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    Lola Ade John: On your mark, set, go!!!

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    President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has done it, unbelievably, and in the best fine moment for an industry so abused and unappreciated.

    We prayed, yes , we did. If there is a man, a people who can pray, then there is God who can answer prayers. Tinubu brought back to us, to Nigeria, a well-deserved stand-alone Ministry of Tourism. Great opportunity, long lost but restored. “Emi lokun,” the President’s famed prayer-confession, touched us in such significant manifestation.

    It is the turn and time of tourism in Nigeria, and may God bless our hearts’ desire, keep our President and prosper our nation and people.

    Lola Ade John, Minister of Tourism, should be the most popular Nigerian ever. It is because she is the new face of Nigerian tourism. The race is going to be swift, and there will be no captives.

    Swift reforms, yes. All the cobwebs, the lies and misappropriation and misapplication of tourism opportunities must be thrown overboard. No long speeches, no yeye dinner dates, it is going to be hard work, lots of catching up to do.

    Nigerian tourism certainly lags behind. Lola Ade John must sprint like a gazelle, another Mary Onyali; remember that Olympic sprint star?

    Yes, this is our year of tourism Olympics, and there will be no balm for emotional and sentimental persuasions. Lola Ade John is our hope for the tourism Olympic gold medal. It won’t be forlorn, we pray.

    We must start afresh. Seek and head-hunt best legs and brains. Our problem is over-rated and egocentric civil servants. They are the killjoys of Nigerian tourism and Lola Ade John must be careful. She must watch out for their Greek gifts and welcome reception. They are notoriously evil.

    As a certified information technology expert, Lola Ade John must come to the tourism table with intel-backed solutions and, in particular, a support team with strategic delivery plans.

    To fail would be dire, as the expectations are huge. Our tourism experiences and expectations are no longer dreams. They must be practical, visible, collaborative, effective, profitable and beneficial to every Nigerian.

    Tourism is our badge of honour, the heartbeat of our new economy, the unemployment buster and our passport to global acceptation and visitation. Surely, tourism will bring about peace in our land.

    Lola Ade John must sprint to tourism gold in a hundred days and must rejig government tourism agencies presently funnelled in confusion and poor mandate delivery. I hate with perfect hatred their worn-out, deceptive statistics. They have stolen us blind. It is a one-day-at-a-time goal for the new Ministry of Tourism.

    I took a count, 50 calls in 20 minutes. Yes, from industry players and media colleagues. Some expressively joyful, others in wonder on what to come. President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, Mr. Nkereweum Onung, described the President’s response as heartwarming, grateful to a leader who listens.

    His open letter to President Tinubu is cheering, inspiring and thoughtful. It is the fastest letter of appreciation in our industry’s history, made public barely five minutes after the office of the President’s media adviser broke the news.

    It was an Olympic response. The industry is agog. Onung salutes industry stakeholders, everyone and everybody who took to individual efforts to drive the campaign for a stand-alone Ministry of Tourism.

    It is in the bag now. Yes, the stand-alone Ministry of Tourism is in the bag. The rebuilding and restructuring must start in essence. We now have an address, and we won’t forget Mr. President Tinubu. He kept us in the dark all along but heard our stringent calls for our “lokan” (our turn) tourism ministry.

    In the same vein, we welcome the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy. Hannatu Musa Musawa sure must tie her wrapper well for a tough dance through the culture space. She can sprint faster with culture.

    Hannatu has a game changer in culture in the National Council of Arts and Culture, pivoted to limelight by Segun Runsewe. The National Troupe is on a resurrection and resurgence under Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed. In the cultural orientation agency, Hannatu Musa Musawa can make a hundred metres dash to victory with Comrade Ado Yahuza.

    I am beginning to think that President Tinubu knew all along what and where he wants of our tourism and culture economy to be.

    No encumbrances, just freehold opportunities to gain from the huge cultural tourism economy and make Nigeria the preferred tourism destination in Africa.

    If only Festus Keyamo as Minister of Aviation could give us a true Nigerian airline and stop the rascality and overbearing exploitation of Nigerians by foreign airlines, then we could regain our pride of place among nations.

    Let me stay action here and watch Lola Ade John sprint into action. She must be strong on baton exchange in collaboration with the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria. Congratulations to us all, and thank you, Mr. President, thank you, sir.

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    Renaming National Theatre after Soyinka a fitting recognition – NFVCB DG

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    Renaming National Theatre after Soyinka a fitting recognition – NFVCB DG

    The Director-General of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Shuaibu Hussaini, has commended President Bola Tinubu for renaming the National Arts Theatre in Lagos, after Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka.

    Hussaini, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, described the development as “the kind of recognition one will wish for a giant like Wole Soyinka”.

    Akonitv that the President disclosed this in a tribute personally written and signed by him on Friday in Abuja, to mark Soyinka’s 90th birthday.

