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    Lagferry’s Fuji Fusion L’ori Omi: Unveiling Lagos’ Thriving Waterways, Catalysing Blue Economy Dream

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    Lagferry’s Fuji Fusion L’ori Omi: Unveiling Lagos’ Thriving Waterways, Catalysing Blue Economy Dream

    The Lagos Ferry Services, Lagferry, has spearheaded the promotion and tapping of the very rich and vast potentials associated with the Lagos Waters which is aggregated to occupy one third of the total landscape of the State.

    Mr. Abdul Ladi-Balogun, the Managing Directorof the Agency has strategically positioned it in line with its natural mandate as the king of the State waters to serve as the major driver in the development of the highly coveted emerging blue economy drive as mandated by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

    In its quest to therefore shore up public awareness to the emerging transformation on the Lagos waterways, the Agency organised a regatta, tagged; Fuji Fision .L’ori Omi’ to showcase its rich Transportation, Tourism and Economic potentials

    At the Fuji Fision .L’ori Omi’ event, organised in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture, Mr. Abdul Ladi-Balogun, said: “Lagos Waters has a lot of potentials and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has mandated us to fully explore these potentials, though we are currently deploying its Transportation values, we are poised to fully explore its Tourism potentials and other vast economic potentials inherent in it.”

    He added that the Agency is operating passionately to draw patronages, investors, tourists, fun seekers, event planners and others from the business and Corporate World to tap into the rich potentials of the Lagos waters, while striving to use their ingenuity to model how to enrich the Nation through the waters.

    It has being widely touted that the Coastal Tourism potential of Lagos State is currently underdeveloped when compared to similar coastal cities across the World and calls made for the government to look in the direction of this money spinner, because tourism is arguably the largest industry in the world today, and one which continues to grow at an enviable rate.

    Tourism is estimated to represent over 4 trillion dollars, or 10 percent of the World’s GDP. The industry supplies over 230 million jobs and over $800 billion in tax revenues internationally (UN/WTO Statistics). It is a major generator of foreign exchange revenues and facilitates regional and international trade and investment linkages

    Water tourism is increasingly considered a stimulant not just for foreign exchange, economic growth and employment, but also an opportunity for host community participation in biodiversity conservation, urban growth, infrastructure overhaul, planning, rural development, environmental restoration, coastal protection and cultural heritage preservation.

    As a littoral State, the Lagos coastline spans a coastline of about 450 km and has the largest mangrove swamps in Africa which is estimated at 1,900 square km. If it is developed up to about half and utilized for tourism and hospitality purposes, it will be providing sustained revenue from taxes paid by hospitality companies, entertainment outfits, water transportation, marine companies, tour companies, travel agencies among others that operate on the coastline.

    The Lagos coastline is hugely untapped despite being a goldmine that the State could use to boost revenue generation from the non-oil sector.

    Its coastline with its mild features that enable beach outings could contribute over N7 billion annually to Lagos State through taxes from hotels, restaurants, resorts and related businesses along the coastline.

    The state and the country at large can earn more if the government encourages more tourism investments across the coastline with a friendly business environment.

    Mr. Balogun speaking further at the Lori Omi event, said:”the event is put together to therefore market and highlight these other areas, inviting individuals and corporate entities to invest in our Water Tourism and blue economy.”

    While Mrs. Toke Awoyinka, who is the Commissioner for Tourism, Art and Culture, Lagos State, added that the State consist of one-third Water and though many love its Waters, but are concerned about their safety, saying, “the best way to show that our waters are safe is when they see us on the waters doing this kind of carnival.

    ‘It will assure them that it’s safe to explore it for themselves, it is worth noting that most of our resorts are also located between the Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, and by this kind of show, we are showing their confidence to utilize our waterways in various ways.” Toke said.

    She emphasised further that the event goes to show the extent of economic activities that can go on the waterways, “people can hold different types of Parties on the waters, Conventions, AGM’s, sightseeing, while the boats moves them around, while other vendors, such as caterers, drink suppliers, musicians ushers and many others provide services.” Toke said.

    Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, the General Manager of Lagos Waterways Authority, LASWA, says his Agency is responsible for providing safety on the waters, ensuring that regulations that will enhance safety on the waters are complied to, enhancing safety for every purpose carried out on the waters, either for transportation, commercial, Tourism and particularly for this type of carnival on the water.

