SavedPicture-2017130164354.pngAll 200 spacious and well-appointed guestrooms boast panoramic views of the Niger river and the lush green hillside dotted with mango plantations, offering unmatched comfort

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, May 7, 2018/ — Marriott International (www.Marriott.com)  today announced the opening of Sheraton Bamako Hotel (www.SheratonBamako.com) marking its entry into Mali, in West Africa. This milestone further solidifies Marriott International’s portfolio across West Africa, and promises to revolutionize the hospitality landscape in the country through Sheraton’s distinct product offering coupled with its commitment to go above and beyond for its guests.

“We are thrilled to build on Sheraton’s proud heritage in Africa that dates back to 1971,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “Over the last four decades, the brand has maintained its first mover advantage through strategic pipeline development and growth, giving global travelers access to more destinations across the continent. Sheraton Bamako Hotel not only marks our entry into a new country, but also serves as a great example of our transformation efforts around the brand.”

Sheraton Bamako Hotel is the outcome of a collaboration with Koiraholding Group, promoter of the project whose Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Cesse Kome said, “I am very proud to partner with Marriott International to bring the Sheraton brand into Mali and I am confident this hotel will set a new benchmark in hospitality within the country.”

Strategically located in close proximity to Bamako’s Modibo Keïta International Airport in one of the city’s most sought-after neighborhoods, ACI 2000, the hotel provides easy access to the city center, major embassies, corporate offices, government buildings as well as numerous cultural and tourist attractions. With an enviable location affording panoramic views of the Niger river, the hotel seamlessly blends modern, elegant design, with distinct local touches to create a vibrant aesthetic and a compelling sense of place. Signature brand programing and an elevated guest experience create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that makes for an ideal gathering place for business and leisure travelers as well as the local community.

All 200 spacious and well-appointed guestrooms boast panoramic views of the Niger river and the lush green hillside dotted with mango plantations, offering unmatched comfort and the Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience. 27 Sheraton Club rooms and 32 suites offer exclusive access to the Sheraton® Club Lounge, a private space where guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast, drinks and snacks during the day. Leisure facilities include a state-of-the-art Sheraton® Fitness Centre with cutting edge equipment available 24 hours a day, a spa and an outdoor pool for guests to relax and recharge for the day.

Four distinctive dining venues offer a wide selection of global cuisine. The all-day dining restaurant, City Grill, blends European and International cuisine with flavors from West Africa while a classic Paris inspired brasserie, the Brasserie Bamaquoise, offers the best of French cuisine. Guests can also enjoy fresh juices, a drink or light bites at Légendes Du Sport Bar, a buzzing sports bar or while relaxing at the Oasis Pool Bar.

With more than 820 square meters of dedicated meeting space, Sheraton Bamako Hotel features 11 meeting rooms including a 478 square meter Grand Ballroom as well as a fully equipped business center, with state-of-the-art facilities and endless connectivity through high-speed Wi-Fi. With natural light in most meeting rooms, creative menu options and thoughtful service that goes above and beyond, the hotel provides both choice and flexibility, making it an exclusive option for large scale business meetings, social events, weddings or even smaller intimate gatherings.

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Marriotwp-1490262309560.jpegt International, Friday, unveiled offers for the upcoming hot months for guests at its various hotels spread across the Middle East and Africa to enjoy an unforgettable summer.

With a mega 30 per cent off available for Marriott International’s loyalty members and 20 per cent off for non-members, offers available across participating hotels, restaurants, lounges and spas from a choice of over 200 hotels are not to be missed.

Neal Jones, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International, said: “Whether guests are seeking extraordinary desert, resort or city experiences such as reliving the Bedouin way of life at the only resort in a Desert Conservation Reserve, Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai; to intimate views of the Pyramids at Marriott Mena House, Cairo; hopping onto the ski slopes in the midst of the summer heat when staying at the Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Hotel, Dubai; or simply lapping up the sun on the luxurious white sand beach at The St. Regis Mauritius Resort , Marriott international has an option suitable for all.

“Time is so valuable for busy people, and through our seasonal offers we are delighted to be able to provide guests with an exceptional opportunity to utilize their time to create memorable experiences at many of our amazing hotels.”

