Thursday, August 10, 2017

CNN Stephanie Busari Is Moderator At Luxury Lifestyle Summit


TOPCOMM PR and The Luxury Reporter, organisers of The Luxury Lifestyle Summit have confirmed CNN Africa Editor, Stephanie Busari as the moderator of the panel discussions at the inaugural Summit billed to take place on September 06 and 07 2017 at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
Stephanie Busari is coming with her wealth of experience working for CNN, the most viewed international news network in Africa. She will be engaging panelists on various issues on the Nigerian and generally African luxury sector.
According to Busari: "The luxury sector in Nigeria is fast growing and it is important to have a conversation about how the industry can scale and grow. I think the Luxury Lifestyle Summit will have some very interesting talking points and I am looking forward to engaging the panelists at the Summit.”
With the theme of the summit, Digital Inside - Get Wired to Deliver the Ultimate Luxury Experience, panellists from different sectors of the luxury market will discuss relevant topics aimed at creating important discourse to improve the luxury brands and promote consumption of the Nigeria luxury market.
Earlier, Paul Andrew, Founder and Chief Responsibility Officer, African Wealth Report, a research and intelligence publication of Blackpace Africa has been confirmed to spearhead the array of other notable speakers to discuss key issues affecting the growth and development of the Nigerian luxury industry.
With over two decades of global investments and wealth advisory experiences, Andrew who is based in Geneva, Switzerland, brings an exceptional knowledge of African and global luxury practice to The Luxury Lifestyle Summit in Lagos.
Also, Daniel Weihrauch, CEO of Lions&Gazelles and RAIN’s group consulting partner for Middle East and Africa, will be speaking at the summit. The German born global traveller, will bring his wealth of experience in the luxury hospitality industry to the summit.
Other speakers confirmed for the summit include: Oliver Williams, CEO, Firebreak Group and a founding member of Wealth Insight, a leading wealth consultancy advising clients in over 15 countries; and Funmi Onajide, Founder, Regalo African Luxury Store, a concept store which stocks high end leather goods, tea range among others sourced from Africa will also be speaking at the Luxury Lifestyle Summit in Lagos.
The summit will provide a veritable platform for diverse retailers of jewellery, beauty, motor, watches, private equity, investment Banking, private banking, investment / asset management, architecture, travel companies, luxury Hotels, luxury Event Management companies, luxury service providers, airlines and others to showcase their products and discuss how to maximise the online market.
Other discussants at the summit include: Mr. Abiona Babarinde, Group General Manager, Marketing and Communications, Coscharis, Mrs. Kavita Chellarams, CEO, Arthouse Contemporary, Mr. Ejiro Onobrakpeya, expert in African art, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, KPMG, Mr. Kayode Kasunmu, the Executive Director, Beauty Bar and Essenza who has been a player in the Luxury Industry in Nigeria for over 30 years.
The summit is the brainchild of The Luxury Reporter, publisher of the e-magazine, TLR in partnership with TOPCOMM PR Concept & Events, an integrated marketing communication and events management company with sponsorships from Balmoral, African Wealth Report, BlackPace, Lions&Gazelles, Regalo African Luxury, FireBreak Group, Access Bank, Sun International, Delta Air Lines, South African Airways, GHI Assets and Emirates Holidays.





World Tourism Day 2017 celebrated on the theme Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development


This year’s World Tourism Day, held on 27 September, will be focused on Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development. Celebrated in line with the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the Day will be dedicated to exploring the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
World Tourism Day has been celebrated since 1980 on September 27, the day in which the Statutes of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) entered into force. Peace and Dialogue, Energy, Accessibility, World Heritage and Water and Tourism have been some of the topics tackled on the 37 previous editions of World Tourism Day.


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“Last year alone, 1.235 million travellers crossed international borders in one single year. By 2030, this 1.2 billion will become 1.8 billion. The question, as we celebrate World Tourism Day 2017, is how we can enable this powerful global transformative force, these 1.8 billion opportunities, to contribute to make this world a better place and to advance sustainable development in all its three pillars. This World Tourism Day, whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to respect nature, respect culture and respect your host,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
The official celebrations of World Tourism Day 2017 will be held in Qatar, as decided by the UNWTO General Assembly.
The event will be structured around two sessions, focused on ‘Tourism as a driver of economic growth’, and ‘Tourism and the Planet: committed to a greener future’. In addition, a high-level think tank will be conducted with the aim of opening the debate on the potential of the sector to enhance cultural preservation and mutual understanding.
On the Agenda will also be the presentation of the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy, which advances sustainable approaches.

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The initiative is aligned with the Qatar National Vision 2030, which focuses on Economic, Social and Human Development and prioritizes tourism as a catalyst to progress towards a more diversified economy.

Monday, August 7, 2017

There are many ways to boost domestic tourism – Coker

There are many ways to boost domestic tourism – Coker
…to repackage Oct. 1 celebration
ABUJA – The Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Folorunsho Coker has said that there are many ways to promote tourism sector with little government resources through collaboration of public and private sectors.
To this end, he said they are working assiduously to ensure a complete repackage of the October 1 Independent Day Celebration to boost domestic tourism in the country.
Coker stated this at Delphino Picnic tagged; ‘Spreading Happiness’, organised in collaboration with the NTDC, in Abuja.
The Berger Shooting Range close to Jabi Lake (venue of the picnic), which had been all this while an exclusive of the ‘high class people’ in Abuja, came alive as social class that had been the barrier of accessing the park was stripped just with N2000 gate fees.
Music of various lyrics, sports and other extracurricular activities were at different spots going on at the park that was filled to its capacity with both old and young, enjoying different side attractions, as security of the park was never a concern.
The DG, who spoke to Journalists in an ecstatic mood, suggested that having something like Independence Picnic going on simultaneously in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would be a fantastic concept.
“October 1, for instance, what do we do? We have a (military) parade on the day we are celebrating our independency. Now, national day celebration, it is a time, this kind of event should happen in every state, every local government area in Nigeria. No matter how bad it is, there is a reason (for us) to celebrate,” he said.


