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    Sanwo-Olu Pledges To Make Lagos Tourism Destination

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    Lagos State with a rapid­ly growing population is made up of five adminis­trative divisions, namely, Ikorodu, Ikeja, Epe, Badagry, and Lagos Island, with Ikeja being the state Capital.

    The five divisions consist of a total of 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council De­velopment Areas (LCDAs).

    Estimated population of over 22 million, Lagos State is lucky to parade huge tourist attrac­tions that are capable of attract­ing both local and international tourists. From Epe, Ajah, Lekki, Lagos Island, Ikeja, Mainland, and Badagry all the divisions have attractions that could make a visitor make a repeat visit.

    In this direction, the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, restated his administration’s commitment toward making the State a tour­ism destination in the world in line with the Entertainment and Tourism pillar of the THEMES+ developmental agenda.

    At a reception in honour of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who led a delegation of Nigerians in the Diaspora for a courtesy visit at Lagos House, Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu, Sanwo-Olu, said the govern­ment will partner with relevant stakeholders, especially the peo­ple in the Diaspora to grow and strengthen the Door of Return festival and promote the cultural heritage of Badagry, Lagos and Nigeria at large.

    The delegation visited Gover­nor Sanwo-Olu to appreciate him and the Lagos State Government for a successful celebration of this year’s edition of the Dias­pora Festival, dubbed, ‘Door of Return’ in Badagry.

    Governor Sanwo-Olu, also commended the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commis­sion, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, for the initiative of the Door of Return and her efforts in championing the interest of Nigerians in the Diaspora.

    The NiDCOM boss urged the Lagos State government to sup­port the project by building a Permanent Door of Return in Badagry to attract more people in the Diaspora willing to trace their roots to Nigeria.

    In his address, Julius Garvey and David Anderson lauded the Governor and members of his administration for their tremen­dous support for the festival and for showing keen interest in tour­ism.

    Earlier, Dabiri-Erewa com­mended Governor Sanwo-Olu for his support towards the celebra­tion of Door of Return and the actualisation of the Diaspora Fes­tival that took place in Badagry last Saturday.

    The delegation included Dr. Julius Marcus Garvey Jnr., son of foremost civil rights leader, Marcus Garvey, and the Jogbe of Badagry kingdom, David An­derson, among others.

    Tourist Centres In Lagos

    Lagos State in Nigeria is home to several notable tourist sites. In order to increase the viability of tourism, arts and culture in the state, the Ministry of Tourism in 2015 was renamed the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture.

    Lekki Conservation Centre

    The Lekki Conservation Cen­tre is located in the centre of Lekki. The tourist area, which covers a land area of 78 hectares, is located on the Lekki Peninsu­la, next to the Lekki Lagoon, and near the Lagos Lagoon.

    The LCC’s 401-metre-long canopy walkway is the longest canopy walkway in Africa. It is a suspended swinging bridge walkway, featuring several types of vegetation and animals.

    Freedom Park, Lagos

    Freedom Park is a memori­al and leisure park area in the middle of downtown Lagos in Lagos Island, Nigeria; the park symbolizes the transformation of a colonial prison to a symbol of freedom.

    Activities at the park include cultural shows and events, conti­nental and traditional meals, and live music.

    Nike Art Gallery

    Nike Art Gallery is an art gal­lery in Lekki, Lagos, the gallery is one of the largest collections of indigenous Nigerian artwork and is currently the largest private­ly-owned art gallery in Africa.

    With over 700 km of Atlantic sandy beaches with about 20 be­tween the West of Badagry and East of Lekki, this places the state with an array of beaches for pleasure. Such beaches include Atlas Cove, Apapa, Bar Beach, Victoria Island, Elegushi Beach, Tarkwa Bay Beach, Topo Island, Badagry, Lakowe Beach and Re­sort, Jara Beach Resort, and Land Mark Beach, among others.

    Topo Island is an island lo­cated in the Topo town area of Badagry Local Government of Lagos State, in South-west Nige­ria. The island was home to the missionaries who built a Chapel, Convent, Teacher training col­lege, cemetery and also a coconut plantation. The island was later abandoned in 1962.