The summer offers announcement follows the company’s new unified loyalty programme across Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) which will launch in August 2018.

Under the promotion, Members will earn more points faster than under the prior programs – on average 20 per cent more points for every dollar spent.

“This year, we’re recognizing our loyalty members with even better rewards as ongoing appreciation for their continued support – we aim to ensure that our loyal members always have an extraordinary experience beyond the norm and lifelong memories to boot,” he concluded.

nigerian-tourism

Nigeria Tourism

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has called for cooperation among the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the generation of relevant data that will assist in making policies and planning decisions for the development of tourism in Nigeria.

The Minister made in call in Abuja, Monday when he received the Technical Consultant of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) on Tourism Statistics, Mr. David McEwen, on a courtesy visit to his office.

McEwen is in Nigeria to meet with the various MDAs of government with a view to developing a framework for the generation of data in the nation’s tourism industry.

“Tourism, as an industry, and the other sectors are interdependent, so it’s not by coincidence today that while Mr. McEwen is here, he is going to interact with at least ten other parastatals or departments

and ministries, including the National Bureau of Statistics; the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC); the Nigeria Police Force; the Central Bank of Nigeria; the Nigerian Immigration Service; the National Park Service; the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria; the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria and the National Population Commission and other bodies,” Mohammed said.

He said the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, which develops policies for the tourism industry, does not generate the data required for policy formation and planning for the industry, hence the need for cooperation and coordination of the relevant MDAs.

“The coordinating role of the ministry is of great importance and is for us to ensure that we persuade and get the cooperation of all the other different actors in the industry for us to be able to plan and develop,” the Minister said.

According to him, most of the agencies that generate the data are not under the purview of his ministry, but their input remains paramount in order to develop tourism in Nigeria.

In his remarks, Technical Consultant on Tourism Statistics of the UNWTO, McEwen, said tourism is one sector that depends largely on other sectors to succeed.

“I don’t think there is any industry that needs coordination and cooperation like tourism. It’s one part of it that the airlines can’t do without accommodation and the accommodation can’t do without the airlines,” he said.

The UNWTO Consultant said from the experience he gathered from other countries, statistics generated by other agencies and organs play a vital role in attaining the objective of tourism development, hence, the need for the government to play a vital role in the development of synergy for tourism to thrive in Nigeria.

McEwen said there will be a Technical Workshop on Tourism Statistics for stakeholders on the way forward, during the UNWTO/CAF Meeting to be hosted by Nigeria in Abuja in June.

DubaiDubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) is set to launch a new way for visitors to enjoy the city’s exciting range of attractions, experiences and tours.

Announced at the recently-concluded Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the product, tagged; Dubai Pass, is an all-inclusive pre-paid card, which grants cash-free access to 33 key events and venues across Dubai, making it the perfect way for tourists to explore the city’s world-class destination proposition. It will be available to redeem from 16 May 2018.

Starting at AED399, the pass offers ‘Select’ and ‘Unlimited’ packages, with a specially-curated list of popular attractions and experiences.

These include Burj Khalifa, Dubai Parks and Resorts, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Wild Wadi Waterpark, Ski Dubai, Desert Safari Tours, and many more.

With every purchase, visitors will also receive a 50% discount on tickets to La Perle – the city’s one-of-a-kind live entertainment show with acrobatics and aerial stunts – by simply presenting their Dubai Pass when buying a ticket to the show.

Meanwhile, Dubai Tourism has released its Annual Visitor Report 2017, providing an in-depth cross-sector analysis of the Emirate’s tourism performance last year.

The report revealed that Dubai’s record international overnight visitation in 2017 totalled 15.8 million, rising to a strong 6.2 per cent over the previous year.

Other key findings and highlights of the Annual Visitor Report 2017 include: Dubai’s top 10 source markets contributed a share of 59 per cent of total tourist volumes, with the remainder made up of highly diversified markets across the globe.

Also, three out of four visitors were families and couples, with individuals making up 14 per cent, friends 8 per cent, and colleagues 3 per cent of total visitation.