The DG said the idea would be achieved by “bringing different assets together; music, sports, vendors, stage performance, lights, events planners, etc. it is not something that NTDC must do it, the state government can do it, the local government can do it, anybody can connect to these new values we have, in terms of our cultural heritage, sport, among others.”
Coker maintained that government at the state and local government levels did not need to panic over the paucity of funds, but should rather approach the private sector for partnership to boost the tourism sector at their various levels.
“Do you see any government money here? Nobody is asking state government to spend government money in doing this. What you see here is a government brand ‘Tour Nigeria’ that is promoting domestic tourism that is asking people to come out for their own and have fun together.
“This is about a private sector in partnership with government, driving the consumption of our tourism assets, not about spending government resources,” the DG clarified.
NTDC Boss explained that the Delphino Picnic had been on in Abuja, and that, the corporation just partner with the company to promote domestic tourism in the nation’s capital. “It is just people coming together in public space to enjoy what is abundance in Nigeria.”


In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Delphino Entertainment, Onoja Adole said the event was part of their token to resuscitate domestic tourism in the nation’s capital through entertainment.

Monday, July 31, 2017

FG to rebuild Sukur World Heritage Site destroyed by Boko Haram


The National Commission for Museum and Monuments (NCMM), says it is exploring ways to rebuild the Sukur world heritage site in Adamawa destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in 2014.

The Director-General of the commission, Malam Yusuf Usman, who made the disclosure in an interview on Monday in Abuja, said that efforts were also on to address conservation challenges at Osun-Osogbo Grove in Osun State.

“Provisions have been made in the 2017 budget to address the conservation challenges of the Sukur site and Osun-Oshogbo sacred grove. These are both national monuments.

“Secondly, UNESCO has also made provisions for assistance to Nigeria to address these challenges.

“So in the coming weeks, you will see lot of activities around Sukur Cultural Landscape to address those conservation challenges following the attack of Boko Haram insurgents,’’ he said.


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The NCMM boss added that the target was to restore the conservation status of the sites, ensure they attain cresting stage and become well maintained enough to attract tourists.

The director general said he expects other agencies to popularise the Sukur site to attract tourists from across the world.

“Our major concern is maintaining the conservation status of the sites and that is what we want to address.

“We also have plans for tourism development and tourists in case of disaster and so on at the sites,’’ Usman said.

Sukur is a stone-age iron smelting community whose history dated back to the Dur Dynasty in the 17th century.

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The Dur had established a major supply link for raw materials needed for iron manufacture to north eastern Nigeria which continued into the first decade of the 20th century.

UNESCO had designated it a World Heritage Site because of its cultural heritage, material culture and the naturally-terraced fields.

Sukur is the first African cultural landscape to receive heritage list inscription in 1999 at the 23rd Session of UNESCO.

NAN also reports that the landscape is located on the hill above the village of Sukur in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa.


It is situated on the Mandara Mountains close to the border with Cameroon.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tourism expo to showcase Nigeria’s assets, says organiser

Tourism expo to showcase Nigeria’s assets, says organiser
Mr Ayo Omotoso, the Chief Organiser of Destination Tourism Night, says that the expo will serve as an avenue to showcase Nigeria’s tourism assets to the rest of the world.

Omotoso, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Travelogue Communications Ltd, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday that the aim would be “connecting values.

“The more our people cross paths, the better our social, cultural and economic life becomes.

“It will also connect destination values, people from different backgrounds, race and culture together, ” he said.

Omotoso said that the one-day expo would hold at the Eko Hotel and Suites on Sept. 22.

According to him, Destination Tourism Night is an expository digital tourismtainment, which will savour the offerings of different tourism destinations around the world and Nigeria.

“Our focus is to showcase the hidden tourism destinations in Nigeria to the world.

“ We will achieve that through a digital platform, so that participants can appreciate and savour the tourism offerings of all these notable sites,” he said.

Omotoso said that the expo would be used be an opportunity to send signals to local and international investors, tourists, public and private sectors about the huge tourism potential in the country.

“Some call domestic tourism low hanging fruits but to me, it goes beyond that. It is a virgin sector opened for development and investment.

“It opens up new worlds, new vistas and greater understanding. There are lots of people who have not visited some of the tourism sites in the country.

“The expo will encourage Nigerians and international tourists and investors to visit the numerous tourism sites that the country is blessed with it,” he said.

He said that South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and some other neighbouring countries as well as members of the diplomatic corps would be expected to participate in the event.

He urged the Federal Government to improve on tourism infrastructure and other basic amenities needed to facilitate domestic tourism development.

“Successive governments must use tourism as an instrument to eradicate poverty but to create employment.


“Government should also encourage public and private partnership for tourism to thrive in the country, ” he said.

AFAC Expo: 24 countries, 150 exhibitors to participate – Runsewe


The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) says it is expecting at least 25 countries and 150 exhibitors at the 10th African Arts and Crafts (AFAC) Expo scheduled for Abuja.

The Director-General, NCAC, Otunba Segun Runsewe, made this known in an interview in Abuja.

Runsewe said that participants from these countries and the exhibitors were expected to showcase their unique cultural identities at the expo to hold from Aug. 27 to Sept. 17.

He expressed commitment to justifying his appointment by using culture as the only tool to change the narratives of Nigeria.

“This time, we want to depart from having expo without media content so we need an overwhelming publicity for the event.

“The expo will be a market place for showcasing arts and crafts products such as fabrics, leather and souvenirs from Nigeria and other African countries.

“The expo is also apt as Nigeria needs to record remarkable achievements in developing the culture industry to enviable heights through festivals like AFAC,’’ he said.

Runsewe said that the expo, with the theme: “Nigerian Crafts: The Untapped Treasure” would be geared toward harnessing and developing arts and crafts and other creative industries in the country.

“It will be a unique opportunity for artists, craft dealers, manufacturers and other stakeholders to buy and sell their brands.’’

According to him, the expo will play a key role toward job creation and economic empowerment.

NCAC is a Federal Government organ charged with the responsibility of coordinating, developing and promoting the country’s arts and culture at national and international fora.

