Sheraton Abuja Hotel has announced a variety of offers geared towards celebrating the World Lasagna Day.

Lasagna is a popular Italian delicacy, which has become an attraction at its Luigi’s Italian Restaurant inside the hotel.

“Lasagna is a delicious traditional Italian delicacy that often brings our patrons to our Luigi’s Italian Restaurant to indulge and connect.

“We offer varieties according to each customer craving; from chicken lasagna to vegetarian lasagna with a blend of ricotta, mozzarella, parmigiana-reggiano and béchamel; each totally delivers a unique and delicious blend of textures and flavors to each menu.

According to General Manager of the Hotel, Nouman Irshad, the Abuja Sheraton will offer 50 per cent discounts as well as complimentary drinks for guests on the World Lasagna Day, in addition to the delicacy being prepared according to the guest’s preferences.

“In making Lasagna day much more enriching, Sheraton Abuja Hotel will be offer guests 50 per cent off each baked Lasagna alongside a complimentary soft drink on the 29th of July 2018. If you purchase two Lasagnas on that day you equally get a free lasagna any day of your choice.

“Food enthusiasts who come from a long tradition of home-made lasagna are welcome to a romantic setting where our chefs will be available to make that complicated lasagna recipe right before your eyes.

“At Sheraton Abuja Hotel, we go beyond to ensure that every moment you share with us is an unforgettable one that brings people together as they share those memories,” enthused Irshad.

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Stories by VICTOR NZE

Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili on Wednesday said that Lagos would play a pivotal role in the organisation’s quest to promote new tourism destinations across the world.

Pololikashvili, who made this known when he led a high powered delegation, consisting eight Ministers of Tourism and representatives from 44 countries across Africa on a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, said the Technical Visit to the State, as part of the activities for the just concluded 61st UNWTO/CAF Meeting in Abuja, was a pointer to the role Lagos would play in developing tourism in the continent.

Describing the visit to Lagos as the best part of the meeting, the UNWTO Scribe said, “We are here to promote new tourism destinations. You can count on us, thanks to you, to promote this fantastic place. Thanks for receiving us and rest assured that Lagos will be one of the most important parts of our strategy branding.”

Responding, Ambode said the massive investment in infrastructural renewal by his administration was a well thought out strategy to position Lagos as a tourism hub.

“We believe that with the kind of population and the market that Lagos has, we must start to create tourism infrastructure to be able to grow the economy, that’s why as you move across Lagos, you would observe that it is technically a construction site; from the airport and as you go on the bridges and also when you go to the Eko Atlantic City.

“But the ultimate goal is that these infrastructure will now drive people to come and spend their weekend here, just the way you have decided to spend your Wednesday here in Lagos and the government gets some form of revenue from taxes when people use our hotels.

“So there is a cycle of development that tourism tries to drive and that is why we have continuously supported whatever has to do with tourism and let me reiterate also that we would continue to support everything tourism because anything that can integrate and bound the continent together, that’s where we should go because we are the next story,” Ambode said.

He said a UN report in 2016 showed that 86 people enter into Lagos every one hour, with only Mumbai coming close with 79, followed by New York and London with 7 and 9 respectively, adding that it was a viable opportunity to use tourism to drive human and capital development.

“Lagos has almost a population of 24 million right now. According to UN report, as at 2016, 86 people enter into Lagos every one hour and most likely not wanting to go back. Next is Mumbai, 79; New York 7; London, 9.

“So, why are people coming to Lagos and not wanting to go back? It means that at a point where we are not able to provide jobs for them, we need to start looking at the area of tourism to be able to create that next port of building the State’s GDP and tap into the creative mind of our people, which is something that we have not really been doing across Africa,” the Governor said.

Welcoming the delegation to the State, Governor Ambode said the technical visit by the delegation was auspicious, as it would provide an avenue for top players in the tourism sector from the across the continent to rub minds and forge a common course towards making Africa the choice destination for tourists across the world.

