Lagos TourismLagos State Government has enlisted the Asa Cultural Festival as one of the major annual festival celebrated in the state, in a bid to promote the culture and tradition of the people.

The festival which coincides with the unveiling of Asa Statue tagged, ‘Celebrating Ikorodu Division’s Heritage’ at Ikorodu captured the essence and origin of the local people and the need to teach generations unborn the relevance of our culture.

The Asa Arokolo (a man on a delicate stick) is one of the aged long celebrated Deities/ Festivals in Ikorodu and its environ invoking memories of the origin of the people of the town and the impact made by their ancestors during their lifetime.

Presenting the certificate of endorsement to the organizers of the festival, the representative of the Governor on Arts and Culture, Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola congratulated the people for propagating the Yoruba tradition and making the state a hub of historical attraction.

Adebimpe, who is the Special Adviser to Governor on Arts and Culture, disclosed that Asa plays an important role in the affairs of man and the community, explaining that apart from being the deity of fertility and happiness, it serves as entertainment and spiritual purpose which are beneficial to the people.

He further said that Asa serves as the fulcrum of social mobilization of the youth and society as a whole.

The Acting Commissioner assured the people that the Governor is interested in the development of arts and culture in the State, as he is determined to support events that promote unity and peaceful co-existence of all residents in the state.

According to her, Governor Ambode is pleased to have many cultural festivals because he believes that these would promote the indigenous culture of the people as well as attract both the local and foreign tourists in order to propel the state’s drive for economic prosperity.

She enthused that in line with the policy of the present administration, Asa and other cultural display at the festival will be listed for the State’s Cultural Road Map for 2018.

The Asa carnival was organized by Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, the Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly and prominent indigenes in Ikorodu as part of the efforts to revive Ikorodu culture and tradition.

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emiratesEmirates has confirmed it will reinstate its second daily service to Lagos and resume operations to Abuja, with four weekly flights from 15 December 2017.

Similar to the current daily service between Dubai and Lagos, the added frequencies to Lagos will be operated with Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, offering eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class. The reinstated service to Abuja will be served by a 360-seat Boeing 777-300 in a three-class configuration.

However, Emirates will be offering Nigerian travellers the opportunity to visit Dubai with a special Economy and Business Class return airfare that includes a free third piece of luggage of up to 23 kg.

“Nigeria is a key market for Emirates and its importance is reflected by the fact that we will add 11 weekly flights between Dubai and two major cities in Nigeria, Abuja and Lagos. This is great news for both our business and leisure customers and highlights our commitment to providing travellers in Nigeria with not only the very latest in aircraft innovations but also increased connectivity,” said Orhan Abbas, Emirates Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Africa.

“We thank the Nigerian authorities for facilitating the reinstatement of our flights to Abuja and Lagos which will, in turn, greatly benefit Nigerian tourism, trade, investment and economy at large.” added Mr Abbas.

By operating a double daily service to Lagos and four weekly flights to Abuja, Emirates will offer travellers in Nigeria very convenient and comfortable access to Dubai, and onwards to other destinations on the Emirates network, including more than 35 destinations in the Middle East and Far East, 18 destinations in South Asia and over 20 destinations in the Americas and Australia. Many of these destinations are served by Emirates’ iconic A380 aircraft.

Dana Air celebrates at 9

Posted: November 17, 2017 in general
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Dana AirDana Air has assured of its commitment to becoming Nigeria’s most reliable and customer-friendly airline as it marks its nine years of operations in the country.

In a statement released to the media and signed by the Chief Operating Officer/Accountable Manager, Obi Mbanuzuo, on the occasion of its 9th anniversary, November 10, the airline said since commencing flight operations in 2008, ‘it is proud to have come this far, creating an exemplary model and setting the standards for a sustainable and efficient airline operation in Nigeria.’

”We are also proud to have flown over 2.7 million passengers in the last 9 years of our operation and the fact that our on-time performance, world-class in-flight service and customer-centric innovations are still unrivaled.  This is testament to our obvious passion to keep flying high and offering the best of air transport in the industry.

“Our commitment to supporting our ‘own’ while still encouraging professionalism and growth in the Nigerian aviation industry, has led to our recruitment and constant training of Nigerian pilots. We are proud of our contribution to the industry and we thank the regulators for being supportive of our efforts in this regard,”Mbanuzuo said.