    Other Places To Visit

    La Campagne Tropicana, Hova Beach Resort, Takwa Bay, Moist Beach Club, Kamp Ikare Beach, Laguna Beach, Inagbe Grand Resort, Epe Resort and Spa, Epe Mangroves, Tera Kulture, Bogo­biri House, Jazz Hele, National Arts Theatre, National Museum, Cathedral Church Building, Omu Resort, Rufus & Bee, Johnson, Jakande Tinubu Park, Ndibuisi Kanu Park, JK Randle Centre, Shodex Garden, Nigerian Rail­way Terminus.

    Opinion

    ‘Our state safe for tourists’ — Ekiti to launch tourism development masterplan

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    The government of Ekiti says it is developing a tourism master plan to improve the lot of the sector and boost the overall economy of the state.

    Speaking with journalists in Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort on Friday, Wale Ojolanre, the director-general of the state’s bureau of tourism development, assured that Ekiti is safe for tourists.

    Dismissing concerns bordering on insecurity in the state, he said the reported attacks happened on the fringes of Ekiti, insisting that tourism zones are safe.

    Although unwilling to provide full details, Ojolanre said there have been deliberate efforts by the state government to secure tourists.

    “I don’t want to expose security, [but] we’re 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 added.

    Buttressing his views, Sharafa Lanre Balogun, general manager at Glocient Hospitality, assured visitors “that security is top-notch” in Ikogosi resort.

    Balogun’s company – a subsidiary of Cavista Holdings, an investment firm — is the current operator of the Ikogosi resort. Their management of the facility followed a concession deal signed with the state government in 2022.

    “We have experienced hands of people that have managed the security of major VIPs in this country. [They] are the people that we’ve brought down here to look after our security architecture,” he said.

    On his part, Dauda Ismail, chief security officer (CSO) of Cavista Holdings, stressed that the tourism site is located in a zone “whereby the crime rate here is virtually zero”.

    “I’m already in touch with the conventional security forces – the police, the SSS, civil defence — and definitely, based on the statistics they have, we’re almost at a zero crime rate here,” he said.

    “When you classify the crime into a felony, simple offence, for the past six months that I’ve been here, I’ve not witnessed any felony offence taking place. So, there’s no major crime like kidnapping, murder or any of these crimes happening around.”

    EKITI TO LAUNCH TOURISM MASTERPLAN

    On plans to develop the state’s tourism sector, Ojolanre said for any state to enhance its tourism potential to the fullest, it must first develop a tourism masterplan.

    He said Ekiti has no tourism master plan.

    “A tourism development masterplan is a necessity for any state that wants to develop and the governor of the state, his excellency Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, emphasised that the first thing we have to do is to develop a tourism masterplan for Ekiti and we started,” he said.

    “We have started drafting our tourism policy and we have identified the consultants to work on our tourism masterplan.”

    Ojolanre said the tourism masterplan would be delivered “by August and October this year”.

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    Opinion

    Tourism, beyond adversity, suffering from Anaemia

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    Experience is usually agreed to be the best teacher and looking back to about three decades ago, when opportunities came my way to be part of the story of this industry, it had been a bitter, sweet and cold experience.

    If you have been around, I mean within the space mentioned, you would possibly agree that the Nigerian tourism journey is hasted by the media, and I must, in particular, credit uncle Sam Amuka’s newspaper, the vanguard newspapers for this presence.

    The pictures of travel media we see today were the creative content put together by irrepressible ogbeni Tope Awe. Like Apostle Paul, I drank from that wisdom and am ready and willing to lay my life down for it.

    There were also other colleagues’ apostles, not necessarily of the vanguard family but who also joined in the crusade to write and speak well about our country. Unsung heroes!

    Indeed, and like some latter day saints, many of them couldn’t see beyond the glitz and luxury usually associated with the business and disappointingly lost steam due to lack of encouragement and support from government and even the private sector.

    Certainly, the Anaemic nature of the sector, despite our sense of knowledge and permutations, is so benubbing that only a few of us could weather the storm, so to speak.