    The very rich carnival programme has an array of top class Fuji Artists, Actors and officials of various Agencies of the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation in attendance.

    Mr Ladi-Balogun,in an exclusive chat with Akonitv, provided objective answers on 3 key areas of focus of LagFerry to indeed develop the Lagos State Blue Economy initiative in line with the mandate of Governor Sanwo-Olu, while also using the medium to invite the general into embracing the services of the Agency and harnessing the full potentials of the Lagos waterways for tourism purposes. Excerpts;

    How easy is it for people to locate your Jetties, how accessible are they, are they motor-able and cost effective to get there?

    Our jetties are strategically located for easy access and are connected by well-maintained roads, making them easily accessible by both private and public transportation. Most of our jetties are motor-able, and the cost of getting there is quite affordable.

    How readily available are boats at the Jetties, what’s the frequency of departures and arrivals at the Jetties?

    Boats are readily available at our jetties, with scheduled departures and arrivals throughout the day. The frequency of boat services varies depending on the specific route and time of day, but we strive to provide convenient options for passengers.

    How effective is your public awareness on Lagferry transportation services, because it appears most Lagosians are bereft of your operations?

    We are continuously working to improve public awareness of Lagferry transportation services through various marketing and communication channels. We understand the importance of reaching out to Lagosians and ensuring they are informed about our operations. Currently, we are running a weekly live radio Programme WOTA WAKA and L’ORI OMI on Traffic Radio 96.1 FM and Radio Lagos 107.5 FM respectively.

    Hope the costs of water transportation are comparatively friendly?

    We aim to keep the costs of water transportation competitive and friendly compared to other modes of transportation. We regularly review our pricing structure to ensure affordability for our passengers while maintaining the quality of our services.

    Is Lagferry having or operating additional boats that could host individuals or organisations wanting to organise events, parties or carnival like programmes?

    Lagferry does have additional boats available for individuals or organizations looking to organize events, parties, or carnival-like programs. Our charter services offer the opportunity to host various events on our boats while enjoying the beautiful waterways of Lagos.

    Aside from hosting events on sailing boats, in which other ways is the Lagferry promoting or going to promote tourism in the State?

    Aside from hosting events on sailing boats, Lagferry is actively promoting tourism in the state through several initiatives. We offer sightseeing tours, water taxis to popular destinations, and collaborate with local tour operators to showcase the beauty and attractions of Lagos through water transportation.

    Marketing strategies are anticipated to promote patronage from the public, how’re you handling this aspect?

    Lagferry has developed comprehensive marketing strategies to promote patronage from the public. We utilize a mix of digital marketing, social media campaigns, traditional advertising, partnerships with local businesses, and participation in tourism fairs and events to raise awareness about our services and attract more passengers.

    What’s the level of partnership between you and the Lagos State Tourism Ministry on this?

    Lagferry maintains a strong partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism to support the growth and development of tourism in the state. We work closely with the ministry to collaborate on promotional activities, tourism campaigns, and initiatives that enhance the overall visitor experience. Our partnership ensures alignment with the Lagos State’s T.H.E.M.E.S PLUS Agenda and Tourism objectives, and this helps us contribute to the flourishing tourism industry in Lagos.

    What’s the role of Lagferry in enhancing Lagos’ blue economy?

    Lagferry plays a significant and pivotal role in enhancing Lagos’ blue economy by providing efficient water transportation services that facilitate trade, commerce, tourism, and overall economic growth. By operating a reliable ferry service and promoting water-based activities, Lagferry contributes to the sustainable development and utilization of Lagos’ maritime resources.

    How vast is the State’s blue economy and to what extent is the contribution it’s going to make to the economy?

    The State’s blue economy encompasses a wide range of sectors, including transportation, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, and maritime trade. Lagos has a vast coastline and abundant marine resources that hold immense economic potential.

    The contribution of the blue economy to Lagos’ overall economy is expected to be substantial, as it creates employment opportunities, supports local industries, and fosters innovation and sustainable development. Lagferry, through its operations and initiatives, plays a crucial role in harnessing the potential of the blue economy and maximizing its benefits for the state.