The council focuses its programmes and projects toward positively changing the perception about culture and cultural activities as serious business opportunities.


It portrays arts and culture as tool for the promotion of peace, social integration and national identity.

British Airways introduces new Boeing 747 to Lagos route


British Airways (BA) will be introducing a bigger and better Boeing 747 to its London-Lagos route from September.

Mr Kola Olayinka, British Airways commercial manager in Nigeria, said this in a statement released by Nosakhare Emma-Iyamu from QuandrantMSL Group, the agency that handles the airline’s media.

Olayinka said that each of the Lagos Boeing 747 fondly referred to as the ‘Super High J Aircraft’ within the BA’s family would have 14 seats in its first class, 86 in business class, 30 in world traveller plus and 145 in world traveller.

“The new aircraft are larger than the Boeing 777s which the airline currently operates and will add an extra 343 seats a week on the busy route between London and Nigeria’s commercial capital-Lagos.

“The newest aircraft with well refreshed interior, and the state-of-the-art entertainment system, also have a larger Club World cabin with 86 lie-flat beds and choice of the upper deck cabin for our dedicated business class customers,’ Olayinka said.

He said that some of the aircraft had begun flying on popular BA routes to New York, Chicago, Johannesburg, Dubai, Boston, Riyadh, Kuwait, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Washington DC from London.

Olayinka also noted, “We know customers who fly in these aircraft will appreciate the improved interiors, with their mood lighting, updated seating and the new entertainment system.”

He added that the aircraft were equipped with Panasonic’s next-generation eX3 entertainment system.

He said these would give BA’s customers a choice of over 1,300 hours of entertainment that would include over 130 movies and 400 TV programmes on larger, high-resolution screens, with touch and swipe functionality, giving the system the familiar feel of using a tablet.

“As part of the upgrade, customers in world traveller plus will now have access to a universal power socket at every seat, capable of accepting plugs from the UK, US and Europe.

“In addition, world traveller customers will have their own USB sockets to power phones and tablets,’’ he said.

He said that its seats in the world traveller’s section had been upgraded to ensure customers’ comfort.

He said that flight numbers and schedule would remain the same with BA75 departing Heathrow at 11:30 a.m. and landing in Lagos at 1755p.m.

He said that the return service operates as BA74, would depart Lagos at 22:55p.m., to arrive at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 at 05:25a.m., the following morning.


Monday, July 10, 2017

NANTA seeks effective awareness creation to develop tourism


National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA) has advocated for effective awareness creation among Nigerians by government and stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality sector to facilitate its development.

Mr Barnard Bankole, the President of NANTA made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

“For tourism and hospitality industry to thrive and benefit the Nigerian economy there is need for the right awareness; the private sector has to drive the awareness creation supported by the government.

“The government is aware of the fact that tourism is capable of contributing positively to the growth of the country; the government needs us as their foot soldiers in tourism development.

“The government has different platforms for awareness creation, like radio, television and others; they should give us the opportunity to ride on these platforms to effectively sensitise Nigerians on the need to patronise local tourism.

According to the NANTA president, the government does not have business in managing activities that can be handle by the private sector adding “Government business is formulating and regulating policies.’’

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He maintained that government can equally involve in a public private partnership arrangement regarding tourism sites across the country.

Bankole stressed that private firms in developed countries were in charge of supplying guns, weapons and other products, wondering why such cannot be done in tourism in Nigeria.

“The government should allow the private sector to drive some of the initiatives by allowing us create awareness; the same awareness they created about oil made oil what it is today.

“If we do not create awareness about tourism, it cannot grow to a remarkable level of development that would bring in more revenue for the practitioners and government respectively.

“In the oil sector, we have the likes of Mobile, Oando, Total, Fo, and others; they are private companies; the government should help the tourism and hospitality sector to also flourish like them,’’ Bankole said.


He, however said NANTA’s relationship with Ministries of Aviation, Information and Culture has improve significantly adding that it was a sign of good things to come in the country’s tourism and hospitality sectors.

First storey in Nigeria records 7,433 visitors in 6 months

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The first storey in Nigeria located in Badagry, Lagos State, recorded 7,433 visitors from January 2017 to July 2017.

Mr Hodonu Daniel, the officer in charge of the building , told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Badagry that the tourists that visited the 171-year-old structure in the first half of 2017 were higher this than those that did within the same period in 2016.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the foundation of the building was laid in 1842 and was completed in 1845.

Daniel said, “We have been able to attract more tourists to this site because of its proper maintenance and our ability to preserve its originality.

“In the first six months of 2016; 3,767 people visited the monument compared to 7,433 visitors and tourists that visited in the first six months of this year.

“We are certain that the statistics will increase in the other half of the year due to the historic nature of the site and the willingness of people to always visit.’’

He advised Nigerians to be more patriotic by visiting the various monuments in the country.

“Nigerians should imbibe the habit of visiting the various museums and monuments in the country in order to boost tourism development in the country.

“Many Nigerians prefer to visit foreign countries’ monuments but forgetting that one of the ways to improve tourism in the country is by patronising our monuments,’’ he said.

Daniel advised the Federal Government to support the management in giving the building a facelift.







Sunday, July 9, 2017

NTDC set to rebrand Nigeria with” Tour Nigeria” logo



 Nigerian Tourism Development Corporations (NTDC) has concluded plans to rebrand the country with “Tour Nigeria” logo to promote domestic tourism.

Mr Folarin Coker, the Director-General (D-G) of NTDC disclosed this at an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos late on Saturday.

He said that the brand was an ambitious attempt at promoting tourism in Nigeria.

“It will showcase the vibrant and friendly energies of Nigerians through different creative expressions.

“ It will also leverage on our abundant power to celebrate our heritage and promote our natural and cultural tourism assets, destinations and people, ” he said.

Coker said that part of his mandate as he DG of NTDC was to reverse the negative impressions in the minds of the public about Nigerian Tourism.

It is also to galvanize commercial tourism, promote our diverse multicultural heritage, he said.