    There are no chest beating here, and usually, I refrain from joining the noise makers and buccaneers who come to our space to prat invisibility. It’s nauseating, emetic!

    Except we shut their mouths and seek for a sense modesty, it is becoming apparent that they want to deliberately rewrit the history of tourism development and including the use of poisonous carrots to lure the innocent pedestrian bystanders to join their hellinist coven.

    Like I will always say and may history bear me witness, the Nigerian travel media has contributed immensely to where we are today, and no individual or organisation can hold absolute claim to that intervention. There are many journalists today who individually have contributed to keep the aneamic sector alive, while some selected leaders, particularly government officials, milk the sector dry and tell us all is well.

    Between 1991 and 93, vanguard tourism bore developmental pains, paid the price, and led courageously the tourism advocacy. Late Pa Ebaboji Da silva stood with us, and may his tourism soul rest in peace. Then came champion newspapers, and I still remember my good friend Ayo Arowojolu. Then followed Daily Times with Tijjani Adebisi, a polygot of immense knowledge, and even the present Olota of ota is part of the evolution.

    I won’t waste my space to join issues with ‘Buharidists’ or ‘ Jagabandists’ and/ or motor garage sycophants who want to score themselves with marks for whatever fanciful achievements. I really do not blame them, though, because some people come to the marketplace to shout to attract attention to their babalawo incantations and not to sell their all curing medicinal herbs.

    It could be irritating when an ostrich with its long neck thinks it could occupy the animal kingdom space where lions reign. I should think it’s suicidal and a disease of hormonal inbalance for anyone to think he is far better than others. It is just crazy and no wonder, Judas represents treachery and betrayal spirit.

    We are not out of the woods,in the aneamic hangover in the sector, because the industry has been betrayed by the merchants of divide and rule. To these characters, their game is to hogwash whoever comes to the system with transactional self-worth, belittling and running down others who refused to join their solo herodian team.

    No one is good except them, and as custodians of blemish and strife trajectory, they fly around like witches and wizards, intentional to lie against the truth and stab others in the back.

    We have said it in the open and secret places that our new madam in tourism will just mark time and leave like others before her because the confusionists had lured her with their bait.

    The propellers of industry set backs prants her space, cleverly using her “newness” and disposition to learn the tourism ropes to market themselves. Not Nigeria, not her people.

    Nigeria tourism is not at the centre stage of this mission, and you ask me who is beating the drum? Last week, the madam minister gathered commissioners of culture and tourism in Abuja. Behind the game is hypocrisy .

    Hypocrisy beats the drums, and the new commissioners and possibly new permanent secretaries just wondered why they must believe the deliverers at the centre who in seven years plus four couldn’t lift a finger to donate blood to the aneamic sector.

    In 2006, when Otunba Segun Runsewe came to our tourism space, he informed our numerous tourism baggage carriers that talk shows are over and birthed practical verifiable tourism deliveries.

    He killed fly by night portfolio operators and flew all the tourism and culture commissioners to South Africa for a week to practically see the transformation gains of the sector. Is seeing not believing?

    Runsewe gave the tourism media eyes to the global tourism reportage ecosystem and helped blossom the positive escalation of travel and tourism reporting in Nigeria, even birthed the industry reportage on radio and television.

    That’s deliberate collaboration with the media and not the latest divisive press releases in vogue and focal to killing tourism reportage and interpretation by government tourism agencies. Of course they can’t give what they don’t have!

    It is sad that the drummers of new dance drama in tourism today have surrounded themselves with Croynists whose only usefulness is to massage the ego of their masters.

    It’s difficult to owe any tourism obligation to our nation and people when the government, in its wisdom, will force down our throat ministers and agency heads whose mission and vision are at variance to the good of our cultural tourism advantages.

    A minister or agency head who deliberately roll out its hosted buyers ecosystem to the media with intent to mute their suggestions or observations can only breed zombie reporters.