“In this whole tourism industry, we are just an integral part of the whole bonding story that we are trying to build across Africa. This is very significant for us because now that we are beginning to see that every destination is an important destination across the continent, it is important that we integrate ourselves and also share whatever possibilities and opportunities that we have together.

Remarking, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed thanked Governor Ambode for his support towards the hosting of the 61st UNWTO/CAF Meeting in Nigeria, saying that it was largely responsible for the success of the event.

“Without the generous support and cooperation of Lagos State this 61st UNWTO/CAF Meeting would not have been possible. When I ran into difficulties it was my brother that I came to and he bailed me out. I remain eternally grateful to you and Nigeria is very grateful to you because your support has made the Meeting successful,” the Minister said.

He said the visit to Lagos was a major part of the conference and Lagos was chosen because of its foremost place in the country’s tourism architecture, adding that the massive investment in tourism infrastructure by Governor Ambode has gone a long way to show the State’s seriousness to emerge as a leading tourism hub in Nigeria and Africa.

The day-long Technical Visit saw the 101 delegation from UNWTO, including Ministers of Tourism from eight countries and representatives from 44 countries in Africa visit the Eko Atlantic City in Victoria Island, regarded as the biggest of its kind in Africa with world class facilities that would further drive tourism in Nigeria.

mmia

MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos

Despite concerns raised by stakeholders in the country’s aviation industry, the Federal Government has again confirmed the December date for take-off of the operations for the proposed National Carrier.

Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, said, weekend, that the proposed national airline for Nigeria would be unveiled before the end of the year.

Sirika gave the assurance while receiving the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance for the establishment of the airline from Mr Chidi Izuwah, the Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).

The Minister said that the presentation of the Certificate was a testament on how far the project had gone.

The proposed airline will gulp $8.8million preliminary cost and $300 million as take-off cost.

Sirika has maintained that the Federal Government is not fully funding the airline as it has adopted midwifing it via the option of a Public Private partnership, to deliver a national carrier that would stand the test of time and be world class in operation and management.

According to Sirika, Nigeria will receive the first set of five airplanes for the airliner, December 19.

The airline will make profit in three years after operations, he said.

“We will make the investments and follow the business plan through private sector management.

“We intend to get a 30 aircraft market in five years. But we will begin with five aircraft on the day of lunch. It was not clear whether an order has been made for the aircraft, but the minister in May met a team from Boeing in Abuja.

“At Farnborough International Public Airshow coming July 18, 2018 in London, we will unveil the name, logo, colour scheme, the structure and the type of airplane about the national carrier. We will also place order for the aircraft at the event,” he said.

Sirika explained that the government would step in to cover the funding gap at the onset and ease out thereafter, adding that government would not get involved in the management of the national carrier.

He said Nigeria’s population of over 180 million people is huge enough to support aviation, adding that the airline would take advantage of Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) that the country had with over 70 countries.

According to him, it will also take advantage of the African Single Air Transport Market and will be the best player if the government gets it right.

“But if we don’t, it will become a threat to us. But I believe we are on the right track.

The minister also gave an assurance that the national carrier would not kill the domestic airlines operating in the country.

Director General of ICRC, Izuwah, said the presentation of the Certificate of Compliance was an official green light to proceed with the procurement process, further explaining that government would bring its contribution to kick-start the airline, adding that the amount of equity the partners would hold would determine government contribution.

According to him, start-up cost over the next three years is about $300 million, but pre-start-up is $8.8 million.

“The rest of the investment will be equity injection which will happen in tranches because you do not need all the monies at once. External capital injection also depends on the profitability of the airline.

“Though, you need that initial government financial to make it take off, but what is important is that the national carrier will be entirely private sector controlled. There will be zero government interference. But if that happens, it invalidates the certificate and the entire process.

“This is a bankable business, and the government will get a strategic partner who will invest in the national carrier and when we get through the bidding process, more facts will emerge. The government will have to spend the pre-start-up cost like the brand name, the office and other start up.

“It will be a world class airline with domestic, regional and international operations,” he said.

