Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Globacom urges youths to promote Nigerian culture, values

 Mr Folu Aderibigbe, the Commercial Coordinator of Globacom Business has called on youths not to neglect their cultural heritage and values which have become synonymous with their African identity.
Aderibigbe made the call in a news conference to announce the company's plans to sponsor the 2016 edition of the Ojude Oba Festival in Ijebu-Ode on Tuesday.
He said it was imperative not to allow the wave of modernisation erode age-old cultural activities which many young people had tagged as primitive.
Aderibigbe said if this trend was left unchecked, Nigerians would eventually become alien to the sound moral values which were the hallmark of the traditional African society.
``Unfortunately, unbridled modernisation has so much influenced on our youths negatively that the equilibrium which allows the complete integration between our culture and westernisation has been lost.
``What are prominent now among our youth are borrowed cultures and poor imitations of western ways which are detrimental to our identity as a race.
``This trend has also culminated in near annihilation of our local languages in a way that parents would rather teach their children English than our own language.
``Mothers no longer use our language, proverbs and local ballads to tell the stories of our past which underscores their importance towards charting a path for our future.”
The Globacom boss added that the challenge was further compounded by the decision of educational authorities in the country to abolish the teaching of History as a subject in the schools.
Aderibigbe said the company was in support for the clamour for the re-integration of History into the school academic curriculum.
``It is often said that someone who does not know where he is coming from will not know where his destination truly lies,” he said.
He said this was why Globacom backed the custodians of culture across the country by creating a platform for them to fully express their traditions and showcase their ingenuity.
``Our sponsorship of festivals in Nigeria is rooted in our passionate commitment to constantly support initiatives aimed at amplifying the best of Nigeria's culture and traditions,” Aderibigbe added.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Ojude Oba Planning Committee, Wahab Osinusi, said that the organisers of the festival were working with the Ogun State Government to fully maximise the potential inherent in tourism.
Osinusi, the Otunba Fidipote of Ijebuland, said that the tourism sector was an untapped gold mine which had the potential to alleviate poverty, create employment and generate revenue for development.
He said this year's festival’s theme; ``Ojude-Oba: Our Culture, Our Pride’’ is a cultural heritage that transcends religious divides, thereby promoting peace and aiding socio-economic development.
``The festival is not only about equestrian display, parade of culture and tradition, merry-making and funfair.
``It also boosts commerce and trade in its entirety as commercial and trading activities are at their peak before, during and after the festival.
``All the facilities; hotels, restaurants, artisans, craftsmen, transporters, professionals, market men and women, among others are fully engaged with several multiplier corporate effects,” Osinusi said.
He assured attendees of the event of adequate medical services, security and traffic management, saying all security agencies were working assiduously to ensure a hitch free celebration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2016 Ojude Oba festival would hold two days after the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, a descendant of the Fidipote Ruling House in Ijebuland would be the special guest of honour.

Osun ex-commissioner urges FG to assist States develop tourist sites

Mr Ayedun Sikiru, a former Commissioner for Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism in Osun State has appealed to the Federal Government (FG) to assist states in the development of tourist sites.
Sikiru , who made this known in Tuesday in Abuja, said  ``The federal government should assist the states on infrastructure development at all tourist sites, good road network and security.
``These are what I believe can be done to boost tourism in the country and attract both international and local patronage.
``Infrastructural and facility developments are key to the overall development of the sector,’’ Sikiru reiterated.
The ex-commissioner said it was regrettable that the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and National Council for Museum and Monuments (NCMM) were still in charge of sites and monuments in the states.
According to him, the federal government should assist the states, but allow them some level of sovereignty in order to grow the sector at their respective states.
`` They should allow the sovereignty of the state to prevail on all the sites, including the development of the hospitality industry,” he added.
NAN reports that the Supreme Court judgment in August 2013 gave state governments the right to veer into the tourism and hospitality sectors.
The judgment also gave state governments’ operational right in the concurrent list to also establish laws in the sectors.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

C/River identifies 3 new tourism sites

 The Cross River Government, organisers of the annual Leboku International Cultural Festival, says it will unveil three new tourism sites during the 2016 celebration.
Mr Kenn Aklar, Special Adviser to the Governor on Events Management stated this during the pre-Leboku briefing in Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area on Wednesday.
Aklar named the new sites as: Edem Omini Akpa stone located in Ijiman; Ekumiede Water Fall in Biokobioko; and the Leiwil Wettu Cool and warm spring in Yakurr Local Government Area.
The theme for this year’s festival is Celebration of Peace.
The special adviser said it was inspired by the peace being enjoyed by people in Yakurr.
``The theme is meant to promote co-existence among the Yakurr people after the end of prolonged communal clashes by communities‘’, he said.

