By Wale Ojo Lanre.
THE country, Nigeria is not only blessed with the largest number of people in black Africa, but also awash with numerous species of tangible and intangible mineral resources that only few countries in the world can boast of. Nigerian population is not just for the numerical relevance, the country has produced men and women who have through their acts and deeds lured the world to stand up in applause of their strides.
History has continued to keep us in memory of Nigerians who are daily working wonders on the international scene. Some of these Nigerians are either forced out of the system to seek expression in other lands. In the areas of literary stardom, the name of Professor Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Elechi Amadi, Rita Pam Tarachi Abdulkareem Baba Aminu, Nana Asma’u Okri among others are world class reference.
In the field of neurosurgery, Latunde Odeku who is the first black US-trained neurosurgeon cannot be forgotten in a hurry and of recent, a 22-year-old Nigerian, Emmanuel Ohuabunwa, has made history at John Hopkins University, United States for scoring a Grade Point Average of 3.98 out of a possible 4.0 to earn a degree in Neurosciences.
Talking about computation, Philip Emeagwali, Gbenga Sesan (Nigeria’s first Information Technology Youth Ambassador) and Afia Udofia, proved to the world that Nigeria is not a push over in the comity of countries which God blessed with cerebral men and women. The list of Nigerians breaking and stunning world records is endless and remarkably impressive.
In the field of tourism and hospitality, Nigeria has never maintained the back seat as it will interest the world that a Nigerian, late Ignatius Atigbi …was the man who proposed the inauguration of the World Tourism Day which was ratified by UNESCO to hold every September 27 annually. The recognition of Nigerians expertise in various fields and acknowledgments has not only shore up Nigeria’s image on the international scene, but has continued to cultivate respect for Nigerians.
It was almost incredible in the last quarter of year 2013, when Nigerian newspapers were awash with the news that a Nigerian, Ambassador Wanle Akinboboye has been sought by the government of Cote d’Ivoire to help in managing 72 tourism communities in the country. This incredulity was not out of mischief neither was it misplaced because of the impression that “How can Nigeria which is still groping to stabilise tourism sector produce such an internationally sought after tourism expert who stays in Nigeria by Cote d’ivoire, a country with historical link with French, one of the most tourism developed countries in the world?”
However, the axiom that out of the slums or ruins comes out the best attests to the fact that Nigeria has produced in excess the human material to make the country great and the best in the world if only the polity allows the best to be selected. Akinboboye was just not picked by Cote d’Ivoire government as the best man to do the job. The country has quietly searched the profile of Akinboboye who is at present the Special Adviser to the government of Ondo State on Tourism and Culture. Ambassador Akinboboye is rooted in tourism and culture and has applied himself with passion to this calling.
After his sojourn in America, Akinboboye who left Nigeria at the age of 16 came back to Nigeria to plough back his experience and sought out a blissful coastline enclave in Ikegun, Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State and planted the first ever private resort named La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort which is also being recorded as the only resort in Nigeria which blends traditional hospitality with intercontinental outlook.
In his strides to showcase Nigerian tourism potentialities to the world, he initiated Motherland Beckons, a cultural tourism home sweet home programme for millions of Africans in Diaspora which beckons on them to visit Africa their motherland and reintegrate with their roots. This he did successfully when he hosted all the World Conference of Mayors in Badagry, Nigeria. Ambassador Akinboboye apart from establishing La Champagne Beach Resort has invested heavily on promotion of African dance and drums which serve not as only means of entertainment, but powerful medium of communication which has led him to producing the first ever lady talking drummer – Ara, the first ever lady bata drummer and first ever lady Ikwe beater .
His La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort has played host to numerous world class dignitaries which include ex-presidents, ministers and monarchs. His African concept of tourism promotion which is based on utilising the eco-articles and African expression impressed the former Kenyan Vice President, His Excellency Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka who visited the Resort, in Ikegun, Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, on Monday, 14 April, 2012 at the head of 50-man delegation, for a fun-filled lunch.
Mr Musyoka arrived at the Resort under heavy downpour with his son. The visiting vice president who was visibly impressed then said “I am highly fascinated by the three components of a tourism destination embedded here i.e. freshwater lagoon tourism, beach tourism and mangrove forest tourism, all in one place and encapsulated in a highly cosmopolitan cultural presentation.” He was conducted round the resort’s facilities where he inspected the Freshwater Lagoon “Osho” Bungalows, mangrove forest “Anago” bungalows and the Ocean Front “Obieze Bungalows…