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Developing the Young People, Technology and Customer Satisfaction Our Focal Point – Francis Daodu, CEO, 1860 Travels

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By Eric Elezuo

The world of tourism is no longer an all comers affair. It is a professional terrain only reserved for the professionals and erudite minds who are potentially endowed to provide first class travel arrangements, and follow it up with the required attention needed for customers to enjoy the best of travelling and holidaying. One of such prolific organisations is 1860 Travels.

In this brief chat, the CEO, Mr. Francis Daodu, revealed the basics of most impressive journeys and why 1860 Travels is the company of choice. Excerpts:

Could you kindly introduce yourself?

My name is Francis Olusina Daodu. I am the Managing Director of 1860 Travels Limited. We are a travel management company, of course registered in Nigeria as a member of National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA). We’ve been in business for over five years and we started from ground zero, so to speak, because we started as a non-IATA agency. We have grown through the ranks in the industry.

Can you confidently say you have arrived?

Well, I will not say we have gotten to where we intend to but it’s our resolve to continue to give our best to travellers, both current and prospective customers, and all stakeholders. We will get there.

Did you dabble into the tourism industry or it came about as a passion?

It is pure passion. I did not dabble into the industry. It is passion for travels and more importantly, the fact that that there are a lot of tourism potentials in our country that drove me into the industry. Unfortunately, these are underdeveloped. I deliberately loined the industry to my quota in ensuring that travels and tourism as a business is developed within our country.

However, considering that our country is still growing and not fully developed, we have to look more at the outbound market. It is therefore, the passion to replicate the good things out there in Nigeria that is our driving force. In fact, we should be the best tourism destination in the world; we should be competing among the best destinations in the world. Unfortunately, this is where we have found ourselves, but, of course, we all will continue to put our efforts at ensuring that this is developed in Nigeria.

How does the fact that Nigeria has no national carrier affect your job as a travel agent, both within and out there?

Of course, it has a lot of effects. Firstly, it means that foreign airlines are the ones to determine the fate of our travellers. Whether we like it or not, there is a lot of foreign exchange involved and although the foreign airlines do employ our citizens, it really does not mean that a bulk of their revenue sits here in Nigeria. This is because they are in business and for them to continue to stay afloat, the revenue make must return to where it should go to – their home country. It’s quite unfortunate but that is the situation.

What are those attractive packages that 1860 Travels has today and intends to provide, that distinguishes it from other travel agencies?

One thing that is very peculiar which stands us out in the industry, despite the numerous travel agencies in Nigeria, is that we believe in the development of young people and that’s why we have young people all around us. You know, wherever there are young people a lot of fresh ideas flow. We believe a lot in the application of technology in ensuring that travels and tourism are best served to our market. So, we understand that wherever you have young people, you have technology and where you have 1860 Travels, you have the best of travel technology. More importantly, we are five years in the industry and we continue to grow and we also continue to apply several ingenuous ideas in ensuring that travels and tourism is best served in and within our markets.

What are the challenges that limit your productivity?

Well, as an SME, it is about the same challenges SMEs face in the country. It also takes me back to what I was saying about national carrier. If we had a national carrier or we had domestic airlines operating within the international space, it would be to our advantage first. Most recently, the Akwa Ibom State government launched their own airline fleet, which, whether we like it or not, will benefit benefit the citizens first. So, let us think about that is happening on the national stage – we will be the greatest beneficiaries. These foreign airlines don’t operate in Nigeria alone, so to an extent, they cannot be blamed because their hands are a bit tied. They are not just giving to us – they are giving back, first and foremost to their citizens, then secondarily, citizens of other countries where they operate and thirdly, general full support. And of course, you must know that every business is set out to make profit, and some of them have devoted a certain percentage in ensuring that they get some of these things done, under the CSR factor. So, it is our job and that of those in the media as well, to keep emphasizing the need for a national carrier. It goes a long way; it does not just controls fares in the market, you also have a lot more independent contractors and mostly Nigerians employed. Also, we cannot underestimate the need for more young people enjoying more CSR from such airlines.

Finally, where do you see 1860 Travels five years from now?

When we started, it was from ground zero, like I said, without any special support. We have been patient and visionary enough and hope that in the next five years, we would get to the global stage. 1860 Travels wants to play on a global stage, we don’t just want to be limited within the shores of Nigeria. We want to play and be seen as a big player on the global scene. And everything has been put in place to ensure that it happens. It is our desire and hope to take the gospel of 1860 Travels to other markets around the world.

Thank you very much for your time

Thank you.