Operators and other stakeholders alike, have consistently called on the Federal Government to ensure that challenges bedeviling the aviation industry in the area of regulations, are fixed before embarking on the planned roll out of the National Carrier.

The experts posit that if these issues are not effectively addressed before the emergence of the National Carrier, then what befell its predecessor, the Nigeria Airways, which wound up in September 2004, awaits the new project.

Nigeria presently has less than eight viable private operators in the industry, as many others have closed shop or under administration.

“Domestic airlines, on the average, pay about 35 per cent to 40 per cent of a ticket cost as taxes and charges that come under the guise of statutory levies in addition to other charges. These include 5 per cent Ticket Sales Charge, 5 per cent Cargo Sales Charge, 5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT), Passenger Service Charge, Charter Sales Charge, Aircraft Inspection Fees, Simulator Inspection Fees, Landing Charges, Parking Charges, Terminal Navigational Charge, Enroute Charge, Fuel Surcharge, Airport Space Rent, Electricity Charges, and Apron Pass, Ramp Access Charges, ODC and a newly imposed Registration Fee all of which are paid to government agencies.

“Many of these taxes and charges amount to double taxation such that any incentive seemingly provided by government to airlines is taken back by the agencies.

“The Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA) charges domestic airlines different kinds of navigational charges which they should ordinarily be exempted from in line with global best practice, except Nigeria. The implemented charges range from Terminal Navigational charges to enroute navigation charges, Over-flight charges, clearance charges, and extension charges. Even foreign airlines don’t pay enroute charges or extension charges which the local airlines are forced to pay,” according to Chairman of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Capt. Nogie Meggison, who further lamented that even with all these charges, many of the airports in the country do not have runway lights and navigational landing aids stating that such airports are only open between 7am and 6pm daily.

Also commenting, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Area Manager, Southwest Africa, Mr. Samson Fatokun, said during a Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) parley with AON, recently, that the tax agency should assist airlines in Nigeria by evolving measures that will ensure their sustenance. Absence of such assistance, he said, has led to the collapse of many airlines.

While identifying multiple charges as part of the problems airlines grapple with, Fatokun said Nigerian carriers have an average mortality rate of 10 years, stressing that there was an inherent problem in the operating environment that increases the high mortality rate.

Rising from a one-day sensitization workshop on the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), also known as the African Open Skies agreement, which took place last April at the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Annex under the theme: ‘Implementation of SAATM: Its impact on the Nigerian Aviation Industry and National Economy,’ Meggison used the platform to further raise worries over the harsh operational environment in Nigeria.

“Nigerian airlines are subjected to multiple charges, taxes, levies and fees. On the average, we pay about 37 different charges that come under the guise of statutory levies and taxes to sustain staff strength of about 18,000 staff of the various government agencies compared to most African carriers who pay a fraction in their countries to support staff strength of less than 500,” he said.

wpid-13_1258_image001.jpg

sheraton lagos hotel, ikeja

By VICTOR NZE 

Nigeria’s total hotel room capacity is projected to reach 12, 600, representing a 5.4 per cent rise from its 9, 700 figure in 2017, according to a report by the London-based professional services network, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Thursday.

This is, however, as the West African hospitality industry is yet to overcome challenges identified to include; high capital investment, lack of access to adequate financing options, limited access to raw materials, high construction and material costs, inadequate technical capacity to manage the development programme, as well as a heavy reliance on importation, which have consistently formed barriers to entry of new investors into the sub-regional hospitality market, according to the W Hospitality outlook in its November 2017 report.

Incidentally, that W Hospitality report also slammed the Nigerian hospitality industry for single-handedly accounting for 61 stalled projects, representing 49.6 per cent or more than 10,000 hotel rooms out of the over 20, 000 uncompleted in the sub-region alone.

The newly-released PwC report, on the contrary, which forecast a positive outlook for the Nigerian hospitality industry, insists that ‘Nigeria is expected to be the fastest-growing country over the next five years. A number of new hotels are scheduled to be opened during this time. Continued improvement in the domestic economy will also lead to faster growth in guest nights.’

