The First Time Ikorodu News Network (INN) heard the Word ‘Ikorodu’ The Miami Of Lagos State was from Honourable BabaJimi Adegoke Benson (Ikorodu Federal Constituency Representative). And ever since then the phrase has resonated with passionate leaders Across the region.
Amongst the leaders is Honorable Balogun Rotimi Olatunbosun from Ikorodu North, A Real Estate mogul & an entrepreneur by profession. A leader with a passionate mindset of making Positive impact in Ikorodu on areas including Tourism, Industrialization, Agriculture & Youth Productive engagements.
Brief Summary About MIAMI
Miami is a major center and leader in finance, commerce, culture, arts, and international trade. The metro area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States, with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017.
In 2020, Miami was classified as a BETA PLUS LEVEL GLOBAL CITY by the GAWC. In 2019, Miami ranked seventh in the United States and 31st among global cities in terms of business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement.
According to a 2018 UBS study of 77 world cities, the city was ranked as the third-richest in the United States and the eighth-richest in the world in terms of Purchasing Power. Miami is nicknamed the “Capital of Latin America” and is the largest city with a Cuban-America plurality.
The main portion of the city is on the shores of Biscayne Bay, which contains several hundred natural and artificial Barrier Island, the largest of which contains Miami Beach and South Beach. The Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current, runs northward just 15 miles (24 km) off the coast, allowing the city’s climate to stay warm and mild all year.
PortMaimi is the busiest Cruise port in the world in both passenger traffic and cruise lines, and refers to itself as the “Cruise Capital of the World”. Miami is also a major tourism hub for international visitors, ranking second in the country after New York City.
We took out measures to explain briefly about the beautiful city of MIAMI literally with contents from WIKIPEDIA simply because of the similar landscape & Portrait features it possesses in comparison to IKORODU.
IKORODU on the other hand is Situated approximately 36 km north of Lagos, Ikorodu is bounded to the south by the Lagos Lagoon (A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by barrier islands or reefs).
From Ikorodu people get across to the Lagos Island via water from either the Ijede’s Tarzan, Igbogbo Baiyeku’s Jetty Or through the Ebute Ferry Terminal respectively.
Hon Rotimi Balogun, Who is based in Ikorodu but has his office dwelling in Victoria Island Lagos, Constantly migrates through the Ikorodu Ferry Terminal via The LAGFERRY waterways Transport.
With routine shuttles across the waterways on daily basis he was able to ascertain the possibilities and opportunities sitting on the waterside of Ikorodu and how the values of this natural Endowment can be converted into a Effective means of adequate livelihood and a better source of generating income for the inhabitants of both Ikorodu, Lagos State as well as the Government.
We sat with Hon Balogun Rotimi Olatunbosun to get a bigger picture about his intent of transforming Ikorodu into the MAIMI of Lagos State, And this is how he intends Accomplishing it!.
INN: We believe by now you need no introduction to our Ikorodu News Network (INN) audience, As we welcome you on this Special chat session.
It is all about ‘Ikorodu’ The MIAMI Of Lagos State, When you say The MAIMI of Lagos State, What do you mean? What’s the plan and intent?
Hon Rotimi Balogun: Well first of all, IKORODU is surrounded by Water which gives it a similar feature with America’s MIAMI. My main Intent here is to bring out the Potential values and beauty that our waterways Possess and in doing so project the profitable tendencies there in.
This Vision is divided into two key areas;
- Tourism Segment
- Fisheries Segment
Phase One: Tourism
On the Tourism Segment, The Idea Is Simple, I Have Made up my mind to create a BEACH FRONT that would eventually produce a unique Tourist attractions for Ikorodu & Lagos State which will in turn open doors to more profitable ventures on our waterways.
As a Developer & an expert in the real estate industry, Within a short period Of Time I will create the following;
For onlookers and rest seekers, Where stuffs like barbecue and mobile restaurants will be created.
The Beach will have a secluded area for Sporting Activities Like Volleyball, Football etc.
