At last, A Tourism Minister, Ready To Market Nigeria To The World

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Nigeria’s Tourism Minister, Mrs Lola Ade-John, may finally be the long awaited answer, that the nation’s Tourism sector has long been waiting for.

 

 

 

 

No sooner had she braved and fought an illness, and recovered, which made her a late starter among her committee of Ministers, Lola Ade-John resumed office looking frail, but ready to run! And run, run, run, has been her lot, since resumption.

From one major tourism assignment to another, Lola Ade-John has been on the road, most part of 24 -7 of a day!

And when she finally landed at the 65 acres La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort at Ikegun, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, last Friday, it was much clearer why the Minister has decided to hit the road running!

Ade-John is not alone, the Minister works with a team, that knows their onions, observant and ready to deliver! And they were all here with her: the Special Adviser Community Engagement, Elizabeth Pam; Special Adviser, Policy and Legal Services, Jibike Teniola; Special Adviser, Media Communications and Partnership, Elizabeth Ofili; Special Adviser, Political Affairs, Prince Ademola Ade-John; Special Adviser Technical, Otoide Ayemere, Director, Domestic Tourism – Mr Sunday Bisong, Assistant Director and Technical Assistant to the Minister, Ayodele Adebanjo; Personal Assistant to the Minister, Maryan Sanni; Chief of Protocol, Yahaya Mohammed and Senior Tourism Officer, Nkem Uzowulu.

The Minister was ready to observe, ready to learn, ready to offer suggestions and ready to collaborate! Ade-John is certainly the answer to Nigeria’s tourism issues.

And that’s why her visit to nature’s paradise, the perfect blend of man and nature, La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, is going to remain historic.

Upon arrival at E Kaabo, the African styled reception, where she was received by the Founder of the resort, Otunba Olawanle Akinboboye and the management team, Tourism Minister Lola Ade-John came prepared to tour the entire 65 acres of the resort. And she did not do badly, as she was able to do 86,000 steps!

But first, the welcome party by the jetty, one of the many traditions of the resort, where she was entertained by Atunda ENT, the entertainment arm of the organisation. She and her entourage were greeted with joyful African songs along with drumming and African dances, while being refreshed with palmwine and chewables, such as akara (bean cake), fried yam, puff puff and so on.

The Minister had a boat cruise around the lagoon, arriving at the mangrove jetty, into the beach resort. Her itinerary included a stop over at Bolekaja bar, a heritage of transport scenario of the nation in the 60s, preserved at the resort for future generations.

There were a lot to see, like Wadii, an open air salon where guests can sit at the beach front, while having their hair plaited. So no anxiety to rush back to the city, just because of an hair-do.

The Minister was shown around the Eti-Oso luxury homes, the chalets build on top of the lagoon, overlooking the ocean! All along, she was not just enjoying the tour, but touching and feeling the African themed infrastructure of the resort. She interacted, asked questions and offered suggestions as well.

The Minister also went on tour to the Founder’s camp, where Otunba Olawanle Akinboboye first landed at age 26, to begin the actualization of his dreams. Akinboboye showed her the path he took into the forest, when he arrived on a wooden boat through the Atlantic ocean 40 years ago, and the first tent he used and where he laid that particular night!

The tour continued to the beach front, to the fish pond, to the Labas, another set of luxury homes. At the beach front, the Minister experienced some of the tourism products earlier on introduced by the tourism icon Otunba Olawanle Akinboboye. Tourism Products such as Simi Rimi, Simi Rigi and Igi Rimi.

In her simplicity, the Minister, readily laid on the Simi Rimi at the beach front, willingly modeled some snapshots for the resort, for good marketing purposes. “Time to sell our own, our culture, our arts, our products to the world,” she said.

Lured by the breathtaking view of the entire landscape of the resort, the Minister, like other guests of the resort, sat down to a Sip n Paint session, an opportunity for guests to paint a particular view of the resort. And Minister Lola Ade-John painted a masterpiece!

Tirelessly, she inspected the luxury spa where she said she was overwhelmed to find a place like this at the resort. Next was a walk by the world’s longest pool with palmwine bars. Akinboboye told the Minister, why the pool is the only one of such, in the entire world.

But there was still more to see! The trees that are over a thousand years old. The luxury houses with life trees strutting out of their roofs, the luxury homes, ile-rigi, directly overlooking the ocean. “What an amazing sight,” said Mrs Lola Ade-John.

Some members of her entourage jokingly said they would be staying back here after the tour! Joke it was, but that went a long way to show, how impressed they were with the environment and the interiors of the luxury homes at the resort.

A brief rest at Ebio restaurant for small chops, snacks and drinks, and then the tour continued to Yoru’Bar the African restaurant where guests can watch their food being cooked, while being entertained by Atunda ENT, with African traditional dances, drumming along with folksongs. Here, the Minister Lola Ade-John encountered a native African chanter, who reeled out her oriki (her ancestral trace) amidst a colourful traditional dance performance.

Oja Africa, another of Otunba Olawanle Akinboboye’s tourism product, was next point of visit. “Here is Oja Africa, where all African nations have a stand, to sell their artefacts, arts and culture. You do not have to travel to each country in Africa before you can have a taste of the life in that country. You come here and you can buy tourism items from each of the countries in Africa,” said Akinboboye.

The Founder of the beach resort, Otunba Olawanle Akinboboye also took the Minister to meet the local fishing community, where she interacted with some of them.

The Minister also had the opportunity to witness, a rare performance of Ara Thunder, one of the major stars of Atunda Entertainment also founded by Otunba Olawanle Akinboboye. The event took place at the international stage at the resort’s beach front, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

The Tourism Minister, Lola Ade-John, in her address, commended the Founder and management of the exquisite La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, for allowing, “us to immerse ourselves in the vibrant tapestry of the Nigerian culture and heritage visible everywhere at the resort.

And when it was time to go, everyone knew the day had been well spent! She had covered 86,000 steps.

She spoke about Nigerians working together to export our culture abroad, collaborations with tourism institutions and operators to build a stronger tourism industry. The patronage of our domestic tourism. And lastly, a show of good example, the tourism Minister actually picked tourism products, artworks, which she paid for!

Before her departure from the resort, Nigeria’s Tourism Minister Lola Ade-John expressed her experience and her opinion of the resort, her opinion of the Founder, and her perception of what our tourism should be.

“As we gather amidst the breathtaking beauty of this resort, let’s reflect on the significance of our shared cultural heritage. Nigeria, with its myriad traditions, languages, and customs, is a treasure trove of diversity—a mosaic of experiences waiting to be explored and celebrated. This resort serves as more than a destination for leisure; it’s a platform for cultural exchange and dialogue—a space where people from all walks of life can come together to learn, share, and celebrate what makes us uniquely Nigerian.

“As Minister of Tourism, I’m deeply committed to promoting and preserving our Nigerian heritage for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Through initiatives like La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, we harness tourism’s power to showcase Nigeria’s beauty and diversity while fostering economic growth and sustainable development.

“I urge all stakeholders, to continue supporting endeavours that celebrate our Nigerian identity and promote cultural tourism, ensuring places like La Campagne Tropicana serve as beacons of pride and inspiration. My heartfelt appreciation goes to the management and staff of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort for their unwavering commitment to excellence and dedication to showcasing the best of Nigeria.” She added.

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