PwC’s eighth edition of the Hotels outlook: 2018-2022 includes information about hotel accommodation in South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius, Kenya and Tanzania.

The report which surveyed the sub-Saharan Africa over the next five years, said the region’s hotel sector has the potential for further growth over the next five years.

“An increase in the number of foreign and domestic travellers, as well as an expansion in a number of hotel chains on the continent reinforces the hotel sector’s untapped potential for business growth,” it said.

The report projects that hotel room revenue for the five markets as a group will increase at a 7.4 per cent compound annual rate to $3.7bn in 2022 from $2.6bn in 2017.

“Tourism to the African continent has proven to be resilient in the face of economic and political uncertainty, impacts of droughts and other regulatory changes. The opportunities are aplenty for this industry to enjoy further growth albeit at a more modest pace. However, as we continue to see there are also a number of challenges facing each country. This is an industry that is reactive to the smallest change in political, regulatory, safety and sustainability matters,” said Pietro Calicchio, Hospitality Industry Leader, PwC Southern Africa.

“While the fundamentals affecting tourism to South Africa remain favourable, helped by an improving global and local economy, it is impacted by other factors like the water shortage in Cape Town. As there is little historical precedence, it is difficult to project the impact of the drought on tourism. Although bookings were down in Cape Town, overall tourism to South Africa held up during the festive season and actually picked up in the first quarter of 2018. Hotels in Cape Town are taking a number of steps to conserve water. If the winter rainfall continues at the current rate, the crisis may be limited in scope.

“Nigeria is expected to be the fastest-growing country over the next five years. A number of new hotels are scheduled to be opened during this time. Continued improvement in the domestic economy will also lead to faster growth in guest nights.

“Kenya, Tanzania and Mauritius should be the next fastest growing, with compound annual increases of 9.6 per cent, 9.1 per cent and 7.2 per cent, respectively. South Africa is projected to be the slowest growing market with a 5.6 per cent compound annual increase in room revenue.

 

“The hotel markets in Nigeria and Mauritius continued to perform well in 2017 with both achieving double-digit growth whereas Kenya and Tanzania had decreases in room revenue. For the forecast period as a whole, the number of available rooms in Nigeria will rise from 9, 700 in 2017 to 12, 600 in 2022, a 5.4 per cent compound annual increase – still the largest expansion of any country in the report.

“The hotels and tourism sectors in each of the countries in our report are all showing signs of continued growth over the forecast period. Tourism remains an important part of each economy. However, the smallest change or disruption can have a fundamental impact on the future growth of each market. “It is therefore important that investors, hotel operators, tourism bodies and governments continue to work together to grow this important industry and ensure its sustainability so that all stakeholders derive the maximum benefit from it,” Calicchio concluded.

It would be recalled that the W Hospitality Group 2017 Hotel Chains Pipeline report identified 61 stalled projects in Nigeria alone, representing 49.6 per cent or more than 10,000 hotel rooms out of the over 20, 000 uncompleted in the sub-region alone.

“West Africa has a pipeline of 114 hotels and 20,790 rooms, accounting for 42 per cent of the sub-Saharan African hotel pipeline. However, of these hotel deals signed and planned, only approximately 9,875 rooms, or 48 per cent have moved to construction.

“Of the hotel pipeline for West Africa, Nigeria contributes 49.6 per cent or more than 10,000 hotel rooms (in 61 hotels).  Nigeria is also the top market in Africa for planned rooms,” said the report.

Expressing worry over the poor or inadequate hotel supply, the report pointed out that some hotel pipeline projects signed since 2009 by international hotel chains with Nigerians firms are yet to take off.

“40 per cent of Nigeria’s pipeline was signed between 2009 and 2014, a large portion of these projects is still in the “planning” phase. In Senegal, only approximately 44 per cent of the deals signed have moved to site.