Surface Beach Spot:
This areas of the beach will be use for Professional surfing and soft water activities.
Yacht Cruising & Soft learning:
Affiliating with agencies to provide quality yacht Cruise as part of the side attraction for either Celebration purposes or for just leisure.
Mini Hotels For Guests reservation:
I will structure up an hotel close to this resort where guests, visitors and tourists can spend the night while having fun on the spot.
Wedding ceremonies & Birthdays At the Beach:
Areas will be specially created for beach wedding ceremonies and birthday party. When have you seen weddings done at a waterside in Nigeria? We will make it happen here in Ikorodu!
I could go on given you more options in making our waterways more attractive for Tourism but let’s leave it there for now and migrate to the second vision.
INN: Before we move to the next phase, Do you have a pinpoint area to actualise this project already?
Hon Balogun Rotimi: Yes, There is an area around Ofin-ibeshe that has a very nice curve, Where people can even take a good glance at IKORODU’s Waterbed from over the Island to see what is going on here.
I have looked at that spot thoroughly, which is cool and can be used to actualise this project, You Know there are alot of turfs in Ikorodu but we can actually start with One Spot & paraventure when we kick off, There will be rooms for others with like minds to come in, which will in turn boast our economic scale and develop our land Effectively.
Phase two: Fisheries
On The side of fisheries, Firstly you need to know that this waterways in Ikorodu runs down to the Atlantic Ocean, And in that case we must first ensure that the Fishes we are harnessing does not exit our Waterbed.
We shall be applying Technology into the system to prevent us from unwarranted loss incurring.
Adopting the use of shockwaves on the water is the first approach on fisheries, This will prevent predators like sharks from entering into our prime spot while we are also taking care of the fishes within our Waterbed.
Another area I will be tackling is the fishermen without licence who are porch on the Waterbed.
These people should not be driven away, Instead they can be employed as lifeguards, Coastguards and also part of the team Constantly sanitizing the River (i.e while some are in-charge of removing dirt and debris from the water, others are responsible for providing food to the fishes) to add value on the waterways and be getting paid on monthly basis.
If we are able to align the duties and cultivate those fishes for a whole year without any interference, Believe me the harvest and returns will create a new lucrative industry like never before seen in Lagos State and a bigger venture for IKORODU.
Another benefit that is added to us been able to rear these fishes is that it would add more value to our foreign exchanges. When we have enough fish to export, Such supplies to other Africa countries gives value to our Naira on the Dollar, It will help our government to generate good revenue.
INN: Looking at everything you have stated and the advantages on both side, Are you saying you want to venture into both visions on your own or you need support from the government?
Hon Balogun Rotimi: Both projection is actually cost intensive, But the Fisheries is more tidious than the Tourism aspect which I can handle by myself.
What am saying in a nutshell is that, I have to partner with the Lagos State Government, Policies on this business might really affect me if the government is not involved. We have to work together, But when it comes to the part of Tourism I can fully handle the entire project with my company, But on the Fishery aspect we have to work together for sake of policies, Regulatory structures and Logistics to sustain the Project gazing at it from a global perspective.
From an Agricultural point of view if the government can champion the Fishery aspect it will keep alot of our youths away from the streets Because the value chain am seeing in that sector is really huge. There are three Factories that can be established from the Fishery side alone.
There is the Smoking factory that will ensure the fishes are smoked for public consumption and distributed Subsequently.
There is the Canning factory for fishes that will be canned for sardines, Geisha etc to be sold or exported.
There is a fresh processing factory for raw preservation that will be equivalent to a supermarket.
INN: Finally, The waterways cuts across different regions which has varies of territories, And you have noticed how the behaviour of some our inhabitants has scared away investors, Don’t you think it will also affect your intended plan from the get go?
Hon Balogun Rotimi: That is why I seek to partner with the State Government on this project. Even though the waterways cuts across Ikorodu it is controlled by the State Government. But we are looking at the bigger picture, The community has Notting to worry about if we have a good relationship with the Lagos State Government, It will be to their own advantages.