He listed others to include evolving new channels of tourism markets whilst promoting Nigeria in a positive light and shaping a positive perception of its citizens.

He added that the brand would leverage on the best of Nigeria.

“Nigerians are known to be intelligent and hardworking people.

“We are also known for our “can-do” and “never-say-never” attitudes, which are complemented by friendly and accommodating spirits.

“We are proudly the most populous black nation on earth; home to the second largest film industry on the globe whilst also being the fashion, technological and creative hub of Africa,”Coker said.

Coker said that in line with the corporation’s agenda to promote domestic and regional tourism, the “Tour Nigeria” brand was conceived to drive domestic consumption of our tourism assets and products.

It would also add to the nation’s GDP, create employment, and increase spending in the economy.



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

NTDC to partner airline operators on #MyAbujaweekend Project



The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) says it will form a strong synergy with Airline Operators on its #MyAbujaweekend Project of Nigeria to ensure development and promotion of the Nigerian Tourism industry.

The Director-General of the corporation, Mr Folorunsho Coker made this known in a statement on during the week in Abuja.

According to him, the synergy, under the #MyAbujaweekend Project will promote domestic tourism in Nigeria and encourage Nigerians to take their holiday or weekend break within Nigeria.

He stressed that affordable air travel was indispensable in building the tourism economy.

According to him, the corporation will explore packaged tours and digital technology to drive the consumption of the tourism assets in the country.
The Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation(NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker(Left)  shaking hands with the Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria, Nogie Meggison during a courtesy visit to the Director General on partnership and promotion of domestic tourism in Nigeria held at the corporate headquarters  of the Corporation in Abuja recently.



“This is why NTDC finds it important to establish a strategic partnership with Airline Operators of Nigeria to create affordable air fares within inclusive packages in order to boost domestic tourism.

“ We seek discounted weekend airline tickets to Abuja to propel the success of ‘#MyAbujaWeekend’ Project, further encouraging the travel businesses and promote hospitality and tourism services in capital city of Nigeria,” he said.

The statement also said it would explore the travel, accommodation and entertainment/hospitality with the airlines, hotels, car hire services, tour operators and others to bring out affordable package tours to encourage Nigeria to tour Nigeria.

The NTDC boss, therefore, called for a conscious investment in the promotion of domestic tourism, appealing to relevant stakeholders to drive the market with a new brand TOUR NIGERIA.


Monday, July 3, 2017

ASKY Airlines to begin flights from Accra to Lagos, Abuja on July 10



ASKY Airlines on Monday said it would begin daily flight operations from Accra, Ghana to Lagos and Abuja from July 10.
ASKY’s Country Manager for Nigeria, Mr Simon Mobolaji, told newsmen in Lagos that the move was in line with the airline’s mission to seamlessly connect West and Central Africa and reduce the flying time to connect cities in the region.
Mobolaji said that with the new service, passengers would be able to connect these cities every day, departing in the morning and arriving later in the day.
He said: “We are particularly glad to introduce this service to serve our esteemed loyal customers who have long wanted these connections to happen.
“We thank them for their loyalty and patronage and can only introduce more convenient connections to meet their travel needs.
“Now they can fly their community airline not only to Dakar or Niamey or Abidjan, from the airline’s hub in Lome, but also fly to Accra directly from Lagos and to Abuja directly from Accra.”
According to him, the new route offers more capacity and flexibility with a significant reduction in flight time between Lagos, Accra, Abuja and the entire network of ASKY.
He said that with the airline’s schedule, a passenger could leave Abuja early in the morning for Accra and return to Abuja later in the evening via Lagos.
The country manager said: “Sales of tickets have since commenced with the travel agents and the airline’s offices making tickets available at very affordable airfares.
“In addition to this, ASKY also introduced additional baggage allowance which enables passengers travel with more baggage for less.
“Passengers in Economy class will have 40kg baggage allowance, while passengers in business class will be entitled to 50kg.

“This offer will be valid from July 10 to Oct. 2 on all flights on the new service.’’  

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Lufthansa Group brings direct payment option to check-in counters

Lufthansa Group brings direct payment option to the check-in counters and gates in Nigeria with card terminals
From June 2017 onwards, customers will be able to pay with Amadeus Airport Pay for ancillary services while checking in

Lufthansa will now enable secure and simple payments at the check-in counter in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, by introducing “Amadeus Airport Pay”. This new service, developed by Amadeus and Ingenico, will subsequently be available at more than 170 airports around the world. The customers will be able to pay for ancillary services, such as excess baggage, with chip-cards (credit/debit cards), girocard payments and compatible digital wallets.
“This direct-payment option will further improve the customer experience for our passengers in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt”, says Robin Sohdi, Lufthansa General Manager Nigeria.
Additionally, airline staff are able to initiate compensation payments with these terminals, for instance in case a passenger voluntary steps back from an overbooked flight.



“To bring secure and seamless payment options to our passengers to ease their individual and seamless travel experience is a core objective for the Lufthansa Group. Amadeus Airport Pay enables our travellers to choose customized ancillary services for their flight while checking in or at the gate – securely and with a variety of payment options, and without the need for detours”, said Kai Schilb, Head of Payment at Lufthansa Group Hub Airlines.

“Besides, as an IT solution, Amadeus Airport Pay gives the Lufthansa Group full control over its payment infrastructure by enabling bilateral connections with a wide range of payment providers. We look forward to bringing this service to our airport check-in desks and ticket offices in more than 170 airports very soon,” added Philipp Vetten, Head of IT Payment Projects at Lufthansa Group Hub Airlines.

The standard used by the Amadeus Airport Pay solution is also fully compatible with PCI-DSS, a series of security standards defined by the payment card industry. By using a PIN method for the cards, fraud is prevented during the payment process itself.


The Lufthansa Group strives to provide its customers with a range of choices in products and services fitted to their needs. In today’s digital world, customers demand simplicity and convenience throughout their purchasing experience, no matter what channel they use while shopping, whether it is web, mobile, or physical stores.      