“The other substantial markets in West Africa include Cape Verde with 11 hotels and 3,478 rooms, and Senegal with 14 hotels and 2,164 rooms. These three markets contribute a total of 15,955 hotel rooms, or 77 per cent of the West African hotel pipeline.

“Approximately 57 per cent of the pipeline in these countries has moved to site, however some of these projects have been stalled for some time. In a country, like Nigeria, this can be significant.

The report which though opined that the pipeline of hotels to the sub-region is encouraging and indicative of strong investor interest, however, said the low completion rate of projects could be troubling for the development of the hotel sector.

“It is also difficult for the hotel chains whose expansion plans in these markets rely on partnerships with local and foreign investors to develop these hotels. All the major global hotel chains have strong expansion plans to increase their operating presence on the continent, and in West Africa,” it said.

Delta

Delta

Delta Air Lines has said it flew a record 50 million customers in the three months from April to June, with nearly 17.7 million flying on mainline and the Delta Connection flights around the world.

“While June 30, 2017, still holds the record for most customers flown on a single day at more than 646,000, the Friday before the 2018 Fourth of July holiday was not far behind with just a thousand fewer customers flown.

“Still, June 2018 was a busy month, racking up six of the top 10 consolidated passenger days of all time — the remaining four days all happened in summer 2017 — proving yet again that it’s summer, not the Thanksgiving and winter holidays, that takes the cake for busiest days of the year.

“We’ve made a commitment to our customers to be a reliability leader, delivering a safe, on-time product and the 80,000 employees of Delta are doing just that,” said Dave Holtz, Delta’s Senior Vice President — Operations and Customer Center, adding: “We’re seeing customers fly Delta in record numbers this summer and it’s a resounding testament to the hard work and focus of our employees.”

Based on the current schedule, Delta and Delta Connection expect to operate 6,092 flights systemwide on July 20, the highest one-day total for the year.

Dana Air re-brands loyalty programme

Posted: July 11, 2018 in general
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Dana AirDana Air has rebranded its Dana Miles loyalty programme to Dana Miles Club

This is as the airline confirmed that the membership of the reward programme has reached a record 18,000

Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, the Media and Communications Manager of the airline, Kingsley Ezenwa, said the airline had to rebrand as a result of its growing membership and increased benefits attached to the tiers of membership – Blue, Silver  and Gold.”

‘’We have rebranded our reward program to Dana Miles club as a result of the growing membership and benefits. We are glad that our guests are now realizing the need to go cashless and use more of their miles for upgrade from economy to business class, payment of excess and alot of other flight and none flight related benefits.”

”We have had a case where someone travelling with his family ran out of cash and couldn’t pay for his excess baggage but used his excess miles to pay and still got an upgrade from economy to business class cabin. There are loads of benefits attached to being a member of the club and we are glad to have been able to grow its membership to this all-time high.”

World CupExcitement hits fever pitch at the Marriott International Hotels spread out across Nigeria as fans get together to enjoy the games and engage in thrilling contests that showcase their love for football.

According to the Area General Manager (AGM) for the Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton and Le Meridien Hotels in Nigeria, Mr. Barry Curran, the hotels have lined out activities to thrill guests and visitors alike through-out the month-long soccer fiesta.

“Our hotels have planned events and activities that are sure to position our venues as the best places in town to cheer your favourite teams and celebrate your love for the games this season,” said Curran.

The emphasis lies this season at the Adrenaline Bar at Four Points by Sheraton Lagos. The Bar set-up will emanate a vibrant and fun atmosphere with flags of participating countries displayed at the lobby as well as lots of activities and surprises around the games. Guests can participate in a month long “scavenger hunt” for further excitement – and the winner takes it all with exciting prizes. Fans can try their “kick” at the mini football pitch at the lobby which offers opportunities to snap your cherished moments with a selfie. These activities and the excitement will extend into the hotel’s Blue Bar and Office Bar. Guests can pick their favorite team flag and cheer them on with friends and Guess & Win branded Best Brews giveaways and gift vouchers during the matches. #cheerwithfourpoints and relive your passion for a good game.