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Food for Living: The Change We Need

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Destiny Friends,

It is an indisputable fact that the only permanent thing in life is change. This is because as rational human beings, we are bound to change. This change is not applicable to human beings alone; animals, objects, institutions, inventions and whatever that exists is not left out. They all go through the process of change. Change is definitely inevitable.

It’s interesting to note that we all want to be changed, but we don’t want to change. We are born to change. Change can be refreshing and nourishing when we change for a good cause. Change can initially be frightening, but eventually refreshing if we don’t give up.

In the journey of life, we all need change to progress. The world, at the moment, is experiencing one of its most challenging times in modern history no thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. It is unassailable that the world will not remain the same at least for a reasonable period. However, progressive minds have been able to adapt to the new normal by exploring other options and avenues to manage their businesses, institutions, and personal lives. This is a typical example of how change works.

In today’s article, we shall be exploring how we can use change to our advantage. Change is not easy. As business owners, scholars, corporations, institutions, human beings etc., it makes no sense to do the same thing over and over again and expect to get a different result. Change comes in different stages and sizes. The question we must ask ourselves is how do we change?

As human beings, we all want progressive change, but sometimes we are not willing to abide by the process and requirements of change. As human beings, we have to evolve, otherwise, we will remain redundant. If you need to see growth in your finance, you need to spend less than you earn, otherwise, you may be running into a deficit. If you need your condition or circumstance to change, you must change the surrounding network around you. This can be your friends, siblings, associates, colleagues at work and even your thought process. Moral: You need to change before your circumstance can change.

In order to truly see real change in your life, you must change your approach to life. Change brings transformation to our life, most especially as it relates to your thought pattern, marriage, relationship, education, religion and life in general. Chinese Philosopher, Lao Tzu, aptly captures it in these lines: “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

When you truly desire to add value to your life, the first point of call is to change by associating with what you genuinely want to imitate or achieve. When you change for the better, it adds value to your life and informed minds see the change in you

Question is what are you willing to change in your life? Sometimes as human beings, we are feel unfulfilled when we look at our lives, and see our contemporaries, we feel we are not measuring up to standard; it is normal to feel this way, it’s not a problem. It only becomes an issue when we practice ingratitude for all the experiences we have learnt overtime, and most especially, appreciating the fact that you are not where you used to be in the past.  Let me re-emphasize this point, the good thing about change is that you are not where you used to be. If that is the case, you must be more excited about how far you have come than how far you have to go. That’s how great men with a heart of gratitude normally feel.

Let’s take a case study of a butterfly for example, a butterfly must pass through three phases of life: egg – caterpillar, pupa and adult. Without this process, it will be hard for the butterfly to complete the metamorphosis process. I don’t know what your predicament is at the moment, I urge you not to regret whatever decision, disappointment, losses, set back, pain, regret etc you may have suffered in the past. They are in your past, and are called past for a reason. Your concern should be how to move forward.

Remember, without those setbacks, you may not have developed or explored other options that made you who you are. Those challenges may have contributed to your turning point. Those people who did you wrong were part of your necessary transformation to the greatness you have become. Therefore, appreciate the changes and pains that come with transformation. It’s part of the change that you need to transform.

Question: What are you changing for? What are you willing to change for and what do you need to focus on to change?

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success and President of gloemi.com. He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Opinion: The Wonders of Grace

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By Tolulope Adegoke

“Without wisdom – the wisdom that comes from above – you cannot end up above all! The wisdom that is above is the one that sets you above! So, divine wisdom is a provoker of grace! While grace, is a divine opener of every great and impossible door!” Tolulope A. Adegoke

The grace of God is one indispensable factor for self-discovery, true success and lasting accomplishments. Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:10 says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am…” Whatever you will become, it is grace that determines it; wherever you will reach, it is grace that determines it. Again, in Ephesians 4:7, the Spirit of God says through Paul, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” This means that when we say that a person is gifted or talented, we are simply saying that such a person is endued with grace!

It is grace that causes your gifts to be seen. It is possible to be gifted or talented and remain hidden. It is grace that uncovers talents. It is grace that uncovers the treasures that are inside of you! Grace is what strengthens the weak! In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Apostle Paul says, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Apparently, therefore, the strength that the weak can enjoy is only accessible by grace.

Without the gift of grace, a person’s destiny can be easily frustrated! So, if destructive frustration is to be eliminated from the path of your destiny, it can only be achieved by divine grace.  Ephesians 2:4-7 says, “

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

Therefore, the grace of God is the greatest demonstration that He loves us.