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ethiopia aspires to boost foreign earnings from tourism, hospitality sector


Ethiopia is keen to boost foreign earnings from investments in the hospitality sector, according to the Ethiopian Tourism Organisation (ETO), on Thursday.
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Hosting the 5th continental hotel show in its capital Addis Ababa, the east African country aimed to boost investments in the hospitality sector so as to generate additional foreign earnings.
According to the ETO, although the country is not currently satisfied with the number of visitors, it is hosting less than a million tourists annually.
The contribution of the hospitality sector to the country’s GDP is forecasted to have risen by 5 per cent to 3.7 billion U.S. dollars in the next 10 years, with an expected 2,422,000 jobs by 2026.
Yohannes Tilahun, Ethiopian Tourism Organisation CEO, said that the east African country has targeted the hospitality and tourism sector as its major priority intervention area together with the manufacturing industry.
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The contribution of the hospitality and tourism sector, which is also an emerging source of employment, currently accounted for 4.1 per cent of Ethiopia’s GDP, according to Yohannes.
Despite Ethiopia’s push to boost its earnings from the sector, the country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism recently revealed that the political unrest that broke out in 2016 had slightly affected tourism and hospitality services.
Organisers of the continental hotel show, Ozzie Hospitality and Tourism Group, also noted that Africa’s share from the global travel and tourism sector is insignificant given the continent’s potential in the sector.
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“We have a lot of grounds to make before our region successfully builds a meaningful international presence,’’ said Kumneger Teketel, Group Managing Director of Ozzie.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria preps for 2017 AGM

Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria preps for 2017 AGM
The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has stepped up preparations for its 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is an elective one for the election of a new national executive council for the federation, which is the umbrella body of all tourism associations in the country.
Speaking on the meeting, which is scheduled to hold on 29 at NANET Suite, Abuja, at the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism (ANJET) Media Forum, the President of the federation, Tomi Akingbogun, said it is going to be a milestone event in the annals of the federation and Nigeria tourism industry.
According to him, all the federating associations, including government officials and private operators in the allied industries are expected to attend the meeting with the theme: ‘Financing as a catalyst to a sustainable tourism development,’ with key speakers slated to address the issue of funding for tourism, which he said is the bane of developing and marketing the tourism industry.
Akingbogun, said he would used the occasion to give account of his leadership of the federation in the last four years having served two terms of two years each. He disclosed that a lot of achievements were recorded during these four years despite the challenges that the federation had to contend with.
Besides celebrating the milestones of his regime, he promised members an exciting and fulfilling time during the one day AGM with many activities line up, including set up a clear roadmap for the federation by raising the bar of tourism while promising a free and fair election.

Monday, June 5, 2017

U.S. Embassy Grant Trains Museum Curators on Preserving Nigeria’s Collections


On June 2, 2017, museum curators from across Nigeria completed a two-week workshop hosted by the National Museum in Jos, to improve the conditions of museum storage areas and access to Nigeria’s important collections. Supported through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, the “RE-Org Nigeria: Saving Museum Collections” workshop included participants from ten national and two university museums.
A major highlight of the official closing ceremony of the workshop was the opening of a temporary exhibition, Hidden Treasures of Jos Museum, which features 19 never-before-seen objects from around Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, the U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs Mr. Aruna Amirthanayagam recalled that on February 12, 2017 the United States Embassy in Abuja announced a $116, 000 grant to RE-ORG Nigeria through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.
He said, “We are hopeful that this grant will help to enhance the knowledge of professionals in this field, improve the storage, display, and preservation of museum collections across Nigeria, preserve and promote Nigeria’s diversity, and reignite public interest in museums.”
U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs, Aruna Amirthanayagam, presenting a certificate of
completion to one of the workshop participants, watched by Professor Buratai, Dean, Faculty of Arts, representing the V.C. of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Malam Yusuf Abdallah, Director General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM). Embassy Photo by Nengak Daniel Gondyi
With this training, the curators will return to their museums to begin implementing the RE-ORG methodology to improve collections storage and display as part of a saving Nigerian museum collections project.
RE-ORG Nigeria is the joint initiative of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, the Ahmadu Bello University, and the International Centre for the Study of the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), funded by the Embassy of the United States of America in Abuja.
The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation supports projects in more than 100 developing countries around the world. Projects include the restoration of ancient and historic buildings, assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, preservation and protection of important archaeological sites, and the documentation of vanishing traditional craft techniques and indigenous languages.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

NAPTIP to clampdown on hotel operators using teenagers for sexual services



The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has threatened to clampdown on operators of hospitality and recreation centres across the country using underage for sexual services.

The Director-General, NAPTIP, Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, gave the warning at a strategic meeting with some of the agency’s partners on Thursday in Abuja.

She explained that the provisions of the “Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015,’’ prohibits the harbouring of any person under the age of 18 years in such places.

She warned that any hotel, brothel or recreation facility that runs afoul of this law will not be spared by the law.

“The trafficking in Persons Act 2015 is very clear on this and we will not allow the abuse and exploitation of our children in hotels, brothels and other recreation facilities across the country to continue unabated.

“Our children should at this age be in schools to learn and develop properly and not be in hotels and brothels being used as sex objects by criminals.

“We will engage our sister law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance and anyone found culpable will face the music, as we must implement this law to the letter irrespective of who the owners of such facilities may be,’’ she said.

The NAPTIP boss added that operatives of the agency have been detailed to commence spontaneous raid of suspected brothels and other questionable relaxation centres suspected of harbouring children.

She noted that the intended operation would not only set those innocent children free, but prosecuting the operators.

Okah-Donli said that it was unacceptable a situation where promising female children of Nigeria would be used to satisfy the immoral appetite of their customers.

She cautioned those in the habit of keeping under-aged children in brothels and other exploitative areas to let them regain their freedom or would be dealt with accordingly.

“Available intelligence indicated that hundreds of relaxation centres and brothels that were not registered with Nigeria Tourism Development Board or any other regulatory government institutions are operating presently.

“And keeping hundreds of our girls and even boys in some cases as money making ventures, sexually exploiting them on daily basis,” she said.

The director-general said that her agency frowns at this evil act and would soon commence sting operation in some identified black spots.