At Sheraton Lagos Hotel, the ambience has been set and the games will be viewed on a large screen Television at the lobby with high tables while meal deals representing the various participating countries will be on offer along with sponsored giveaways from renowned beverage sponsors. Other drink sponsors have equally provided flags around the hotel and lobby with games such as astro turf in feature.

Those visiting Sheraton Abuja Hotel are in for a fun time as Budweiser will be handing out Score cards which will be given to over 400 first-to-arrive customers between the lobby bar and Pool Bar & Restaurant; this entitles them to win free drinks with each goal scored.

What is more, the excitement continues on social media with competitions galore. Use the following hashtags; #cheerwithfourpoints #fourpointsbestbrews, #adrenalinebar and game on…the excitement never stops.

“These enlivening events around the games will certainly bring our hotels to the fore as ideal venues for enthusiasts to follow the games and live their passion with our unique and exciting food and beverage offers,” said Barry Curran.

FUNAI 2

Some of the participants at the just-concluded ANA/FUNAI conference and literary workshop which held in Ebonyi State from June 18 to 19

VICTOR NZE 

Vice Chancellor of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Prof. Chinedu Nwajiuba, has restated commitment of the institution at driving the reading culture in both the state and country.

Nwajiuba said this during the opening of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA)/FUNAI first-ever conference on the criticism of contemporary Nigerian literature from the June 18-19, 2018.

Nwajiuba who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof Solomon Ego, expressed the delight of the university at being asked by ANA to host the conference, just as he informed the audience that the University strongly believes such intellectual exercise will lead to the development of the reading culture and Nigerian literature.

History was made for Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu -Alike Ikwo (FUNAI) in Ebonyi State with the hosting of the first-ever conference on the criticism of contemporary Nigerian literature which also had a literary workshop was tagged “Expanding Frontiers: Nigeria’s creative writing in the 21st Century.”

The conference, according to the President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Mallam Denja Abdullahi, in his opening address, was conceived to unbundle the seminar series hitherto part of the Association’s annual convention.

Also he stated that the conference was designed to divert necessary critical attention to our contemporary literature suffering from the dearth of rigorous criticism, often only available in journals restricted to academics and higher institutions.

According to him, the main objective of the conference is to re-popularize literary criticism as a handmaiden of creativity and a vibrant reading culture.

In his Keynote Speech at the conference titled; “Expanding Frontiers of Nigerian Literature: Aesthetics and Technological continuities and Transformations,” Professor Isidore Diala of the Imo State University, Owerri, took the audience round the trends in Nigerian literature from the beginning to the present time, delineating all the major themes and styles.

His presentation formed the major plank of discourse at the writer/critics’ forum that followed in which Prof JOJ Nwachukwu Agbada, Prof Sam Ukala, Prof Ogaga Okuyade, Dr Ismala Bala and Ikeogu Oke led discussions. The very robust discussions dwelled majorly on the issue of tradition and canon formation in Nigerian literature.

The first day of the conference also witnessed the workshops in the areas of drawing, poetry and drama.

All participants at the conference featured in the workshops with the one in drawing led by the Art Coordinator of the University and the one in poetry led by Prof Joe Ushie, a renowned poet and scholar from University of Uyo and that of drama led by Prof Sam Ukala, 2014 NLNG LITERATURE prize award winner for drama.

A competitive segment rounded up the three workshops and winners were announced and awarded on the second day of the workshop.

The second day of the conference started with the presentations of two lead papers by Prof E E Sule of IBB University, Lapai who spoke on “Diapora Positioning, Identity Politics and the Crisis of Contemporary Nigerian Literature” and Prof Oyeniyi Okunoye of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (via Dr Osita Ezilora of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye) who spoke on; “ Towards Anthologizing Third Generation Nigerian Poetry.”