    There’s nothing new in terms of culture and tourism policy collaboration and interpretation that Otunba Segun Runsewe has not done. Before he left the culture sector, hurried out by misfit minister of culture, Runsewe brought all the culture and tourism commissioners to Abuja to deliberate on a new path for sector. Is our madam minister apping him? Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria president Nkereweum Onung has been on the same ecosystem, almost on his knees, to bring the government and private sectors together. Did the white lions in ntda and nihotour listen?

    Why is the industry still playing adversity games, or supposedly so beats the imagination. Unfortunately, the attempt to tarnish the image of travel and tourism media will fail flat.

    Tourism reportage is a spiritual thing. You can’t put it down, not even with the Internet playing a huge role. Even the traditional media has upped its games, and except there is a strategic agenda to put the media first in national tourism marketing and promotion, just as Runsewe has shown, then Nigeria can only breed of the reportage of the worst in its underbelly. The people are what they read!

    I won’t end without mentioning the capacity and presence that the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies has brought to the Nigerian tourism space in recent times. It’s unprecedented, from intra Africa to Africa Tourism market agenda, to a twice solo run at the World Travel Market( for Nigeria) and a practical guide to gains to centric African cultural tourism development in South Africa in collaboration with Ghana Tour Operators Association supported with open hands by South Africa government and its creative vibrant tourism agency, nanta sure cannot be ignored.

    Nanta’s first strategic foray in an exclusive Air transportation and Sundry industry suppliers expo during its avant-garde Annual General Meeting is certainly futuristic to what a well organised private sector organisation can do to advance tourism in Nigeria and to the world. It’s futile to pretend to celebrate World Tourism Day in Nigeria when we know where shoes pinches.

    Na which government dey bid to host wtd in Nigeria if not to milk the governors of the little resources which can be used to buy rice for their hungry poor. Bid koo, bid nii!

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    Opinion

    Nigeria Must Develop Own Tourism, KAS Offers Such Opportunity – Korean Ambassador

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    Korean Ambassador Kim Pankyu has urged Nigeria to develop her tourism sector stating the current tourist landscape holds little space for relaxation for both foreigners and Nigerians.

    Pankyu who had spent a little over fifty days shuttling between the Lagos and
    Abuja, meeting with Korean companies and Nigerian institutions, had earlier gushed over the colourful space of the Nike Art Gallery Foundation, Dunes and entertainment/cinema in

    Abuja, and the coastal area of Lagos.

    He, however, noted that both cities lack a place for relaxation during weekends, and tour guides are hard to find.

    “I have been in Nigeria fifty days but it is difficult to find a tour guide in Nigeria. You must develop your tourist course. Abuja has no place to tour. It is just only for those doing business. You can be business person but during the weekend you should have a place to visit. There is no place to visit and that’s a problem.

    “I think your government should make a plan towards that, which then, Korean companies can come aboard with some assurance of security that their investment is protected,” said Pankyu.

    He further noted that upcoming Korea Africa Summit (KAS) will provide side events such as the Korea Africa Consultancy Forums, as well as forums on ICT, Tourism and Energy, that will offer opportunities for both Korea and Nigeria to expand cooperations in these areas.

    “Nigeria’s delegation participation at the summit will translate discussions reached to particular operations and initiatives. Many Korean companies are interested in the Nigerian market and considering doing business in Nigeria. However, there are certain obstacles that should be addressed, such as the problem of double taxation, profit repatriation are major concerns.

    “During the summit, Nigerian government can share what it has been doing to address these and assure Korean businesses that the business environment in Nigeria is improving. I believe it will facilitate Korean companies’ investment in Nigeria”.

    The largest international gathering of Korean government, expected to set a milestone between Korea and Africa, the Korea Africa Summit will hold June 4thto5th, 2024, at Ilsan and Seoul, Korea.

    Meantime, Nigeria is in talks with Korea, to join the Korea Rice Belt Initiative. The initiative aims to support African countries in improving their self-sufficiency in rice farming and production, through the provision of varieties of rice, seed supply and technical training support. Ten African countries have signed an MoU to the project.

    Nigeria’s joining of this initiative when realized, Pankyu said will contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

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