“73.8 per cent of tourists travelled to Dubai for leisure purposes, with those visiting friends and relatives making up 13.9 per cent of the total, and business travellers 11.5 per cent. 77 per cent of visitors chose to stay in paid accommodation, as opposed to staying with friends and relatives.

“The gender mix was fairly balanced, with 47 per cent women travellers, while the party size averaged at 2.5 persons, staying in Dubai for an average of 7.6 days.

“The Dubai Mall remained the city’s most popular attraction, drawing 97 per cent of visitors, followed by The Dubai Fountain with 81 per cent, and heritage and cultural districts with 63 per cent.

ArikNigerian carrier, Arik Air, has announced that it would begin flight operations to Bauchi on May 9.

Chief Executive Officer of Arik Air, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, made the announcement in a statement issued in Lagos.

Ilegbodu said the airline would be operating three weekly flights from Abuja to Bauchi, with connections to and from Lagos on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

He said the inauguration of flight operations to Bauchi was borne out of the importance attached to Bauchi State as the ‘Pearl of Tourism’ in Nigeria.

According to him, it also underscores Arik Air’s commitment to the growth of tourism in the country.

 

Ilegbodu said: “Arik Air has always been at the forefront of the development of aviation and tourism in Nigeria. We are committed to the opening up of the country to commerce and industry through air connectivity.

“Our plan is to connect all viable airports in Nigeria so as to expand the frontiers of commerce and grow the economy.’’

He said Bauchi becomes Arik Air’s 20th domestic destination and firmly placed the airline as one the leading carriers in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has commended Dana Air for introducing its flights on Abuja-Owerri route.

Dana Air Communications Manager, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa, said in a statement in Lagos on Tuesday that the governor made the commendation at the airline’s inaugural flight from Owerri to Abuja on Tuesday.

Okorocha, who was represented by his Special Adviser, Mr Ikenna Eme, said the commencement of Dana Air Owerri to Abuja flights and back had brought needed succour to the people of Imo State who had had to pay more for less on the route.

“Today, we have witnessed development and expansion. We are happy that Dana Air is living up to expectations. The flight was smooth and on-time and this is what we have been asking for on this route. Our people have been paying too much for less on this route and we thank Dana Air for this development.”

According to him, the vision of the government is to make the state a hub in the South east.

Okorocha said that the government’s partnership with Dana Air had increased traffic to the state because of the convenient fares and quality services.

Accountable Manager of Dana Air, Mr Obi Mbanuo, reiterated the airline’s commitment to providing “a smart alternative for the people of Imo State and contributing positively to its economy and development.”

Ethiopian AirlinesEthiopian Airlines has won the 2018 ‘Africa’s Outstanding Food Services by a Carrier’ Award as voted by PAX International readers at a ceremony held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg, Germany in April 2018.

Ethiopian Group CEO, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, remarked: “It is very gratifying to receive this prestigious award, which is based on the vote of the traveling public. We are highly honoured that the traveling public has recognized our continuous effort to avail the best possible products and services. As part of our Vision 2025, we have built the largest and most modern catering facility in the continent at our main hub in Addis Ababa with a daily production capacity of 100,000 meals.

“This has enabled us to significantly upgrade the capacity, the quality and the variety of our meal production. Our modern catering facility produces a variety of cuisines that can meet the need of our esteemed customers ranging from our national Ethiopian dishes to Chinese, Indian and Italian culinary delights. It also caters for specific dietary needs with vegan, Halal and Kosher meals. Going forward, we will further diversify our meal offering with more choices and culinary delights from across Africa and other parts of the world.”

Winners of the awards were selected by PAX International readers over a period of six months.

“Each year, the PAX International Readership Awards honour the best in the industry, as selected by our readers,” said Aijaz Khan, publisher of PAX International.

“From airline caterers and airport lounges, to amenity kits and duty-free programs, to IFE and seating, the PAX Awards is a barometer of where executives in the on-board services and aircraft interiors industries have found their attention over the course of the previous year. We were overwhelmed with the response to this year’s event. The PAX International team and I would like to thank the industry at large for their continued support of our publication and these awards and would like to once again extend our congratulations to the 2018 winners. We look forward to an even larger celebration when we return to Hamburg in 2019,” he added.

nnamdi-azikiwe-international-airport-abuja

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja

Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is set to commence cashless transactions across airports in the country in order to foster ease of payment, create payment options and improve the speed and convenience of payment

General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, in an interview in Lagos, said all necessary arrangements have been made for the smooth take-off of the exercise bid to commence across the airports soon.