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    54 African Nations military set to storm Abuja as Nigeria hosts 2nd Africa Military Games – DHQ

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    54 African Nations military set to storm Abuja as Nigeria hosts 2nd Africa Military Games – DHQ

    The Defence Headquarters(DHQ), Friday said it has concluded arrangements to host the 2nd Africa Military Games scheduled for November 2024.

    The 2 weeks military games is expected to have 54 African Nations militaries in attendance including Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso who had announced their exit from ECOWAS.

    The Director Sports Defence Headquarters Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Abidemi Marquis who made this known at a media briefing said despite the tension in ECOWAS over the exit of some countries from the body, military athletes from Mail,Niger,Burkina Faso and Guinea have indicated their interests to participate in the game’s scheduled for November 5-18, at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.

    Marquis said the event with the theme “enhancing military cooperation in Africa through sport” will afford african countries opportunity to interact with one another towards sustaining good relationship built over the years, just as he noted that the events will feature both male and female athletes participating in 19 sporting events.

    He said President, Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the grand patron for this second African military game is the president, while the minister of Defense, Mohammed Badaru is the Patron with the chief of Defense Staff General Christopher Musa will serve as the Chief host while the service chiefs serve as co hosts

    While noting that the games is aimed at cementing the camaraderie and cooperation that is existing among african countries and enhance security on the Continent, Marquis, said that about 43 nations have already submitted their first primary agreement to participate in the games such as Badminton, boxing, basketball, combat swimming, football, golf, judo, kickboxing, obstacle crossing, shooting, Squash, table tennis, lawn tennis, taekwondo, volleyball and wrestling etc.

    He noted that the benefits of hosting the games are enormous ranging from boosting tourism and steering up the economy.

    “So for Nigeria, while hosting these games is going to increase tourists to our. it will project Nigeria to the world. Nigeria will be visible. So when tourists come to your country, they are coming to spend money on accommodation, food, transportation, souvenirs and other goods and services. So hosting these games is a positive force multiplier with respect to economic growth”.

    He said the games will also spur infrastructure development such as hotels and others there by improving the life of the citizens.

    Also speaking, President, OSMA Major General Abdullahi Maikano said OSMA being a non political organization strives to unite all African military through sporting activities.

    He said Nigeria was granted the hosting right after 24 years due its capability and believed the event will be a success.

    He said “We at the OSMA headquarters, we gave the hosting right to Nigeria, we’re expecting nothing but to have the best and we believed Nigeria has the capacity. Nigeria has all it takes to host. They have been hosting other events but this is a unique event because it involves the armed forces of Africa and by implication, some of our friends from Russia, Germany, United States of America also come”

    He further stated that the athletes from other African countries like Ghana have already entered camp and indicated interests to participate.

    He also said that the Ambassador of Burkina Faso has also assured that the military athletes will be participating in the event.

    “Our aim is to have the 54 member nation of Africa and the motto is peace in Africa. And Nigeria is going to give us that way and fair ways to get peace in Africa. You see, the aim of this our event is to bring peace to Africa. The military are the ones to be in the forefront for fighting and we want to also be in the forefront to bring peace to Africa”.

    General Abdullahi stated further despite crisis,the Sudanese military has indicated interest to participate,adding that he’ll continue to campaign for more countries to participate.

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    Nigerian film “Kimono Kid” debuts at Toronto Film Festival

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    Nigerian film “Kimono Kid” debuts at Toronto Film Festival

    Nigerian filmmakers, Seyi Akinlade and Josef Adamu have set the international stage alive with the first screening of “Kimono Kid” at the 49th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.

    Akonitv reports that the Toronto International Film Festival starts on September 5 to 15, 2024, in Toronto, Canada.

    The film ‘Kimono Kid’ marks its feature directorial debut as it tells the story of a young man who turns to martial arts as a means to process grief and overcome self-doubt following a personal loss.

    Akinlade and Adamu, known for their previous short film “Mind Matters” which explored themes of mental health from a youth perspective, are enthusiastic to unveil this new project to audiences.

    Speaking at an event in Lagos on Saturday, Adamu stated that the film demonstrates their ongoing commitment to crafting stories that uplift communities and facilitate important discussions.