The special adviser added that the state government was a key collaborator to the peace process.
He said the Leboku cultural festival was part of Cross River Government's agro tourism drive.
According to him, the government would continue to create enabling environment that would make room for youths’ participation and productivity.
He assured its collaborative partners - MTN - of the state's commitment to see that they recouped their investments.
Mrs Chinyere Otele, MTN regional Trade/Marketing Manager for South/ South, thanked the state for the partnership the telecommunication company had enjoyed in the last 10 years.
She reiterated the telecommunication provider's commitment to continue to put the event on a world stage via its continuous sponsorship.
The Paramount Ruler of Ugep, Ofem Eteng, said the new sites would add value to Cross River’s rich tourism potentials.
He said Leboku cultural festival was culturally and spiritually significant in the history of the Ugeps and Yakurr at large.
He commended MTN for bringing the festival to international recognition, adding that partnership with MTN had achieved a significant milestone.
``The event has provided opportunities for MTN to add value to lives through its fusion of tradition to its products’’, he said.
The festival begins on Monday.

World's largest indoor theme park set to open in Dubai

A roller coaster at the IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai. Photo: Special Arrangement

 (Reuters/NAN) The world's largest indoor theme park is set to open in Dubai this month to lure back some of the tourists and residents who often flee abroad during the scorching desert summer.
In a sandy suburb beyond Dubai’s concrete jungle and pockets of artificially green spaces, IMG Worlds of Adventure’s boxy exterior belies a 140,000-square metre (1.5 million-square foot) air-conditioned cathedral of entertainment.
As at now, stir-crazy families in Dubai, a tourism and financial hub which already boasts the worlds tallest building, had few places to stretch their legs beyond expensive malls.
Even an indoor ski slope, complete with real-life penguins, had not been enough to stanch the exodus that left roads and public spaces eerily quiet through the hot months.
Mr Lennard Otto, the Chief Executive Officer of the new one billion dollars attraction said; ``Dubai still suffers from a certain amount of seasonality during the June, July, and August period.
``We will hopefully drive tourism in those periods to make Dubai an all-year-round destination ahead of the theme park's Aug. 31 opening.
``Today there’s a gap in this market and in the region; people are actually travelling to the far East and the West to experience theme parks,’’ Otto said.
He explained that both the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, and Saudi Arabia had inaugurated this year to create more fun for their car and Smartphone-obsessed people.
As part of the plan to diversify its economy away from oil, Saudi Arabia had announced in June that it was in talks with Six Flags Entertainment Corp to build theme parks.
``The UAE created a ``Happiness Ministry’’ in February to look at ways of measuring and improving quality of life
``Happiness in Dubai may soon be in no short supply, as a government-backed rival by Dubai Parks and Resorts DUBA.DU will open by year's end.
``The Fox-branded theme park, with attractions based on TV and film titles such as `Ice Age’ and `The Simpsons’ is set to open in 2020,’’ Otto said. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Project the best of Nigeria to attract tourists- Lai Muhammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has appealed to the media to project a positive image of Nigeria instead of echoing the misinformation about widespread insecurity in the country.

Receiving members of the Association of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria, who paid him a courtesy call in his office in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister urged the media to be wary of spreading  the misinformation that 20 out of the 36 states in Nigeria are not safe, saying every Nigerian state is safe for investment and tourism.

''If they want to tell their people not to come to Nigeria, we do not need to help them to spread the news,'' he said. ''You do not need to spread news about Nigeria that will hurt investment and tourism.''

Alhaji Mohammed enjoined members of the Association to complement the efforts of the government in promoting the good image of the country, saying perception management and aggressive marketing are key to the promotion of tourism in Nigeria.

"I will mention an area which is dire to tourism and development. That is the area of marketing tourism. We do not market tourism enough in this country. Tourism is driven by perception more than by reality. What do I mean? Today, countries that are less endowed and peaceful than Nigeria...go on CNN and Aljazeera to advertise their countries as the countries of peace and stability. We must change the perception and invest in perception management,'' he said.

The Minister said the ministry is working to change the general perception about tourism as a mere leisure instead of as a business, because of its huge potential in the diversification of the economy, hence the renewed drive to partner with the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to rejig the nation's tourism architecture.

Alhaji Mohammed told the Association that he had made recommendation for the resuscitation of the Presidential Council on Tourism (PCT) involving all stakeholders across ministries, departments and agencies with a view to fashioning out a holistic approach towards the development of tourism in the country.

He urged leaders to do more to promote domestic tourism in Nigeria by spending their vacation in the country, as leaders in other climes do.

In his address, the National President of the Association, Kabir Mallam, hailed the Minister for his uncommon commitment to repositioning tourism in Nigeria.