According to Mrs Yakubu, the cashless transactions will reduce the carrying of cash as transactions will be made in different ways such as POS, money transfers adding that Remita agents have also been positioned strategically at various points across the airports.

She explained that the initiative was designed  under the Presidential Enabling Environment Business Council PEBEC to ensure convenience and curb corruption, identifying car parks, cargo section, chartered /unscheduled flights among others will be affected by the introduction.

“It will help FAAN to eliminate leakages and further increase revenue base of the organization. No government official will handle cash during transactions when the exercise takes off. We are soliciting the cooperation of all airport users, concessionaires and the general public to ensure a hitch free exercise”

According Mrs Yakubu, the decision to adopt digital payment was as a result of the success of the Executive Order of the Federal Government in a bid to create enabling business environment in the country especially within the airports as entry points into the country.

She explained that it was to ensure that those doing business at the airports were not harassed but furnished accurate information on what and where to pay at every point in time.

According to Yakubu, Visa on arrival which has commenced at the airport was part of the Ease of Doing Business adding that the digital payment was another feat to be achieved,

Yakubu noted that at the end, it will be a win – win situation for both FAAN and customers adding that the agency has been repositioned to provide more improved services for customers, further disclosing that sensitization of the general public through jingles was on going.

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for March 2018 showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) rose 9.5 per cent, compared to the same month a year ago, the fastest pace in 12 months.

In the same vein, African airlines, according tom IATA, continued to enjoy very strong demand as well, with traffic up 11.2 per cent compared to March 2017, which was more than twice the 5-year average pace of 4.8 per cent.

“Airlines are seeing healthy growth on routes to/from Europe and Asia, while the region’s two largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, continue to improve,” said the IATA report.

Similarly, capacity climbed 6.7 per cent, and load factor strengthened 2.9 percentage points to 71.0 per cent.

The body also disclosed that capacity (available seat kilometers, or ASKs) grew 6.4 per cent and load factor climbed 2.3 percentage points to 82.4 per cent, which set a record for the month, following on the record set in February. All regions except for the Middle East posted record load factors.

“Demand for air travel remains strong, supported by the comparatively healthy economic backdrop and business confidence levels. But rising cost inputs—particularly fuel prices—suggest that any demand boosts from lower fares will moderate going into the second quarter,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

African airlines continued to enjoy very strong demand as well, with traffic up 11.2 per cent compared to March 2017, which was more than twice the 5-year average pace of 4.8 per cent. Airlines here are seeing healthy growth on routes to/from Europe and Asia, while the region’s two largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, continue to improve.

Also, capacity climbed 6.7 per cent, and load factor strengthened 2.9 percentage points to 71.0 per cent.

Globally, March international passenger demand rose 10.6 per cent compared to March 2017, which was up from 7.4 per cent year-over-year growth recorded in February. All regions showed strong increases. Total capacity climbed 6.6 per cent, and load factor improved 2.9 percentage points to 81.5 per cent.

“The strong first quarter provides healthy momentum heading into the peak travel period in the Northern Hemisphere. Benign economic conditions are supporting, and being supported by, good demand for air travel. It’s a mutually-beneficial effect that smart governments recognize and encourage, by embracing affordable, quality aviation infrastructure and reasonable commercial regulation. But we need to deliver that message every day. The setback to modernizing air traffic management in the US, and a proposal to stop construction of the new airport in Mexico, are reminders of that fact,” said de Juniac.

Accra Marriott HotelMarriott International, Monday, announced its debut in West Africa, with the highly anticipated opening of Accra Marriott Hotel.

Owned by African Hospitality Limited, the hotel is strategically located opposite the Kotoka International Airport, making it the perfect “Gateway to West Africa”.