    Adamu added that one of the most memorable aspects of making the film was witnessing young martial artists in Nigeria demonstrate their advanced skills on set.

    He said, “It was truly inspiring to see up close. I’m glad we were able to provide a platform to share their talents with the world.”

    The film’s underlying message of finding inner strength to rise above life’s challenges reflects the filmmakers’ dedication to empowering and motivating viewers through their art.

    TIFF is a prestigious platform, and having the Nigerian representation provides an incredible opportunity to share our work with a global audience, opening doors for further collaborations and projects. It’s a proud moment for everyone involved in the film, showcasing the talent and creativity coming out of Nigeria.

    The Nigerian premiere of Kimono Kid is set for the end of the year.

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    HMCA 2024 to gather Tourism Minister, 400 African hoteliers, 15 African countries in Lagos

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    HMCA 2024 to gather Tourism Minister, 400 African hoteliers, 15 African countries in Lagos

    The stage is set this week for the opening of this year’s annual Hotel Managers and Conference and Awards (HMCA) 2024, with Lola Ade-John, Nigerian Tourism Minister, leading delegates from over 15 African countries and 400 participants across Nigeria to Lagos for the hospitality industry gathering.

    It will be held from July 13 -14, 2024 at the Lagos Continental Hotel, with the theme; Innovative Strategies: Nurturing Resilience and Excellence in Guest Experience in African Hospitality.

    Ade-John is the chief host and is expected to deliver an address to the August gathering on Nigeria’s agenda for the industry, while over 400 participants from across Nigeria are signed up for the two-day gathering. For the first time, the event will attract delegates from African countries with over 15 countries registered for the event.

    The countries include; Kenya, Botswana, Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, and Rwanda. Also, attending the event are delegates from the United Kingdom.

    It is the sixth edition of the yearly conference convened by Olugbenga Omotayo Sunday, director general, Hotel Managers Conference – Africa.

    According to Sunday, ‘‘The Hotel Managers Conference and Awards was envisioned for hotel managers in Africa for skills upgrade, networking and hotel job opportunities.

    ‘‘It recognises the important roles hotel staff play in sustaining standards in Africa and globally. Hence, the conference seeks to upgrade hotel business operations in Nigeria and Africa to match what is obtainable in other hotels internationally.’’

    “Our core focus is building capacities in the human resources across hospitality brands in Africa both international and Indigenous brands, in administration and general operations standards.’’

    On the choice of the theme for this year, Sunday, who is also lead consultant at Tojum Hospitality, noted, “In the dynamic landscape of hospitality, innovation becomes the cornerstone for fostering resilience and achieving excellence in guest experience. This conference will unravel groundbreaking strategies that go beyond conventional approaches.

    ‘‘From harnessing cutting-edge technologies to cultivating a resilient mindset, attendees will explore how innovation becomes the catalyst for elevating guest experiences to unprecedented levels.’’

    Some of the speakers expected at the conference’s panel sessions include; Karl Hala, group general manager, Continental Hotels in Nigeria; Olufemi Abayomi, CEO/founder, Nethermentor, regional chairman, Institute of Hospitality (UK) Nigeria Region; Lydia Akuna, lecturer, Department of Hotel and Hospitality Management, Moi University-Eldoret, Kenya; Michael Pinder, general manager, JS Signature Hotel, Port Harcourt; Ekene Nnabuihe, group chief executive officer, Boulevard Hotel Group Lagos; Justina Ovat, national president, Women In Hospitality Nigeria; Molly Apion, chairperson, Hotel General Manager’s Association, Uganda and general manager, Arch Apartments and Hotel, Uganda; and Amir M. Adamu, founder and executive director, Hospitality Innovation and Leadership Forum, Cameroon.

    The conference, which will climax with the Hotel Managers Awards Night, on the second day of the event, has as headline sponsor; LG Electronics Nigeria and idsnext as co-headline sponsor as well while other sponsors include; Lagos Continental, Providus Bank, Radisson Hotel Group, Wakanow, Old English, BusyRooms, Nigerian Bottling Company, Ikogosi Resorts, Presken Hotels Group, Eko Hotels and Suites and Bizedge.

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