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    Boosting Destination Nigeria 2030 Agenda Through Akinboboye’s 52 Tourism Products

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    The Founder and President of La Campagne Tropi­cana, Forest and Beach Resort, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye, has never disguised his passion for his country and tourism.

    It was this passion that pro­pelled his return from the Unit­ed States of America over three decades ago to give vent to his dream of turning around Nigeri­an tourism and making the coun­try a choice tourist destination.

    Since birthing La Campagne Tropicana, Forest and Beach Resort in Ikegun Village, Ibeju Lekki axis of Lagos State, he has never dropped the ball but kept giving his all to making the resort attain the height it has reached to­day, as the most sought-after and multiple-awards winning African themed resort in global tourism.

    Achieving success and global acclaim was intentional and aid­ed by his appetite and creative ferment for brand differentiation and product development.

    Also, his tenacity and consis­tency in staying on top. These are factors that have made Akinbob­oye and his La Campagne brand outstanding in the Nigerian and global tourism circles.

    Akinboboye is fascinated by the idea of building, developing and promoting tourism products.

    This, he has accomplished over the years by creating and turning every latent tourist at­traction in sight into tourism products, thereby creating des­tinations that not only stimulate the senses and sensibilities but offer opportunities for tourists to explore to their fill and gain an immersive experience from the destinations and products created by him.

    This is one major drawback for the Nigerian tourism market, as the inability of both the private and public sector operators to turn the vast and unique tourist attrac­tions across the country into mul­tiple destinations, as other thriv­ing destinations across the world have done and as the example of La Campagne brand has shown.
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    Akinboboye has over the years lamented this lack of foresight and creative instinct as well as a mercantile or commercial ap­peal that has left Nigerian tour­ism poorer year after year and the operators on their back foot while other countries that are less endowed with both natural and manmade attractions as Nigeria, year on year reap bountifully and even turning Nigeria into a major source market for their tourism business.

    Weary of this development, Akinboboye towards the end of 2023 graciously offered to come to the rescue of the country by promising to unlatch the 52 tour­ism products from his rich tour­ism products repertoire within one year. He started on this noble course in October 2023, with the unveiling of a tourism product weekly.

    Between October and Decem­ber 2023, this tourism entrepre­neur of note unveiled 12 tourism products from his repertoire for the benefit of the Nigerian mar­ket. The tourism products are: DNERP (Diaspora Nigeria Eco­nomic Recovery Programme); YATE; Kamp Afrika; CAER; Building Bridge; Yoru’ Bar; Beach Safaris; Scuba Diving; HURP (Hope Unity Rebirth Prosperity); Motherland Beckons’ Heed The Call; IPADA; and IPADA Carnival.

    The most important thing in this new enterprise of Akin­boboye, who himself is a multi­ple-awards winner and Africa’s Tourism Icon, is the fact that Af­rica’s destination is his horizon, using Nigeria and Lagos in par­ticular, as a base for reaching the entire world.

    This is the philosophy behind his Continent Building Project through Motherland Beckons, which over the years has given birth to various activations and tourism products that Akinbobo­ye have introduced into the mar­ket.

    He believes that Africa and Ni­geria should target the Diaspora market, to attract over 50 million people yearly to the continent and Nigeria by extension, to have an immersive experience from the numerous tourism products.

    “We believe that if Dubai with less than four million people (pop­ulation) and zero Diaspora pop­ulation, could achieve so much, then the whole of the continent of Africa should be able to record a minimum of 50 million people, putting together all tourism prod­ucts available throughout the con­tinent,’’ noted Akinboboye.

    Speaking further, he said: “We are not asking for handouts, we are asking them to come and take advantage of the vast opportuni­ties in Africa. We are giving them open opportunities for them to have easy connections to the en­tire continent that will be cham­pioned by Nigeria.

    ‘‘They will be using Lagos State as the gateway, being the biggest economy in Africa, and the larg­est concentration spot in Africa, it is the gateway to get people of Af­rican descent and lovers of Africa to connect with the continent.’’