He also extolled the airline’s safety standards which was topped by its IOSA/IATA membership as well as the airlines innovations and investments in technology to improve the travel experience.

The airline thanked President Muhmmadu Buhari led administration, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, and the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents for their support

NAIA gets NCAA certification

Posted: November 17, 2017 in general
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Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja

Barely two months after the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) obtained the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) certification, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja has now been certified by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Director General of the NCAA, Captain Mukhar Usman who handed over the certificate to the Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engineer Saleh Dunoma, Friday morning, said it was an epoch-making moment for the country.

“The attainment of this safety milestone is quite significant in view of the fact that less than 25% of international airports in Africa and Indian Ocean are certified.”

“It is also interesting to note that with the certification of Abuja airport today, Nigeria has become the first state to achieve the certification of more than one international airport in the AFI Region.

”However, we are not resting on our oars, as the certification of Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu airports are scheduled for completion in the 1st, 2nd and 3 red quarters of 2018 in compliance with the Abuja Ministerial declaration and safety targets of 2012.

Dunoma further restated FAAN’ s commitment to continuing with the present tempo as regards the full certification of the other international airports in Enugu, Kano, Port Harcourt.

”We made a commitment to continue with this tempo soon we will go to Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu but for today we have achieved a milestone. I want to recognise the DG NCAA because anytime I talk to him, certification is always the main topic so I want to thank the NCAA team for their commitment. Let’s sit down and continue to improve on the safety situation because that is all that it’s all about, safety.”

Also remarking at the ceremony, the NAIA Manager NAIA, Mahmud Sani, said apart from 1982 when the airport was commissioned, today 10th November, 2017 should be the happiest day of this airport.

“It has been a tug of war but it has come to pass and I thank God for making it possible and I want to assure the world that NAIA will stand the tempo and would not go back.”

Agrofood

Exhibitors and visitors networking at the fair

Organized by the German trade fair specialists Fairtrade, the 4th edition of Agrofood & PlastPrintPack West Africa will take place December 5 to 7, 2017 at the Accra International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana.

Over 90 exhibitors from 21 countries including 5 national pavilions from Algeria, France, Netherlands, Poland and Sri Lanka, are expected to make the 2017 edition the biggest ever.  The figures of rising food imports confirm that the largest food market in Africa is still undersupplied. Rising technology imports indicate massive investments in processing, plastics and packaging equipment and a revival of local production.

West Africa’s 4th International Trade Show on Agriculture, Food & Beverage and Plastics, Printing & Packaging Solutions and Technology takes place on the background of positive economic data as figures of WTO and VDMA indicate a clear upward trend for West Africa’s Agrofood & PlastPrintPack industry. Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal are the largest importers of finished food as well as of agricultural and food processing and packaging technology in West Africa – apart from Nigeria.

“This year 90+ exhibitors from 21 countries are represented, making the 2017 edition the biggest ever”, says Leonie Ganser, project manager at Fairtrade, adding: “The exhibitors come from Algeria, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Iran, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.”

In addition to many global players, 5 national pavilions including:  Algeria, showcasing agribusiness products, solutions and technology; France, organized by adepta – offering French know-how and technology for agriculture, livestock and Agrofood production of 8 exhibitors; The Netherlands under the motto “Holland-Ghana Growing together” offering seeds, plants, processed foods and tissue culture supplies; Poland, displaying Agrofood products and equipment by 12 exhibitors; and Sri Lanka Tea Board with 5 exhibitors offering Ceylon Tea, will feature.

TanzaniaTanzania has abolished fees paid by hotel owners to the grading teams barely eight months after the system was launched.

Minister for Tourism Dr. Hamis Kigwangala who announced the development, Monday, had been known to be against the fees in the grading exercise for tourist hotels in Tanzania.

Kigwangala had maintained that the classification exercise has been wrongly carried with hotel owners paying a uniform fee amounting to  US$ 3,500 to grading teams against the government procedures on rating Tanzania’s accommodation establishments.

Grading and classification of tourist accommodation establishments was  a requirement by the East African Community (EAC) regional plan aimed at marketing the region as single tourist destination with standardized accommodation and other services offered through hotels, lodges and wildlife camps.

