of all government projects both within and outside your locality. It is therefore your duty and responsibility to protect them and ensure that they remain an enduring legacy,” he said.
Earlier, Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Mr Tunji Bello said the construction of the park was in line with the vision of Governor Sanwo-Olu to bequeath an enduring legacy in the area of sustainable environment and recreation even for better and improved health for residents.
He said the park would ease the pressure being experienced at the Ndubuisi Kanu Park and the Johnson Jakande Tinubu (JJT) Park both in Ikeja, and as well provide necessary relief for the residents of Opebi, Ojota, Oregun, Maryland, Mende environs, among other adjourning areas of the State.
Listing the features of the Park, General Manager, Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), Mrs Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola said the facility occupies a total land area of 7408.899 square meters with soft and hard landscaping and recreation facilities such as a mini zoo, bicycle track, dry fountain, aviary, botanical gardens, art arcade, cool spot, canteen, and. commercial stand, among others.
She said additional trappings at the facility included ornamental plants, palms, garden seats, trees of various types, garden lights, gazebos with seats, playgrounds for adults and children, irrigation facility, toilet facilities, administrative block and parking area.
Responding, Finnih commended Governor Sanwo-Olu and the State Government for honouring him with the park, saying he would not have wished for anything better than such a project which would greatly enhance the environment.
He said aside the huge benefits of recreational parks to reduce health challenges, it is also good for relaxation, comradeship, exposures, conviviality, tackle global warming and improve mental health, among others, just as he urged all Lagosians to take full advantage of parks and gardens across the State.