    It is in this regard that he spoke glowingly of IPADA Carnival, one of the 12 products so far re­leased, which according to him, is multi-dimensional and offers an opportunity for Africa to fuse into one big market for the people to harvest rich fun, explaining, “We are targeting a minimum of 50 million people annually that will be coming to the African continent through Nigeria, tak­ing advantage of our deep seaport at Lekki.

    ‘‘We are transforming slave ships to cruise ships and then luxurious airlines. Now, we are celebrating our prosperity, our resilience, our growth, our devel­opment, and our contribution to the world economy.

    ‘‘At the end of the year, there would be a huge harvest, a cel­ebration of that Motherland Beckons’ Heed The Call, and a huge harvest of the celebration of heeding that call, ‘IPADA.’’

    We seem to be making a last-ditch effort at revamping Nige­rian tourism, given that the new Ministry of Tourism and Minis­try of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy have been created, with the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy targeting $100 billion contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2030, then now is the time to embrace noble and practical ideas and agendas that will grow Ni­gerian tourism and the creative economy.

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    Opinion

    FAAN: Improvement of Passenger Facilitation, Security Gave Boost to Tourism

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    FAAN: Improvement of Passenger Facilitation, Security Gave Boost to Tourism

    The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said that its improvement of airport facilities, passenger facilitation and security has encouraged tourism in Nigeria.

    The agency said that the drastic action taken by the Managing Director, Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku against touting at the airports has brought sanity and orderliness to the satisfaction of travellers.

    Kuku identified some of these achievements when she spoke at the Wings of Change Focus Africa Conference (WOCFA) overseen by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) last week; held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    A statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs & Consumer Protection, Obiageli Orah, said FAAN has recently taken steps to make Nigeria’s airports safe and accessible by genuine tourists and travellers and has also made efforts to eliminate touting and other forms of criminal conducts around the airports.

    FAAN boss also spoke on the recent creation of a dedicated Department for Cargo Services in the agency, as stakeholders emphasized the need for improvement of trade facilitation, including air cargo facilities and infrastructure, cargo compliance, closer collaboration amongst African countries and Stakeholders as well as Cargo Specialized Training for stakeholders.

    There was emphasis on digitalization of passenger processing and how the embrace of robotics technology by airports in Africa would help to give customers further experience of speed, efficiency and excellence. The use of technology to drive efficiency has been part of FAAN’s priority agenda under the present dispensation.

    Making his input on the first day of the conference, the Minister of Aviation & Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, emphasised the need for removal of visa restrictions to enable free movement of people and goods across the continent, stating that to achieve this, there is need to work with Foreign Affairs Ministers across Africa.

    The Minister equally made a case for adequate funding of air transport in Africa.

    Also speaking at the event, IATA,s Regional Vice President, Africa & Middle East, Kamil Alawadhi called for pursuit of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which constitutes part of FAAN’s recent programmes.

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    Opinion

    Ekiti is safe for tourists’ traffic-Ojo-Lanre

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    Ekiti is safe for tourists’ traffic-Ojo-Lanre

    Following the Ekiti State renewed effort to attract tourist’s influx to the numerous wonder sites scattered around the state and especially the flag destination, Ikogosi Warm and Cold Springs Resort, the Director-General of Ekiti State Bureau of Tourism Development, Ambassador Wale Ojo-Lanre, has said that the state is safe with the level of security architecture put in by the government.

    Ojo-Lanre disclosed this to tourism writers, on ground to see the new face of Ikogosi Warm and Cold Spring Resort and noted that Ikogosi, which is the new pride of the state, is perfectly safe and welcoming to tourists.

    Clearing the air on anxieties of insecurity in the state, Ojo-Lanre said the recounted bouts happened on the suburbs of Ekiti, maintaining that the tourism zones like Ikogosi community and its environ are safe.

    He said there were cautious efforts by the state government to secure tourists. “I don’t want to expose our security strategy, but I can tell you that we are the only state that has a homeland security as a parastatal under my agency. We know what is going on. When the road is not safe, tourism is in danger,” he stated.