“Any centre found wanting will be sealed up and the operators will face the law,’’ said Okah-Donli.


TOURISM DEVELOPMENT: FCT MINISTER HARPS ON IMPROVED SERVICES


The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCT) says emphasis must to be placed on better service delivery if the country were to unbundle the tourism sector and make it a major revenue earner.
These views were expressed by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello recently when a delegation from the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), paid him a courtesy visit at his office in Area11, Garki 1 District, Abuja.
According to the FCT Minister, the complaint generally by most people that visit the country is that the quality of service being provided is not good enough when compared to what is obtainable in other climes.
His words, “A lot of people get put off by the way we receive them at the airports, the way we treat them in the buses, the way treat them at the hotel reception points, the way we clean their rooms and the way we provide them service generally. I think if as Nigerians we are able to really improve on that aspect, it’s going to be a huge catalyst in trying to revamp and really get the full potential of the tourism sector,” he stressed.
Malam Bello said operators in the sector must change their attitude towards service delivery by ensuring that the environment is clean and available facilities work to optimum standards if they were to turn around the fortunes of the industry.
“We have to work on service delivery. It’s not really the quality or sophistication of what we provide. Some of the places you go, you find that really, the furniture is simple, locally made, the buildings are locally made. But the facilities work. The cleanliness is emphasized”.
The Minister reiterated the willingness of the FCT Administration to partner with the stakeholders in the tourism sector by making available accurate data of all tourist destinations in the FCT as well as facilities for the training and retraining of manpower in the sector.
He said, “The social secretariat will provide you with all what we have in terms of tourist sites, in terms of facilities that we have that could serve as meeting points as you train, facilities that have some semblance of accommodation that you can house youngsters that you want to train for a week or two”.



“So, any requirement that will involve partnering with you and the other agencies will, we will do it. In the FCT within our agencies, we have units and departments really specifically meant to cater for this and in the past, we’ve had a lot of interventions,” the Minister emphasized.
Malam Bello while stressing that the FCT Administration shares the vision of achieving a massive turnaround in the tourism sector, however called for synergy among the major players in the industry.
Earlier in her remarks, the DG, NIHOTOUR, Mrs. Chika Balogun said there is need to reposition the FCT to become a major destination that will attract conferences, not only within Nigeria but from the West African sub-region as well as the rest of the world.
“We have to be a conference destination that is actually dedicated to going to solicit for those things and doing all the needful for us to begin to attract conferences to Nigeria. It is a sign of very big business and one low hanging fruit that we can very easily pluck.

“We will like to partner with you in terms of training and retraining the manpower within the FCT. We would like to be your number one partner in terms of training especially within the hospitality and tourism industry,” the DG said.  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Omisore, others call on govt, others to fund museums



A two-time senator at the National Assembly, Iyiola Omisore and some archaeologists have called on leaders in the country to resuscitate museums by proper and regular funding to make them attraction centres for indigenous and foreign tourists.
They made the call yesterday during the international museum day at the Museum of National Unity, Ibadan.
Omisore who presented a keynote address at the event suggested that branding and increased social media presence; infusion of technology into display of artefacts, photographs and documents could attract tourists to museums across the country.
Other factors, he feels, could save the dying museums, include introduction of more flexible hours, multiple exhibition facilities; creation of inter school competitions in the museum to arouse the curiosity and research among youths would make museum enjoy good patronage.
While presenting the guest lecture entitled, " Museums and Contested histories-Saying the Unspeakable in Museums, Dr Ogunfolakan Adisa from the Natural Museum, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife underscored the importance of museums in national development.
According to him, museum plays pivotal role in national development. For instance, the artefacts of Civil War, Kiriji War involving Ijesa and Ibadan which are in our museum will constantly remind us that war is not good and that we should toe the path of peace.
He spoke further that "When I went to Igbo, I saw the technology prowess of Igbo, some war equipment they manufactured during the Civil War, if not for museum which have all these artefacts, how do we know about African technology?"
He lamented that museums across the country are not well funded.
"We have to help these people. In developed world, you see people coming out to help. Our museums in Nigeria are dying. I call on well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of museums so that they can perform well," he said.
The Director General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman who was represented by the Deputy Director and Curator, National Museum of Unity, Ibadan, Elder Amos Olorunnipa, said, "museums as educational resource centres are veritable institutions for the promotion of creativity, innovation and inventiveness through their exhibitions and programmes".
He called on institutions that have existed for 50 years to or more to set up museums to document their histories and on schools to make visits to the museum a compulsory part of their teaching process.
This, he added would greatly assist the misunderstanding of the past, an appreciation of the preset and the planning of a better future.

Awards were given to Senator Iyiola Omisore, Mr. Toye Arulogun, Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Newton Jibunoh and Dr Segun Opadeji, Senior Lecturer, Archaeology and Anthropology Department, University of Ibadan.  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Tourism stakeholders want government to dissuade Pastor TB Joshua’s from relocating to Israel

Some stakeholders in the tourism sector on Sunday advised the Federal and Lagos State Governments to dissuade Pastor Temitope Joshua, popularly known as, TB Joshua, from relocating the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) to Israel from Nigeria.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria that Nigeria would lose billions of naira to religious tourism if Temitope Joshua and SCOAN should make the plan real.

NAN reports that TB Joshua, during one of his church services , recently said that he was planning to relocate to Israel from Ikotun, a suburb of Lagos.

It was reported that TB Joshua was in Israel recently where he held meetings with the mayors of Jerusalem, Tiberia and the Jordan Valley.

He was quoted as saying that he was offered different facilities very close to the biblical site of the Sea of Galilee where he could organise meetings for international pilgrims.

NAN also reports that SCOAN established in 1994 does not have another branch in Nigeria outside its international headquarters located in Ikotun.
Image result for tb joshua

Some heads of government from African countries had also visited SCOAN to seek spiritual restoration and advice from Pastor TB Joshua

Mrs Ime Udo, the General Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NANTA) told NAN that Nigeria would lose billions of naira from religious tourism revenue if SCOAN actualised its planned relocation to Israel.

