Sunday, December 10, 2017

Ayade’s new city, Calas-vegas, to host 2017 Carnival Calabar Barbecue fest

CALABAR- Calasvegas, the new city created by Senator Ben Ayade the Cross River State governor is to host the 2017 Carnival Calabar Barbecue fest for a select dignitaries including business executives, top political class and musical and home movie artistes that will participate in the Carnival float.
The city which is situated onshore across Calabar River and only by air or by boat is one of the signature projects of the governor which he created after cutting down large portions of mangrove forest and extensive sand filling of the waterlogged area to make for erection of structures.
Mr Eric Anderson the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism stated this at the weekend during the press briefing to highlight the activities that will feature during the 2017 Carnival Calabar, said the barbecue fest will take place on the night of Friday, 15th December.
Mr Anderson said the barbecue fest will feature music, dances and drama presentation adding that the required infrastructure are being put in place to make for a memorable and hitch free hosting of the event at the Calasvegas.
“There is so much excitement in this year’s ceremony not just with the new programme of events lined up for the festival but the fact that Minister of Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed is himself going to be present during the Carnival Tree lighting which shows the collaboration between the state and federal government“
Mr Ken Aklah, the Special Adviser Governor’s Office/Events Management , who led the team stated that more items have been added to the Carnival programme to make it bigger and better and these include ‘power week’, kings and queens contest taking place along the carnival route and camping of security agents at the Christmas Village to maintain adequate security.
He said twenty five countries are expected to participate in this year’s carnival while contestants from thirty two countries are expected to participate in the Miss Africa Beauty Pageant which will be beamed live through DSTV to over one hundred three hundred million viewers across the world.

He said adequate security measures have been put in place to ensure no ugly incidents take place during Carnival and entire festive period.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

African Development Bank gives wings to Senegal’s aviation industry

Senegal’s new International Blaise Diagne Airport (AIBD), a 525 million euro infrastructure masterpiece, co-financed with the African Development Bank, opened on Thursday. The airport confirms the Bank’s commitment to Africa’s air transportation development, and a strategic component of the High 5 agenda to integrate Africa.

African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina said, “I applaud the great leadership of President Mackey Sall. He is a visionary with a clear commitment to the delivery of transformative projects. This airport will improve regional connectivity, drive down costs of transportation, grow and transform the economy. The African Development Bank is proud of Senegal.”

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasts an average annual passenger increase of 5% over the next 20 years. According to Pierre Guislain, the Bank’s Vice-President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, “Africa must be ready to capitalize on this opportunity. We are delighted that our efforts to fund critical quality infrastructure across the continent are showing results. The new Airport brings us closer to winning the West African aviation connectivity and logistics hub battle.”

The Bank will continue to support the development of an industry which is a major trigger for social and economic progress and life-changing impact on the continent.

The African Development Bank contributed 70 million euros in loans and acted as a Mandated Lead Arranger to facilitate an additional 140 million euros in loans. Other major financiers are the Islamic Development Bank, Agence Française de Développement, the Saudi Fund and the West African Development Bank (BOAD).

The aviation project has already had significant socio-economic impact in Senegal. 3,000 local jobs were created during the construction phase and 427 full-time jobs for the operational phase. Additional jobs are expected in engineering, maintenance, information technologies and security in the next few years.

The state-of-the-art airport facility will be a catalyst for the emergence of small and medium enterprises, attract regional and foreign investments and boost Senegal’s tourism potential.

With a 42,000m2 passenger terminal and a 12,800m² cargo terminal building that is designed to handle 50,000 tons of cargo and 80,000 aircraft movements annually, the new airport resolves a lingering terminal capacity challenge; offers a long-term solution to intra-African economic activity; and resolves a perennial problem of low levels of aviation connectivity in West and Central Africa.

Approximately 3 million passengers are expected to go through AIBD annually.

In the last decade, The African Development Bank has invested close to US$ 1 billion in the aviation sector including funding for airport construction and expansion in Morocco, Tunisia, Cape Verde, and Ghana. Recently, the Bank approved a US$ 160m loan for the expansion of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). AfDB has also financed investments and capacity building in air traffic and navigation, as well as airline financing.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


No fewer than 25 countries from Africa and other continenets of the world are expected to grace the 2017 Carnival Calabar festivals as against 14 countries that took part in the festivals in 2016,they are Morrocco, Tanazania,South Korea,South Africa, and Kenya among others.