Again, Paul, in 1 Corinthians 1:4 says, “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.” When the grace of God is upon the life of a man, he does not come behind in anything. It is therefore important for you to understand that grace is a non-negotiable factor in the race of life. This is why you must not only be loaded with grace but must increasingly be so.

See, friend, you cannot run the race of life successfully without grace. It is the grace of God that makes the pursuit of destiny to be without depression or frustration. Grace means that we are doing the racing with God, which provokes ease and breakthroughs, against all odds! Here is the way Zechariah 4:6-7 beautifully puts it, “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.”

Here is something else to blow your mind. There is no record of achievement recorded in the Scripture that cannot be broken in this generation. You only need to obtain greater grace. Hebrews11:39-40 confirms to us that God has ordained every feat you can see to be broken: “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”

This means that whatever we can see written in the scriptures is not yet the perfect or final result – because God said He has better things for us! In fact, as the Scripture says, everything written a foretime was written for our learning so that we may through the comfort and patience of scriptures have HOPE!

Everything recorded in the Scripture was written for our learning. That is to say, all the amazing feats recorded in the Scripture were written as patterns for us – if we can do what the champions did, if we can engage what they engaged, then we must see what they saw or even beyond! Hebrew 6:12 says: “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

The example of Joseph is particularly interesting and instructive. He is such an interesting picture in the Scripture because he exemplifies the possibilities in God for every one of His children. Genesis 39:2-6 says: “And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.   And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.   And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.   And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.   And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.”

The grace of God was so mighty upon Joseph that even while in a foreign land, he was well-favoured. The effect was that Potiphar literally handed over his house to him. Again, by the time Joseph was wrongfully sent to prison, the Bible notes that the prisoners were basically handed over to him to manage (Genesis 39:21-23).

When Joseph eventually interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, Pharaoh practically handed over the entire nation to him. Genesis 41:37-41 narrates, “And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.”

What am I highlighting here? Grace can transition a nonentity to a celebrity overnight; it does not take time; it takes GRACE! So child of must understand the power of God’s grace and make the most of it.

It is equally important to see that the grace of God on the life of Joseph was provoked by the force of divine WISDOM, as Pharaoh himself testified.  The grace of God upon his life functioned on the platform of divine wisdom. No wonder the Bible tells us that wisdom is the principal thing, because where there is wisdom, there will be grace and where there is grace, you become great – that is, emerge a hero!

Observe closely that I call the kind of wisdom that Joseph demonstrated divine wisdom. This should reveal to you that the wisdom that makes great is not natural wisdom; it is not diabolic wisdom; it is not academic wisdom – it is wisdom that comes from above. And here is the truth: Without wisdom – the wisdom that comes from above – you cannot end up above all! The wisdom that is above is the one that sets you above! So, divine wisdom is a provoker of grace! While grace, is a divine opener of every great and impossible door!

Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (From Zero to HERO) by Tolulope A. Adegoke. Foreword by Dr Yomi Garnett (CEO/Chancellor, Royal Biographical Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A., U.K., Abuja, Nigeria.) Edited by Ola Aboderin.

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Kila Inaugurates YWC Global Library Project Committee, Calls for Participation

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In a bid to preserve and promote Yoruba culture, the Yoruba World Congress (YWC), led by emeritus professor and leader, Banji Akintoye, has unveiled plans for the YWC Global Library.

In unveiling the project, the YWC Secretary General, Prof Anthony Kila explained that the YWC Global Library will have two parts: Brick and Mortar Libraries in various parts of the world starting from Ibadan and Lagos and the Digital Library that everyone anywhere in the world can access and at any time.

To manage the project, the YWC has put together a team of experts who are academics, IT practitioners, education managers and lovers of Yoruba culture.
The project will be led by a steering committee to be chaired Prof Ajayi-Soyinka and with Dr Pat Akinbola (Secretary) Princess Olayinka Adebayo, Mr Babafemi Odutayo (Esq) Dr Sunkanmi Odejide and Mr Luke Tikare

In his address to steering the committee, Prof Anthony Kila stated that our lofty aims include conserving and promoting Yoruba arts, language, history, cosmogony, literature etc. This project will help put Yoruba people and culture on the world map and also put libraries in our peoples mind.

Prof Kila also noted that to make the YWC Global Library a success, all hands must be on deck and asked all Yoruba people come up with what they can offer the project. “We shall be need Suggestion of list of books, Journals Art Work etc., Ideas on how to maintain the best Yoruba library in the world, Donation of books (new and old), journals, art work and Donation of Funds.

To Participate and Donate to the YWC Global Library Project, all are urged to visit the website www.yorubaworldcongress.org

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