Monday, January 20, 2014

Nigeria has tremendous potentials in tourism – X-adebija

Gbenga X-adebija has travelled widely in the course of working at Cadbury Schweppes, where he led many strategic initiatives in Corporate Social Responsibility, Human Resources, Organizational Culture, Marketing, and Corporate Communication among others. The alumnus of the University of Ilorin, University of London and the Lagos Business School  is  extremely cosmopolitan, with world-class perspectives and outlook.
He is currently the chairman of Simply Posh Ltd, a group of companies with interests in Corporate Gifts and Hospitality and also serves on the board of several companies in corporate Nigeria. In this interview with Jimoh Babatunde, he shared his travel experience. Excerpts:
First holiday memory
Going to the village for the Yuletide with my parents and siblings. It was such an awesome adventure and filled with so many pleasant memories of the long drives, stopping by the side of the road to eat and so on. It was also great to hang out in the village with friends and family. To a large extent, even though I have been to many countries all over the world, this still ranks among the best travel memories.
Favourite place in Nigeria
I have done more travelling outside Nigeria than inside Nigeria and that is something that needs to be corrected going into the future. I have no specific  favourite place but Tinapa comes to mind as well as the peace and serenity of villages on the outskirts of cities.
Best holiday
Visits to the USA and UK with the family, but perhaps my best ever holiday was our honeymoon to the UK and France back in 2000.
What he has  learnt from his  travels
I have learnt that Nigeria has tremendous potentials in tourism. It is also clear that Nigeria needs to significantly improve its infrastructure and its institutional branding to improve its attraction to tourists.
His ideal travelling companion
Yetunde, my wife, I have also travelled alone with my daughter and my sons, but I had the best times travelling with Yetunde alone.
Holiday reading
A holiday is certainly not the time for any serious reading so apart from the local newspapers, I  don’t read anything at all.

Beach bum, culture adventure
I have experienced some wonderful beaches in America, South Africa and Ghana. The feel of the sand under your feet, the breeze and the waves is a marvellous feeling.
Where has seduced him
Home is the best, so no matter how beautiful any country is, I still find that I miss home after just a few days.
Better to travel or to arrive
There is no place like home so arriving is the best experience, except of course I am travelling with the family.
Worst travel experience
Missing connecting flights is a nightmare. However, my worst experience was around 2002. I returned from USA via the UK to Nigeria in the morning and left for a seminar in South Africa that same day. The combination of long hours inside the plane and different time zones played havoc with my body clock and I spent most of the seminar struggling to stay awake!
Best hotel
No particular favourite, I have stayed in many posh hotels but I only enjoy them if Yetunde is with me.
Favourite drive
I took a drive with a friend from Orange County to Hollywood. It was a long and wonderful drive with wonderful scenery. We went as close  as possible to Neverland, the home of Michael Jackson, but we did not see him(laughter)
Best meal abroad
I was literally starving once while in Copenhagen because I could not eat the food . Finally, after extensive interrogation  of the hotel waiter, it turned out that they had beans. It was a life-saver!
His  favourite city
London. There is something about the place which just agrees with me.
Where next
Jamaica! I want to see the country which produced Peter Tosh, my favourite singer of all time and I want to see his mausoleum, visit his family and soak in the culture.