The two leads and the other papers that followed presented by scholars and writers across the country acquitted the conference in its major objective of driving necessary critical attention to contemporary Nigerian literature. The Vice Chancellor of the host University, Prof Chinedum Nwajiuba, walked into the middle of the activities of the second day from a trip outside the country to pledge the University’s readiness to be a permanent host of the conference annually.

In his speech, he spoke of the University’s stride in academics in spite of it being a fledgling university and the intention to make it a world class bilingual institution where French and English will be the languages of instruction.

The Vice Chancellor read a poem of his and presented awards to the winners of the workshop competitions in the area of drawing, poetry and drama.

Earlier on the first day, the ANA President presented a special award to the VC for being a great supporter of the literary arts and donated 200 volumes of books from Nigerian contemporary literature to the University’s library.

The workshop ended with a tree planting ceremony held at the frontage of the main administrative block of the University involving the ANA President and other selected attendees of the conference.

An excursion to Ebonyi mines and a poetry and palmwine evening hosted by ANA Ebonyi State Chapter ended the 2-day conference/workshop.

EtihadEtihad Airways has concluded plans to introduce a 299-seat next-generation Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its daily mid-morning EY653 / EY654 schedule from Abu Dhabi to Cairo, from October 28, 2018,

Etihad Airways will operate four daily services, the most frequent number of flights operated by any UAE airline to the Egyptian capital, offering greater choice and optimised timings to benefit business and leisure customers travelling point-to-point between the two cities.

The convenient schedules also provide seamless East-bound connections through Abu Dhabi onto the airline’s network to the Gulf, Indian Subcontinent, North and Southeast Asia and Australia.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Executive Vice President Commercial, said: “Etihad Airways has been serving Cairo since 2004 and today it is one of the largest point-to-point markets on our global network, bolstered by the hugely important historic, economic, and cultural ties existing between the UAE and Egypt, and by the large Egyptian community in the emirates, which numbers over 750,000.

“In 2017 Etihad carried almost half a million guests on our multiple daily flights to and from Cairo. The introduction of the state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner on the popular morning service from Abu Dhabi will provide guests with the latest innovation and technology, award-winning cabins, genuine hospitality and greater choice.”

In April 2018, Etihad Airways and EGYPTAIR expanded their codeshare partnership from Abu Dhabi and Cairo to include several African destinations served by the Egyptian flag-carrier from its Cairo hub, including Ndjamena in Chad, Khartoum in Sudan, Entebbe in Uganda, and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and subject to government approvals, Abuja and Kano in Nigeria, and Asmara in Eritrea.

EGYPTAIR places its ‘MS’ code on Etihad Airways flights from Abu Dhabi to Seoul, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, and subject to government approvals, on flights to China.

Etihad Airways’ two-class Boeing 787-9 features 28 Business Studios offering direct aisle access, a fully-flat bed of up to 80.5 inches in length, and an increase of 20 per cent in personal space.

Upholstered in fine Poltrona Frau Leather, the Business Studio is equipped with an in-seat massage and pneumatic cushion control system. Each Business Studio has an 18-inch personal touch-screen TV with noise-cancelling headsets. Guests can also enjoy mobile connectivity, onboard Wi-Fi and seven satellite channels of live TV.

271 Economy Smart Seats provide enhanced comfort with a unique ‘fixed wing’ headrest, adjustable lumbar support, a seat width of approximately 19 inches and an 11.1” personal TV monitor on each seat.

The airline’s 787 Dreamliner fleet is equipped with the latest inflight entertainment system featuring over 750 hours of movies and programmes, as well as hundreds of music choices and a selection of games for both adults and children.

UNWTO/CAF Meeting

(From left to right): United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)/Commission for Africa (CAF) Regional Director, Elcia Grandcourt; Secretary-General, UNWTO, Mr Zurab Pololikashvili , Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu Gekpe at the pre-conference press briefing for the UNWTO/CAF Meeting at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Sunday

By VICTOR NZE

United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) can assist Nigeria attract more investments by boosting the country’s tourism sector to make it effective in job creation.