Udo said Joshua’s planned action would lead to a reduction in the human traffic of local and foreign religious tourists that normally patronised SCOAN.

Udo said, “Religious obligations have become a fashionable trend all over the world as a means of expressing beliefs and faith in the ability of God to protect and guide mankind.

“Religious practices both under the auspices of Christianity, Islam and traditional practices have in no small way contributed to the development of tourism in the world.

“Christian pilgrimages to Israel have formed an economic platform for the empowerment of the localities and contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

“Also, Saudi Arabia has been benefitting immensely economically from many Islamic faithful who converge there twice annually on holy pilgrimage.

“With these scenarios and many others around the world, it has become valid that religious tourism has become a source of economic revival to a country and its people, “she said.

According to her, thousands of foreign religious tourists visit SCOAN monthly to worship and for other spiritual healings.

She said that these tourists would fly into Nigeria; lodge in hotels, board commercial vehicles, patronise eateries and visit other tourists’ sites around the locality.

Udo said that all these had been translating into huge revenue for the Nigeria economy.

“The local community; hotel operators, food vendors and others around SCOAN must have benefitted from tourists.


“SCOAN has, no doubt, contributed immensely to the tourism profile of Nigeria with several heads of government from various African countries that had visited there to seek spiritual restoration and advise from Pastor TB Joshua, ” she said.

Udo advised the Federal and Lagos State Governments to encourage SCOAN o remain in Nigeria as part ways to develop our tourism sector.

A member of SCOAN, Mrs Iyabo Emmanuel, said that she was in church service when their General Overseer, Pastor TB Joshua, announced to the members on the offer given to him by the Israeli Mayors.

Mrs Emmanuel, popularly called “Iya’’( Mother) Synagogue, said that Pastor Joshua never said that he had agreed to such a proposal from the mayors.

“I have been worshipping in SCOAN since 1994 when TB Joshua established it newly in Ikotun area.

“I worked with TB Joshua for 15years before I resigned and ventured into selling of provisions. Then, I was the chef; head of canteen and bakery.

“I am still a full-time member of the church and I will continue to worship there. I am one of those that had benefitted from the church,” she said.

Emmanuel said that many residents and business owners would suffer if TB Joshua should relocate SCOAN from Ikotun.

She said that majority of business owners around the area depended solely on the visitors to the church and they used to patronise facilities around the church.

A hotel operator, Mrs Anthonia Chuks, told NAN that if the rumour that TB Joshua was relocating to Israel eventually turned to reality, the hospitality business in that area and the state would suffer and fold up.

“Ninety–five per cent of guests that lodge in hotels in the community are international and local visitors outside Lagos and they are SCOAN members.

“We have over 130 rooms and are always fully booked every weekend.

“ We usually enjoy huge patronage from Fridays to Sundays weekly; and they are mostly SCOAN members from near and far,” she said.

Similarly, Mr Solomon Oyelade, a car-hire operator, said that since the rumour of the planned relocation of the church to Israel, the patronage of cabs had reduced drastically.

Oyelade said that in the past, he used to go to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos seven times in a day to transport international passengers down to SCOAN.
“But, since the incident of collapsed building in the church premises years back, the patronage of foreigners had reduced.

“ With this present rumour of relocation, we hardly carry passengers from Airport two times a day. The patronage has reduced beyond expectations, “he said.

Also, Mr Uche Maduako, a food vendor, appealed to TB Joshua not to accept such offer from the Israeli mayors.
He said that behind every rumour there is an iota of truth.

He also urged the Federal and the Lagos State Governments to support the continuing stay of TB Joshua in the country.
“The government should make the country worth staying for him and ensure they support him in all ramifications,” he said.
Maduako urged the government to renovate the bad roads around the church, adding that the condition of the roads was not encouraging.
He said that the contributions and impacts of TB Joshua in that community could not be overemphasis.
“The man of God has contributed immensely to the betterment of the community; employed thousands of graduates and non-graduates to work in the church and in other investments of the church.

“TB Joshua always ensures that there is constant power supply and adequate security in the area, ” he said.

OGBA ZO0 LAND GRAB: OBASEKI SHOULD ACT NOW


 
Andy Osa Ehanire is the Chief Executive of Ogba Zoo and Nature Park, Benin City, Edo State and also the National Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Zoos and Parks (NAZAP). He speaks on their efforts at resuscitating this foremost eco–tourism enclave in a bid to bring back its lost glory but all that is now being frustrated by the activities of land grabbers and poachers, with the Edo State government appearing to be looking on as if helpless, despite outcries by the zoo management.
 
Ogba Zoo and Nature Park is Edo State’s foremost conservation and tourism enclave, please tell us about the historical background and what it was meant to achieve?

The Ogba Zoo, which we manage, was designed and developed in the early seventies by then military administrator of former Bendel State, the late Brig. General Samuel O. Ogbemudia. Its concept was an extensive biological garden, with potentials for resort development. In tandem with the ambitious and iconic scale of Ogbemudia’s drive and vision for the then Midwest Region, later Bendel State, and now Edo/Delta States. Ogba Zoo was at par or even surpassed most of its kind, both far and near. 
Soon after Ogbemudia’s regime, Ogba Zoo suffered a long era of decline and eventual collapse, spanning the late eighties and nineties.  By the time of our private sector - led intervention in the year 2000, the zoo was already in the ‘mortuary’ and was like ready to be written off the books. 
Such was a far cry from the laudable vision of its founder.
 
What was the mandate given to your firm by the state government at the time of taking over the management of the zoo?