    The President renamed the National Theatre as Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.

    It read: “Professor Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986, deserves all the accolades as he marks the milestone of 90 years on earth.

    “Having beaten prostate cancer, this milestone is a fitting testament to his ruggedness as a person and the significance of his work.

    “It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us.

    “I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.”

    Hussaini commended the President for his interest and passion for the arts.

    “It takes somebody who is passionate to remember that this kind of man needs to be recognised with this kind of iconic structure like the National Theatre.

    “It is a welcome development. I am happy because there is nothing you want to name after Soyinka that will be enough compared to what he has done in the literary world.

    “So, this is a fantastic news and welcome development. It is also the President’s interest that made him create a separate ministry for arts, culture, and creative economy because culture has always been an appendage of the Ministry of Information.

    “For us in the arts, this is a fitting reward and recognition for the great feat that Wole Soyinka has achieved, not just for himself, but for Nigeria and Africa as a whole,” Hussaini said.

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    Ecobank’s “Adire Lagos” opens in grand style with over 100 exhibitors

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    Ecobank’s “Adire Lagos” opens in grand style with over 100 exhibitors

    The annual Ecobank “Adire Lagos” exhibition has taken off in grand style with over 100 exhibitors showcasing their wares. The 4-day fair which opened June 14 and ends 17th, is taking place at the Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC) in Lagos.

    Originating from Abeokuta in Southwestern Nigeria, Adire textile is an indigenous indigo-dyed cloth made by using different wax-resistant methods to create dazzling designs.

    The four-day Adire exhibition, returning for the third year in a row, is to promote culture, tourism, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and enable them benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Some of the international exhibitors at the fair include Adire Oodua, Tampoori, Jide Batik, Janae, Asologe and host of others.

    The fair is set to witnessing influx of topflight exhibitors, government functionaries, culture enthusiasts, social media influencers, artistes, local and foreign tourists, traditional rulers, and members of the diplomatic community. It provides an exceptional opportunity to network with entrepreneurs, shoppers, and everyone in the business of Adire.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Executive Director, Commercial Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, Kola Adeleke said the exhibition is part of the efforts of the bank to support the creative industry in the country, adding that it was also to promote micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and help them benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

    According to him, “As you all know, we are part of a Pan African bank which operates in 33 countries of Africa. We always look out to support various initiatives on the continent and this adire exhibition fits into the scheme. As you can see, today, we have over 100 merchants who are being given the opportunity to showcase their adire products. This is the biggest that we’ve ever seen.

    It is an international exhibition. We want to support them all the way, train them and make them international brands with indigenous backgrounds. We want to ensure they are able to export their locally-created products across the continent. This is also one way to support the Nigerian economy.”

    Exhibitors and attendees alike were enthusiastic and full of commendation for Ecobank. Ecobank Nigeria, a key driver of tourism, culture and the creative industries in Nigeria, recently hosted the +234Art, a 10-day art fair dedicated to nurturing and uplifting the burgeoning art industry in Nigeria.

    The fair provided a platform to support emerging artists and encourage increased interest in art acquisition; the bank organised the Photography, Art, and Design Exhibition (PADE) to commemorate World Photography Day in 2022; the bank also partnered “Songs & Stories” With Cobhams Asuquo; Redbull Dance Your Style; BellaNaija Style Summit and Loosing Daylight (An exhibition of the history of Nollywood organised by Nse Ikpe-Etim)

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    Makinde Inaugurates New Olubadan Palace, Says 11 LGAs To Maintain Edifice

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    Makinde Inaugurates New Olubadan Palace, Says 11 LGAs To Maintain Edifice

    Ahead of the formal coronation of the new Olubadan of Ibadan Land on Friday, July 12, 2024, the new Olubadan Palace was on Wednesday evening commissioned in Ibadan, by the Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde.

    Akonitv reports that the new Palace project was initiated by the immediate-past administration of late Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

    Governor Makinde, who took to his verified social media handles on Wednesday night to disclose the development, thanked the late Governor Ajimobi; a former President of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief O. O. Bello; Chief Bayo Oyero, and all Ibadan indigenes, who contributed to make the project a reality.

    He added that for the second phase of the palace, the State government will include renovating the Bower’s Tower in order to boost tourism in the State.

    Makinde wrote: “This evening, we commissioned the new Olubadan Palace in Ibadan. The event gave us an opportunity to acknowledge and thank everyone who made it possible including former Governor Abiola Ajimobi who started it, the former President of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief O. O. Bello, Chief Bayo Oyero, and all Ibadan indigenes who contributed to make the project a reality.

    “To maintain this new palace, we have established a process where all 11 local government councils in Ibadan will contribute to its upkeep on a monthly basis. For the second phase of the palace, we will also include renovating the Bower’s Tower, to boost tourism in our dear State. We are looking forward to the coronation of our Olubadan this Friday.”

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