Hotel owners and managers had also raised complaints over the high and quoted classification fees set by the grading teams, saying the exercise was expensive to most of them.

However, the Hotels Association of Tanzania (HAT) Chief Executive Officer Ms. Nura-Lisa Karamagi said the grading exercise of Tanzania hotels and lodges was vital in marketing Tanzania along with other EAC member states.

“We are looking mostly on quality service delivery that would compete with other EAC members, also thinking of the quality of our hotel services we offer”, she said.

In August this year, the Ministry of natural Resources and Tourism which has been carrying out the Grading exercise released a list of Five to One Star hotels, lodges and camps.

Tanzania has about nine Five Star hotels located in Arusha and Dar es Salaam with 19 Four-Stars, 65 Three-Stars, 81 Two-Stars with a number of hotels rated One-Star class.

Serena Hotel, the Kilimanjaro Hyatt Regency and Sea Cliff were the bona fide five-star tourist accommodation facilities located in Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean coast.

The three hotels were rated Five Star Class in August this year using the Criteria for Standardization of Tourism Facilities developed under the auspices of the East African Community (EAC). The grading and classification exercise began early this year.

Classification of tourist class hotels and other accommodation establishments is being executed by the East African Community (EAC) in all five member states of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.

pizzaSheraton Abuja Hotel has unveiled exciting plans to celebrate the National Pizza Day with offers of a special deal for lovers of the delicacy.

Pizza has evolved through the centuries as a delightful go-to dish with an abundant variety of flavors, which family and friends can share.

Those deliciously rich cheesy-saucy slices with preferred toppings truly make for reliable comfort food.

Once every year we give tribute to the Pizza dish, which has stood the test of time.

This is why on Sunday, November 12, 2017 the Sheraton Abuja Hotel is offering the best deal in town; which is  with any two of your favorite choice of Pizza purchased you get a free Margherita Pizza.

According to the General Manager of the Hotel, Nouman Irshad: “In honor of National Pizza day, we will equally introduce our family sized Pizza with your special crust size and flavor options”.

“We are happy to celebrate National Pizza Day on the 12th of November, and we encourage all our patrons to come have a taste of their favorite pizzas and enjoy this offer. We believe that we have come up with a creative and inspiring package within the right atmosphere to connect with friends and share with family”.

“There are a range of fun activities that could be done around Pizza this Sunday, from slumber parties to kid’s birthdays to afternoon hangouts with friends.”

“Our Pizzas are gourmet style, quite wholesome and very enriching; while our delicious pizzas recipes are unrivaled to ensure that elevated culinary experience that cannot be felt anywhere else.”

“At Sheraton Abuja Hotel we go beyond in our efforts to deliver great experiences which keep our customers and guests very happy. We encourage all Pizza enthusiasts to visit our property and celebrate this remarkable day with us”.

Four Points Nairobi airport exterior

Marriot International, Monday, announced the opening of its second hotel in the “World’s Wildlife Capital”, Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport, further consolidating its presence in Kenya. Strategically situated within the main complex of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the hotel is within easy reach from major highways and overlooks the famous Nairobi National Park. It perfectly complements the Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Hurlingham, located in the city’s central business district which opened earlier this year.

“Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport is a great addition to our East Africa portfolio and strengthens our rapidly growing presence in the region,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “As a gateway city into the continent, Nairobi is a natural travel hub. We are confident that with its blend of stylish comfort and genuine service at an honest value, the hotel will meet the rising demand for high-caliber lodging in this fast-growing market and soon emerge as a leading choice among business and leisure travelers.”

Designed for the modern traveler with an emphasis on approachable design, the all-new 172-room Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport, features spacious and modern rooms including suites.

It also offers exciting dining options including an all-day dining, a lobby café and a rooftop bar and grill, Tazama.

With spectacular views of the Nairobi National Park on one side and the airport runway on the other, Tazama offers guests a sense of authentic locale through food, music and art. An imposing artwork by renowned Kenyan graffiti artist, Bankslave, reflecting the pulse of Nairobi takes centre stage. Guests can also experience the brand’s signature Best Brews™ program featuring a local craft pilsner created especially for the hotel in collaboration with the well-known Big Five Breweries, making it the ideal spot to enjoy a favorite sport and unwind with friends and colleagues.