 
Family time at the Zoo
Our mandate was to reverse the rot or what was left of the decayed zoo, in order to revitalise its essential functions as an urban recreational park and field laboratory in the biological sciences, where schools and colleges in the entire sub-region derived conservation education and awareness. It must be understood that the decline and neglect of any zoo is always horrible, since without a proper winding-down procedure, the animals suffer neglect and deprivations akin to torture. 
It is instructive that the treatment of wildlife in any society can be likened to the barometer for measuring the level of its humanity, hence the circumstances of the collapse of Ogba Zoo, or any of such therefore, would amount to criminal neglect in humane or civilised societies. 
Given the chequered history of the zoo, how would you describe the effort of your company in bringing it back from the brink? 
The extent of its abandonment and decay, notwithstanding, Ogba Zoo experienced a painful rebirth through our rescue mission, which was purely self-financing, with no support from government. On the contrary, it is the nature of the lease agreement we hold that our private sector led eco-tourism outfit pays rents to the government. But as challenging as reviving a moribund zoo was, there were other hidden challenges that can hardly be imagined in a sane society.
 
What were some of these challenges?

It started as a minor incursion by community land grabbers into the zoo land until it was aided by official government instruments in the form of a gazette. Even with government claiming, soon after, that it committed an error in issuing such gazette, which was attested to by two administrative panels set up to look into the problems at the initial stage, unfortunately, the errant instrument has not been repealed for more than 10 years running. This legal instrument has unwittingly served as a license for unlimited plundering of a foremost tourism heritage of the State. 
All these years of battling the encroachment on the zoo, our private-sector led management was as good as left to solely tackle the growing menace unaided. With little or no response to the dozens of memos from us crying for speedy deployment of government’s machineries to dislodge and prosecute offenders.

Andy Ehanire

Could you say exactly the amount of the zoo’s land that has been taken over by these land grabbers?
 
The land area encroached upon grew from about 10% of the zoo land that was purportedly ceded by the gazette, to more than 60% of the entire zoo. It was like a horror movie seeing bulldozers levelling priceless forestry in this pristine conservation heritage that had been a classic urban forest rarely found anywhere in the world. 
It is a sad commentary that these last three years (2014 to 2016) have seen the greatest devastation of the zoo, even when the then Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomhole, would be making pronouncements as to immediate government intervention. While not tolerating any nonsense in other areas, all the administrative machineries of his government were appearing helpless in the face of the onslaught on Ogba Zoo. With all the Forest Guards and other security agencies providing escorts for revenue drive and the protection of politicians / private businessmen, none could be spared for the patrol of the encroached sections of Ogba Zoo.
 
Besides writing memos to the state governor and other concerned interests, what other actions were taken by your firm to secure the zoo from further encroachment?
 
It eventually dawned on me that I had been encircled by a mammoth conspiracy and therefore published a series of open letters to the Comrade Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, calling for an administrative or judicial inquiry, but all to no avail. It also became evident that a cabal was bent on sharing most of the zoo land without any official government process but using the diabolical ploy of community youths and thugs as decoy. 
The sum effect was to create widespread but dangerous impression in the area that government had acquiesced to sharing the zoo land, but that we were the only one standing in the way. It was also painfully obvious that the security situation had long degenerated, with threats and suspicions of ecological terrorism becoming a constant nightmare, yet our pleas for police protection went unheeded. We expended huge resources on frequent police patrols, but in spite of all the Forestry Laws criminalizing all manners of trespass in this Reserve, the police authorities insisted that it was a civil matter and their role was only to ensure “peace”. 
It was rather intended to intimidate than merely to inform, when some government officials declared that an infamous government political appointee and other cultists were amongst those carrying on with illegal development on the zoo, but did not take any action to stem the tide of incursions. 
Fingers also pointed at the state House of Assembly committee members, who were assigned to look into the issues, but spent over three years purporting to be engaging community agents without any new position on the matter. This was after an initial committee by it had declared that the encroachment was illegal and unacceptable, as far back as 2011. Meanwhile, all these were happening at the time of the worst incursions and impunities, making it all an uncanny coincidence. Experts have even recommended that the area be declared a non-development zone, as it is prone to erosion and landslide once the vegetation cover is removed, but this warning was unheeded.    
 
It was in the public domain that at a point you opted for arbitration, tell us about the outcome this arbitration?  
 
We eventually had recourse to this arbitration process in order to encapsulate the issues in proper legal perspectives. Our reliefs were substantially granted with compensatory considerations. The arbitration Award was forwarded to the Government for it implementation since January this year and we are anxiously awaiting compliance, as there was no appeal against the ruling. The bottom-line is that Government is to protect this heritage and grant us peaceful possession for all our eco-tourism operations. Immediate delineation and survey of the Zoo land is paramount, as well as fulltime security protection. 
It is, however, disheartening that even while the arbitration was ongoing and up till the Award was published, various levels of devastations are still being unleashed on the zoo and its assets without Government’s response. For example, even after the arbitrating ruling, a six block staff quarters meant to keep critical personnel of the zoo resident in close proximity to the zoo was bulldozed and the land taken over by some well connected individuals. 
A purpose-built lion enclosure in the middle of the encroached land was also bulldozed only last month (April) and the foundation of a mansion is coming up on the site. The case of the zoo staff quarters that have now been demolished is of particular interest since it was part of the specific provisions in the arbitration award requiring it to be dedicated for the use of the zoo.

Have you in anyway made effort to draw the attention of the new state governor, Godwin Obaseki, to the plight of the zoo?
 
We have sent letters to Governor Obaseki on the extant matters and maintained contacts with the Solicitor General and the SSG of the State. We equally sought and have been promised audience with the Governor, but it is on record that he recently told a visiting FRIN delegation that he would move swiftly to deal with the encroachment issues concerning the Zoo. We are, therefore, hopeful that the new governor will take a decisive approach to save the zoo from the grips of brigandage and looters. We are also anxious as to when specific government interventions would commence to save the zoo, before all that needs to be saved are totally destroyed. 
However, to be compelled to resort to a costly arbitration process as a last resort in demanding appropriate interventions to save the Zoo, is perhaps a callous burden to be imposed on a struggling zoo seeking a second lease of life. 
We do pray that the forces of light will prevail over those of darkness in this nascent and very promising administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki.  My role in the rescue and resuscitation of Ogba Zoo has evolved from just its management, to that of an activist, since the Nigerian Association of Zoos and Parks (NAZAP), of which I am the national secretary, is aimed at the pioneering mission of bringing sanity to all the zoos across Nigeria.