Set in the heart of Airport City, a burgeoning urban development, the Accra Marriott Hotel is just a few kilometers outside of the central business district providing easy access to major corporate businesses, government entities and well known city landmarks.

“We are thrilled to open the Accra Marriott Hotel, a highly anticipated addition to our Africa portfolio and a significant milestone in our journey” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International.

“Accra is the heartbeat of Ghana, a dynamic city bustling with energy. A commercial, manufacturing, and communications center with great shopping and excellent nightlife, it makes an interesting travel destination both for business and for leisure. The Accra Marriott Hotel will add to the city’s maturing hospitality scene, inspiring guests with more forward-thinking experiences and aesthetically inspiring spaces that speak to their inventive nature,” continued Kyriakidis.

With 208 well-appointed rooms, 3 enticing dining venues, 800 square meters of meeting space, a pool and a fully equipped fitness center, Accra Marriott Hotel offers state-of-the-art business facilities. Contemporary design and local touches blend to create a distinct and vibrant aesthetic. Amenity-filled guest rooms, progressive dining, cutting edge technology, flexible and exemplary meeting facilities and a brand new social event experience make every guest stay special, while innovative spaces, such as The Greatroom, allow guests to seamlessly blend work and play.

Modern and sophisticated in its approach, providing experiences that keep the mind balanced, sharp and inspired, the hotel is the ideal starting point for travelers to do their business or discover the bustling city of Accra.

Boldly transforming itself for mobile and global travelers, Marriott Hotels inspires brilliance leading the industry with innovations.

At Marriott Accra Hotel, guests can experience the ease of mobile check in and enjoy an elevated guest experience through Mobile Guest Services, seamlessly delivered with the globally renowned Marriott Hotels service.

Ebonyi educationIn this piece, VICTOR NZE examines the level of literary awareness in Ebonyi State from the era when it carried the ‘educationally disadvantaged state’ tag to the present most appreciable level and examines the role played by stakeholders in achieving this feat. Excerpts:

In August 2015, the Ebonyi State government moved to rescue the state’s downward spiraling education sector by setting up and inaugurating a committee to prepare a working plan for making the learning convenient for students in the state.

The decision followed the presentation of a preliminary report on the state of public schools in the state by a consultant, hired by the State’s Universal Basic Education Board (UBE) to the state Executive Council at the Government House in Abakaliki.

The committee headed by Rev. Father Abraham Nwali submitted its report two months later.

Years down the line, Ebonyi can recorded a huge improvement from its previous ‘educationally disadvantaged state’ status to one with relatively outstanding results in the recent times.

Many thanks to commitment from both the private and public sectors, the state has steadily climbed the ladder of literary awareness such that it has become a reference point in educational growth.

Even at the national level, the state has become a choice destination for test-running of educational projects and programmes geared towards improving the lot of students or literary awareness as a whole.

“The degree of literary awareness in Ebonyi State is presently high. People, especially the youths are becoming more and more aware. There are book clubs and literary societies, some of which are founded by young people for the purpose of meeting their literary ends.

“On our part, there have been vigorous awareness campaigns at various schools in the state, which feature talks, quiz and book donations. We reveal to the students what lies behind the doors of creativity and healthy reading culture; we show them individuals who attained greatness and global reckoning through creativity; give them tips on how to reach such enviable heights, making reading the bedrock.

“In all, we follow a strategic option we named Bring Back the Book. It is aimed at increasing awareness in the area of healthy reading culture and literary awareness. In doing this, we now have chapters in different higher institutions and secondary schools in the state.

“As a matter of course, members of the chapters are members of our branch. We have also perfected plans to explore the use of the electronic media for our membership drive. This we are to do in line with radio and TV programmes we are already straightening out.

“However, our social media handles have been of immense value in this regard. Hardly our meeting ends without an individual coming to join courtesy of the social media,” enthused Mr Richard Inya, present chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA).

Observers believe the upward trajectory of literary awareness in the state is to some extent attributable to efforts at the government level geared towards correcting the previously feared school drop-out syndrome which ravaged the state and prevented it competing at the regional let alone national levels of academic performance.