Reflecting the brand’s promise to provide what matters most to today’s independent travelers, the hotel offers the brand’s defining touches, including the Four Points by Sheraton Four Comfort Bed, complimentary bottled water in all rooms, fast and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and an energizing breakfast with fresh coffee that helps guests start the day right.

Other facilities include a rooftop pool, a state of the art fitness center and a modest spa. With 3500 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space, the hotel is an ideal venue for meetings and events. Additionally, it also provides a complimentary shuttle into the airport terminal throughout the day.

“The hotel’s unique location together with its warm and genuine service and the defining elements of the Four Points brand is a winning combination that will set us apart,” said Vivek Mathur General Manager Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport. “We are committed to offering guests an uncomplicated travel experience and exactly what they need while on the road be it for business or for leisure.”

Four Points has proven to be a global hit with its distinctive identity and ability to meet the increasing demands of the modern, everyday traveler. The brand is experiencing incredible growth momentum having recently crossed the 200th hotel milestone globally. In East Africa alone, the brand debuted in Kenya earlier this year with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi, Hurlingham followed by its recent foray into Tanzania with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Arusha, The Arusha Hotel. It is now gearing up to open Four Points by Sheraton Dar es Salam, New Africa Hotel in the next couple of months.

Ethiopian AirlinesEthiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest airline group, has announced that it would bring its newest Boeing 787-9 plane tagged the “Big Brother“ to Abuja on Tuesday.

A statement by the Media Consultant, Mr Chukwuemeka Chigozie, on Monday, said the B787-9 was part of its commitment to deliver exceptional service to African market by operating the latest technologically advanced aircraft in the market.

The airline said that passengers had enjoyed the unique on board features of this latest technology aircraft like the biggest windows in the sky, high ceiling, less noise, distinctive lighting, and higher air humidity.

According to him, Ethiopian Airlines has always services Abuja with its newest Aircraft.

“It brought the Dreamliner B787 to Abuja in 2012 and reopened the Abuja Airport this year with the A350 when the Airport was reopened after 6 weeks closure.

“Ethiopian Airlines has been operating into Nigeria since 1960 and currently flies to 5 cities in Nigeria and it was the only international Airline that flew to Kaduna when Abuja Airport was shut for repairs.

“Ethiopian becomes the first carrier in Africa to operate the 787-9 and extends a tradition of setting aviation milestones,’’ he said.

The airline became Africa’s first carrier to fly the 787-8 in 2012, and also introduced the 777-200LR (Longer Range), 777-300ER (Extended Range) and 777 Freighter.

The 787 Dreamliner was the most innovative and efficient airplane family flying today, and more than 600 Dreamliners had entered commercial services since 2011.

According to him, Dreamliner has been flying almost 200 million people on more than 560 unique routes around the world, saving an estimated 19 billion pounds of fuel.

“This comes as ET announced that it will add a 6th weekly service to and from Yaoundé & Libreville effective November 3,’’ he was quoted in the statement.

Namibia TourismRwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, has hailed the decision by Namibian authorities to scrap all visas to the Southern African nation for Africans in 2018.

“During the implementation of this decision, Namibia will issue visas on arrival to all African passport holders with immediate effect.

“In addition, Citizens of African countries wishing to visit Namibia will not need to apply  for a visa; instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued at the port of entry,’’ it said.

Report says as per the decision, nationals of 54 African countries can now visit Namibia for up to 90 days (multiple-entry) during a visa waiver period that is valid for 180 days.

“This is a great news, we are getting closer and closer to our integration, with free movement of Africans across Africa,’’ Rwandan Foreign affairs minister reacted in a message posted on her twitter handle.

Latest official reports indicate that Africans who need visas to travel to 55 per cent of other African countries, can get visas on arrival in only 25 per cent of other countries and don’t need a visa to travel to just 20 per cent of other countries on the continent.

Drawing on this trend, the African Development Bank (AfDB) indicates, in its latest Africa Visa Openness Index report that until recently, only 13 African countries was offering liberal access to other Africans.

The Africa Visa Openness Index measures how open African countries are when it comes to visas by looking at what they ask of citizens from other countries in Africa when they travel.

President Kagame is among the group of African leaders who are lobbying and pushing for the adoption of the first ever Common Africa Passport that was launched on the sideline of 27th AU summit that took place in Kigali in July 2016.