Mr. Kenneth Anklah, Special Adviser to Gov Ayade on Events Management made this known on Wednesday while briefing journalists on the calendar of this year’s Carnival Calabar festivals with the theme “Migration “ stated that the increased numbers of countries participating in this year’s event is an indication that the annual event was growing bigger and better.

According to him, a live audience of 264 million viewed the event via social media while 55 countries also watched on DSTV in 2016 edition of the event.

Anklah said the idea was to add value yearly to the festival as we have always been doing in a bid to increase the excitement.

“What we are selling is experience , which is the latest innovation in tourism marketing and tourism is the only product that you need to get to the source to enjoy and that is what we intend to achieve with Carnival Calabar”

“A lot of content has been added and more exciting event introduced and for a product to last for more than a decade, there need to be innovation and this means it will attract more audience ,we want to increase the tempo of the product we have already created “

Speaking further, the S.A said a “Black African Festival” has also been added to create a veritable platform for both local and international artiste to perform in a bid to give local content of breath of life.

He also added that Wonders on wheels a show of vintage cars to allow audience see some exotic cars that were in vogue and ruled in their time to be seen by the generation of today.

“On the streets alone we have about 800,000 people watching it and we have also introduced the wonders on wheels as part as an added value to allow tourist see vintage cars”

Artistes expected to perform at the various shows and events encapsulated in the festival include Mafikozolo from South Africa,Tuface ,Davido,Timaya,Teckno and more with the Minister of Information and Culture ,Lai Mohammed to flag off the event.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Edo Govt. promises colourful cultural fiesta, unveils EDOFEST Logo

The Edo State Government has assured culture and art enthusiasts as well as tourists, of a parade of the state’s prized culture and tourist destinations at the forthcoming Edo Festival of Arts and Culture (EDOFEST), holding between December 17-22, in Benin City.
Speaking at the unveiling of the festival logo at Government House on Monday, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, said: “The main focus of EDOFEST is to promote our people, our wealth of history and civilisation and of course our much-revered rich cultural heritage which will be manifested through our colourful traditional festival.”
He assured that the festival will attract “a large number of visitors from diverse regions within and outside the country to partake in the weeklong event that will be filled with attractions and exciting engagements reminiscent of the arts and culture of our people.”
The deputy governor who was represented by the Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Osaze Osemwengie-Ero, said the choice of the festival theme “Arts, Culture, Our Wealth,” was informed by the fact that “Edo State is deeply rooted in history and civilisation, with global noteworthy monuments such as the arts of Benin Kingdom, the Great Walls of Benin and a host of others that need to be driven and remunerated to the greatest possible extent.”
 L-R: Commissioner for Budget, Hon. Maryam Abubakar; Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Osaze Osemwegie-Ero; the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq. and Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Monday Osaigbovo at the unveiling of EDOFEST logo, in Government House, Benin City, on Monday, December 4, 2017
Day one of the event will feature the opening ceremony and there will be a carnival and parade display by indigenes and other invited tribes and countries. The day will climax with a movie premiere titled ‘ESOHE’.
The festival will also feature music and cultural shows; seminars and talk shows; photo exhibitions amongst others.
Congratulating the committee of EDOFEST for a great job, the Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG) Osarodion Ogie Esq., said art is an area that will surely engage the youths positively if properly repositioned.
Ogie noted that the youth would not leave the state, or country to seek greener pastures because the greener pastures are in the state.
He expressed delight and confidence in the project and urged the team to ensure there is synergy in delivering the project.
The high point of the event was the unveiling of the EDOFEST Logo by the SSG, Ogie.

Delta Air Lines flies 1.2m passengers in 10 years of operations in Nigeria

1.2 million passengers have been flown between Lagos and Atlanta by American carrier, Delta Air Lines, in its 10 years of operations in Nigeria.

Mr Bob Cortelyou, Senior Vice President, Network Planning, Delta Air Lines, made this known at a news briefing in Lagos , yesterday , to mark the airline’s 10 years anniversary in Nigeria.

Cortelyou, who noted that Delta had operated 6,300 non-stop flights on the Lagos-Atlanta route, said Nigeria remains a very key market to the airline.

He said :“I am very pleased to announce to you that we are launching a second route from Lagos to JFK Airport, New York, starting from March 25,2018.

Delta Airline

“Delta Air Lines is the only foreign airline operating non-stop flights between Nigeria and the United States and we have carried over 1.2 million passengers between the two nations since our inaugural flight on Dec. 4, 2007.”