This is also President Muhammadu Buhari urged investors to consider Nigeria as their second home as he wooed them to invest in the subsector of the country’s economy,

Addressing a World Press Conference preceding the 61st UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) conference at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Sunday, Secretary-General, Mr Zurab Pololikashvili said the regional meeting of African tourism ministers was designed to articulate issues militating against the growth of the sector in member-countries with a view to evolving appropriate solutions, so that the industry can create job opportunities which, he said, is in line with the goals of the organisation.

Pololikashvili, accompanied by minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, praised the efforts put in by Nigeria toward hosting the 61st edition of the regional meeting, as, according to him, ‘it shows Nigeria is hospitable.’

On attracting investment into Nigeria as well as other African countries, the UNWTO chief said that was in line with the organisation’s target of making the sector sustainable in terms of wealth and job creation, adding that fora like the CAF was specifically evolved to address challenges facing the member countries.

“The UNWTO seeks to promote tourism in countries and one of the ways it does this is through projects like the CAF meetings where we set out by first asking individual countries to list their challenges. These are collated and through platforms like the CAF meetings, they are evaluated and solutions discussed. We believe tourism is the ultimate solution and way forward for Nigeria, as well as other countries in Africa, largely because of its potential for huge job creation which can improve the economies of African countries.

“When we come together for the regional CAF meetings, we look to help create conducive tourism environment which makes attracting investments possible, which in itself is the biggest driver of economies. In Nigeria, we are looking foreign direct investments (FDI) which we are working with the government to first position better.

“I am impressed with the level of work by Nigeria towards organising this event; it only goes to show that the people are hospitable. Tourism can develop this country more than any other resource or sector. The potential for job creation is huge. So we are working with the government to see how far we can help it develop the industry, as well as other African countries. The UNWTO also shares in the resolve and is working to ensure that tourism is developed much enough to create jobs in the continent and attract that needed investment,” said the UNWTO boss.

While noting that tourism has huge potential to generate lasting development opportunities in Africa and Nigeria in particular, Pololikashvili said the continent is UNWTO’s top priority in the area of tourism and investment promotion.

“There are broad impact of tourism for the benefit of societies and its people, and promoting tourism as a priority in national agendas,” he said.

On his part, Mohammed  while The minister welcoming Pololikashvili and his team to the country, said tourism remains the future of Nigeria, as, according, its sustainability is attainable, which he said, explains the Federal Government’s commitment of $11 billion dollars so far to developing infrastructure across the country.

The minister also said the recent government’s Ease of Doing business policy, especially in the area of seamless travel, not only raised  the country’s ranking in the comity of investment friendly nations, but also accounted for the over $6 billion attracted in terms of foreign investments as at the last quarter of 2017.

The minister who announced that the Meeting gathered 166 foreign delegates, 26 African Tourism Ministers and 332 Nigerian delegates, said the theme of the meeting which is, Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development,” f was in sync with the plan by the Federal Government to improve on the nation’s tourism statistics for planning purposes and the ultimate development of tourism sector.

The UNWTO/CAF meeting which held from June 4 to 6 is the first Pololikashvili will attend since assumption of office in January 2018.

Meanwhile, declaring open the 61st UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) conference at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari told the delegates that Nigeria was ready to attract investors as, according to him, his government has put in place ‘investment incentives for investors in the tourism sector.’

The President who was represented at the occasion by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, also told the African delegates to ‘consider Nigeria as their second home.’

“I call on tourists and investors in the tourism sector to consider Nigeria as their second home. This government has attractive investment incentives for investors in the tourism sector including but not limited to: – Pioneer status to all major tourism projects.

“Other incentives include: Minimum tariff on imported tourism equipment, amusement park equipment and materials for hotel construction and furnishing, dedicated transportation for tour operators and equipment for restaurants not manufactured in Nigeria.

“As well as: Minimum duty on Casino equipment; Work permit for foreign workers with specialized skills within the industry; Land at concessionary rate by state governments to tourism investors,” said Buhari.