Immediate past chairman of ANA in the state, For Elder Matthew Odono, who would prefer to rate the state’s level of literary awareness at a moderate ‘average’, says, however, that his organization has put in a lot to ensure the state reaches where it is today.

 

“In the state, the association has done quite a lot in this regard. Aside from its monthly readings where works by members are read and critiqued, the association has embarked on “Bring Back the Book Campaign” to some post primary schools in the state.

“During the exercise, books worth several thousands of naira donated by ANA/Yusuf Ali Literary Awareness Campaign Projects were read and distributed to students. Books authored by members or sourced by members from the market considered valuable to inspire the students to develop interest in reading and creative writing were also added to promote the exercise.

“The association has also introduced “teen authorship” programme to some post primary schools in the state and is at present mentoring students of Holy Ghost Secondary School Abakaliki Literary Club to ensure that they come up with quality creative outputs. It is pertinent to add that a cash prize of N 5,000 each was placed for the best students in poetry, prose and drama respectively by the association.

“Also the King Agwu Ude poetry Award of N 50, 000 for secondary School students sponsored Elder Matthew Odono is on in the State now. In 2016, the Chapter in collaboration with the Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State organised Yusuf Ali (SAN) Literary Awareness Campaign with the theme “creativity and success in life” for students of tertiary Institutions in Ebonyi State.

“The programme was held at the FUNAI Auditorium. I am glad to inform you that virtually all the tertiary institutions in the state participated in the workshop. I will also be right to state that literary activities in all the literary groups of these institutions are going on as directed. FUNAI crew and Federal College of Agriculture Ishiagu Literary Club, Ivo council are doing very well.

“The understanding and cooperation of the Vice Chancellor of FUNAI, Prof Chinwuba in driving literary activities in the state need special commendation. Himself, a literary activist, readily avails us a helping hand in our drive to discover and mentor budding creative writers in the state. This explains why the national body is planning an international creative writers’ submit to be held in the University by July this year,” said Odono.

Incidentally, Ebonyi State will also provide a veritable platform for this year’s Yusuf Ali (SAN) Literary Awareness Campaign.

“It must be stated without fear of contradiction that no project, policy or programme in this nation in the dimension of improving the reading culture or increasing literary awareness can be compared with the Yusuf Ali nationwide literary awareness campaign.

“Its consistency is astute; its gains are high, and its vision, clear. The project has a very high capacity for sustaining the level of literary awareness in the state. We have benefitted twice, and on each of the occasions embarked on activities that opened avenues for our people to realize what lies ahead and how to be part of it,” said Inya.

For Odono, the state stands to benefit ‘to a very large extent,’ even as he pleaded for more support from government to fully realize the goals of the campaign.

“If a single person, Yusuf Ali could provide N3m to the association annually, imagine where the Federal, State and Local Governments can provide N50m, N20 and N2m respectively for the association activities, without politising it.

“I bet you, a lot of transformation will be achieved in the reading, writing and behavioural lives of the people. Wealthy individuals too, especially serving political leaders can come up to assist in this area. “They can call it their constituency project, raise fund for ANA to mentor budding artists, give cash prizes to people that excel and so on. This is preferable to drugging the youths and giving them guns to cause mayhem in the society.

“In our state, Distinguished Senator Chris Nwankwo funded the organisation of training for aspiring creative writers, though not through ANA. The beneficiaries of that training are doing marvellously well in the creative industry today. We need more like him,” he said.

Inya corroborated Odono’s position in wooing the public sector towards the project.

 

“It must be stated without fear of contradiction that no project, policy or programme in this nation in the dimension of improving the reading culture or increasing literary awareness can be compared with the Yusuf Ali nationwide literary awareness campaign.

“Its consistency is astute; its gains are high, and its vision, clear. The project has a very high capacity for sustaining the level of literary awareness in the state. We have benefitted twice, and on each of the occasions embarked on activities that opened avenues for our people to realize what lies ahead and how to be part of it.

“It cannot be gainsaid that a project of this standing needs partnership with the government of the benefitting states to further take it down to rural areas. We have put plans in place to partner the government of our state in this direction. We as well seek to identify individuals, groups, corporate bodies and organisations that share the ideals and aspirations of the association for the project,” Inya said.