The deplorable condition of Lagos-Badagry Expressway may have begun taking its toll on tourism as the first storey building in Nigeria located in Badagry recorded a drastic drop in the number of visitors.
Its Curator, Daniel Hodonu who indicated this, noted that only 995 tourists visited the historic building, between January and June compared with 7,433 and 5,100 recorded same periods in 2017 and 2018.
Hodonou revealed that the foundation of the building was laid in 1842 and was completed in 1845, adding that the reduction in tourists that visited the 173-year-old structure in the first six months in 2019 was as a result of the deplorable state of Lagos-Badagry expressway leading to the coastal city.
“Nobody is coming from far to visit the structure again. The bad road is killing tourism in Badagry.
“Something should be done fast to fix the road; it is killing,’’ he said.
He said that the drop in the number of tourists visiting the ancient building was affecting the maintenance of the structure.
According to Hodonu, five staff working in the ancient building had been paid from fees collected from tourists visiting the place.
“Most of the tourists we have here are students who came here on excursions.
“Recently, parents that are aware of deplorable state of the road have warned school owners not to take their children on excursion to Badagry any longer.
“We understand their plight. Even a few of them that do come here leaves their schools as early as 7 a.m. and gets here between 1p.m and 2p.m.
“Unfortunately, they won’t get back to their schools after leaving here until 10 p.m. in the night,’’ he said.
According to him, we always communicate with these tourists until they are back in their destinations because they come here to visit us.
He urged the Federal and Lagos State Governments to give the building a facelift in order to bring it up to international standard.
“Most of the buildings that were built along with the first storey building had collapsed due to lack of maintenance.
“Kitchen, toilet, bathrooms, the first church and the boarding house for students had collapsed due to lack of maintenance,’’ Hodonu said.
The curator also urged the government to assist in taking care of the welfare of the workers of the building, explaining that the Anglican Church, Badagry solely manages the building.