    Meanwhile the Ekiti State government is fine-tuning plans to develop a tourism master plan, a working blueprint to practically explore and develop products and services to create and drive the economy of the state.

    Ojo-Lanre explained that for any serious state to enhance its tourism potentialities to the expected capacity, it must first develop a tourism master plan.

    “A tourism development master plan is a necessity for any state that wants to develop and the state governor, Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, emphasised that the first thing we have to do is to develop a tourism master plan for Ekiti and we started.

    “We have started drafting our tourism policy and we have identified the consultants to work on our tourism master plan. It would be delivered between August and October this year,” Ojo-Lanre added.

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    Eliminate insurgents at Kainji Park

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    Eliminate insurgents at Kainji Park

    KAINJI National Park, an expansive natural reserve in Niger State covering an area of about 5,341 square kilometres, and known for its biodiversity and rich cultural heritage, has unfortunately garnered attention for a much more sinister reason. A recent report revealed that the park has become a haven for terrorists. This alarming development calls for urgent and decisive action to reclaim the park and ensure the safety of the wildlife and the surrounding communities.

    The Clingendael Institute, a Dutch think-tank, in a new report, said there is ample evidence Islamic terrorists from the Sahel have crossed into Nigeria through the Benin Republic border. The jihadis believed to be of the ISWAP sect, were said to have settled in Kebbi State and the KNP, turning the facility into their base.

    In reaction, the Director, Defence Media Operations, Edward Buba said the military was conducting operations in terrorist enclaves in the North-Central, which includes the KNP. A targeted military assault to root out the terrorists should not be delayed.

    The presence of terrorists in Kainji is a stark reminder of the broader security challenges that Nigeria faces. These groups exploit the remote and dense forest areas as strategic hideouts, using the park as a base for planning and executing attacks.

    The insurgents are engaged in poaching, logging, and mining, weakening the park’s protection, and further endangering the flora and fauna. The local communities have deserted their homes for IDP camps while several kidnapped persons are being held captive by the criminals.

    The park, part of Nigeria’s first and largest protected area, is home to wildlife, including elephants, lions, and numerous bird species. The park encompasses Kainji Lake, a critical resource. The terrorists’ invasion poses significant national security implications for Nigeria.

    Kainji Dam, which plays a crucial role in Nigeria’s hydroelectric power generation and irrigation systems, is located near the KNP. The dam’s presence within the park means that any security threats to the park, such as terrorist occupation, directly impact the safety and functionality of this critical infrastructure.

    Any attack on the dam or other facilities could disrupt electricity generation, affecting millions of Nigerians and causing significant economic and social upheaval.

    The seizure of the park by the insurgents has severe humanitarian implications. Local communities, who depend on the park for their livelihoods through fishing, farming, and tourism, live in fear. The terrorists’ activities disrupt economic activities, displace families, and create an environment of instability.

    Nigeria has suffered huge losses to Boko Haram and ISWAP rebels since 2009 when the militants started fighting the state. Human losses and displacements, especially in the North-East epicentre, are horrendous.

    To reclaim the park from the insurgents, an immediate and well-coordinated military action is essential. This intervention should be precise to avoid collateral damage to the park’s ecosystem and local communities. Empowering local security forces with training and resources can help maintain security once the initial military operations are completed. Establishing a permanent security presence in and around the park will prevent the terrorists from reoccupying it.

    Leveraging international support and expertise in counterterrorism and conservation can enhance Nigeria’s efforts. Partnerships with global conservation organisations can also help restore and protect the park’s biodiversity post-conflict. Implementing advanced monitoring and surveillance technologies, such as drones and satellite imagery, can provide real-time information on illegal activities and movement within the park, enabling quicker and more effective responses.

    Restoring the park to its rightful status as a sanctuary for wildlife and a resource for sustainable development is not only a national imperative but a global one. The world is watching, and President Bola Tinubu must rise to this challenge, demonstrating resilience and determination in adversity.

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