"Permit me sir to appreciate you for the three significant outings since assumption of office: Tourism and Culture Summit held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel on the 28th and 29th April, 2016; Your appearance before the House of Representatives on May 3rd 2016 and most recent visit to the UNWTO this month," he said.

He called for a review of the Tourism Master plan to conform to current realities, saying the Association has set up a committee to complement government in that regard.

Mallam called for the enactment of a law to regulate tourism practice in Nigeria to guard against the unscrupulous activities of quacks in the sector.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

UK launches 24-hour visa service in Nigeria

 The UK has launched Super Priority Visa Service in Nigeria to allow customers to process their applications within 24 hours.
The British High Commission, in its website, said the new service was to particularly meet the needs of those who required urgent service to travel.
The High Commission quoted the British High Commissioner, Paul Arkwright, as welcoming the introduction of the Super Priority Visa service in Nigeria.
“I am pleased to see the Super Priority Visa service being launched in Nigeria.
“This comes with an additional cost but is designed to give greater flexibility to our customers and underlines our strong commitment to make improvements to the visa services we offer.
“We expect this new service to be particularly useful for business. We understand that business opportunities and urgent requirements can arise at very short notice.
“We recognise this and want to facilitate such travel to the UK with this new super-fast service”, Arkwright said.
The High Commission said the introduction of the service allowed customers greater flexibility to choose from a number of visa products to meet their needs.
“It is offered alongside our current Priority Visa (front of queue processing five to seven-day) and standard (15-day) services.
“The UK is the only European country to offer a visa decision in 24 hours.
“The Super Priority Visa service is aimed largely at key business customers and those needing to travel urgently by providing a visa decision for collection at the Visa Application Centre the working day following submission.”
It said the service costs 750 Pounds in addition to the visa fee and would be available to eligible customers applying in the Abuja and Lagos Visa Application Centres.
The High Commission said those applying in the “Visitors” or “Points Based System Tier 4” are eligible to use the Super Priority Service.
It said appointments are available from Mondays to Thursday from 8.30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Fridays from 8.30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Abuja and Lagos centres only.
“Extending the Super Priority Visa service to Nigeria is another example of how the UK is leading the world in the provision of premium visa services for those coming to the UK to visit, do business or study.’’

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Kerzner International Names New President and Chief Executive Officer

Kerzner International Names New President and Chief Executive Officer
Outgoing CEO of MHR to Take the Helm at Expanding Hospitality and Leisure Leader
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 8 August 2016 Kerzner International Holdings (KIH), the leading international developer and operator of destination resorts, ultra-luxury hotels and residences, announced the appointment of Jean-Gabriel Pérès as its new President and Chief Executive Officer.
As the outgoing CEO of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Jean-Gabriel has overseen the daily operations of the 16,000-staff hotel management company for 17 years. His role was instrumental in driving the global expansion of the company into Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
“Jean-Gabriel joins us at a very opportune moment in our journey as we embark on an accelerated growth and expansion plan to take Kerzner to new places around the world, from China to Mexico and beyond,” says His Excellency Mohammed Al Shaibani, Executive Director and CEO of Investment Corporation of Dubai, and Chairman of Kerzner International.
Jean-Gabriel possesses an international work experience that spans more than 30 years in the upscale hospitality and luxury retail industries, with deep knowledge of the Middle East and Asia. Prior to joining Mövenpick, he spent 11 years with Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, following his tenure with engineering firm Matra/Lagardere Group, now known as EADS, where he led strategic partnerships in the United States and the Middle East.
“Throughout his career, Jean-Gabriel has carved his expertise in building exemplary corporate cultures, achieving customer satisfaction, and driving superior returns for the companies he worked at,” Al Shaibani added. “I look forward to seeing KIH prosper and grow its global footprint under his stewardship.”
Born and raised in France, Jean-Gabriel holds a Master in Business Administration from the prestigious ESSEC Business School in Paris. He serves on the Boards of Directors of several corporations and has been an active member of the World Travel and Tourism Council.
Jean-Gabriel’s official start date with Kerzner will be announced in due course.
About the Investment Corporation of Dubai
ICD was established in May 2006 by decree (11) of 2006 under a mandate to consolidate and manage the Government of Dubai’s portfolio of commercial companies and investments. It also provides strategic oversight by developing and implementing investment strategy and corporate governance policies with an objective to maximize stakeholder value, for the long-term benefit of the Emirate.
ICD, as the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai currently has a portfolio that represents a cross-section of Dubai’s most recognised companies, in sectors that the Government of Dubai has deemed to be strategic for the continued development of the Emirate. The sectors include: Financial services, Transportation, Energy and Industrial, Real Estate and Leisure, Retail and other Holdings.