According to him, the non-stop flight option has made travelling between both nations very convenient for passengers.

Also speaking, Mr Shane Spyak, Delta Air Lines’ Vice President, Sales, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, said the projections for the Nigerian market had a positive outlook.

Bobby Bryan, Commercial Manager, East & West Africa at Delta Air Lines (M) flanked by Olufemi Adefope, Managing Director, Skylogistics (L) and Salami Omeiza, Station Manager, Delta Air Lines (R)

Spyak said the Nigerian economy was getting out of recession while the issue of not being able to repatriate funds due to lack of foreign exchange had been resolved.

“Repatriation of funds was difficult for a period of one and a half years but I am pleased to say those issues are fully behind us.

“As at now, we are able to repatriate any amount we want and that is one of the reasons for our route expansion in Nigeria,” he said.

Mr Bobby Bryan, Commercial Director, East and West Africa and Mr Olufemi Adefope, Delta General Sales Agent, who also spoke at the event, thanked the Nigerian people for their support and patronage.

They both assured customers that the airline would continue to invest in modern aircraft towards ensuring their comfort and safety.  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Marriott International signs Renaissance Lagos Hotel and Marriott Executive Apartments projects in Nigeria

 Marriott International has announced the signing of Renaissance Lagos Hotel and Marriott Executive Apartments. Slated to open in 2020, the hotels will be located within the Landmark Village precinct, a premier mixed-use, business, leisure and lifestyle development along the Atlantic Ocean waterfront in Victoria Island, the central business district of Lagos.

We are excited to partner with the Landmark Africa Group on this project. With the rapid pace of urbanization more and more guests are looking for the value, the convenience and the vitality that mixed-use provides.
The Renaissance Lagos Hotel and Marriott Executive Apartments will be a significant addition to our strong Nigeria portfolio. There is a growing need for high caliber short and extended stay lodging in Nigeria and we believe the two hotels together will help bridge this gap,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director Middle East and Africa, Marriott International.

The 25 floor hotel will feature the 216 room full service Renaissance Lagos Hotel and 44 room Marriott Executive Apartment offering extended stay apartments with space, ambience and the privacy of residential living.
The hotels will offer a wide range of amenities, including local and international restaurants, spa facilities, a fitness center, and an infinity pool with access to a 100-meter-long boardwalk overlooking a vibrant beach club offering exciting watersports.

Marriott International is synonymous with quality and unique lifestyle experiences globally, which we, at the Landmark Africa Group continuously strive to align ourselves with. We look forward to bringing Marriott’s hospitality and passion for excellence to the Landmark Village setting a new benchmark for mixed-use developments in the region,” said Paul Onwuanibe, Chief Executive Officer Landmark.

Designed to be the first Lagos equivalent of the Rockefeller Centre in New York, Canary Wharf in London, Rosebank in Johannesburg and Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, the Landmark Village features office spaces, luxury apartments, high end retail as well as international restaurants. It is rapidly emerging as a leading mixed-use development on the West African Coastline.

Lagos plans 12-hour street carnival ahead Yuletide

The Lagos State Government on Thursday said it would hold a 12-hour street carnival on the popular Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja, on Dec.3, ahead of the Yuletide.

The Special Adviser to Gov.Akinwunmi Ambode on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Adebimpe Akinsola, at a news conference in Alausa, said that the overall aim of the carnival was to boost the economy of the state.

Akinsola said that the event, formerly known as Lagos Street party, had metamorphosed into a carnival which would take place on the whole stretch of Oba Akran Road from noon till midnight.

She assured that arrangements were in place to ensure maximum security and traffic control.

Akinsola said that alternative routes would be provided to motorists so that they do not experience pains as a result of the closure.

She said over 700 revellers were expected to attend the carnival in colourful costumes, design and animation in a controlled procession.

According to her, there is provision for virtually all categories of people from kids,adults to the aged.

She said that the carnival would be used to showcase the abundant indigenous culture, food and lifestyle of Lagos.

Akinsola said that besides entertainment and fun making, the carnival would offer upcoming artistes and tradesmen the opportunity to exhibit their skills and market their products.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde, said the objective of the carnival was to make Lagosians unwind, relax and allow small scale entrepreneurs to make brisk businesses.

Ayorinde said it would as well showcase the diversity of Lagos culture.

He said that the event would also showcase veteran and new artistes in the music industry and comedians.