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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 Experience of Life

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Dear Friends,

Life is an experience every one of us must surely pass through. It is often said that our experience shapes/defines who we are. Regardless of how true or false you may feel about life, you’ll agree with me that to a reasonable extent, your experience has helped to shape some of your thoughts and actions. Isn’t it true that it is only the person who wears the shoe who can tell where the pinches? It is a well-established fact that experience is the best teacher. This is because we all feel pains differently. According to a philosopher, life is about experiences. We all have to dream, strive, and fail before we can achieve success. Maybe we’ll discover along the way that the journey is more important than the destination

In one of my articles, published a couple of years ago what is life and how can one live through it? I defined life as a woman because you cannot “really” know her. During the course of this article, we shall be discussing many components of life and how the experience can shape you. We all need experience to survive through life because it helps to shape us in addition to giving us more exposure, opportunity, and respect. For instance, we all sit in the same classroom, but we don’t hear and understand the same thing; we all look at a picture but we don’t see the same thing; we all might be walking to a location but we all have a different vision; we all have a business but we run it differently based on our experiences, knowledge and even networks. The same theory is applicable to marriage, job, academics, business, sports etc.

Let’s share some practical details on how experience can shape us.

Marriage/Relationship

This is one of the most complicated and sensitive part of life any human can relate to. Marriage in simple term is life itself. As fondly opined by many rational minds, it is the school one can never graduate from, because you’ll continue to learn until the end of life. In our contemporary society, we have recorded so many divorces and questions flood the mind as what the secret to a successful marriage relationship actually is. Well, in my own humble opinion, there’s no clear cut secret to marriage except the presence of true love between both parties. This is because lots of factors contribute to a make a successful marriage. Every marriage is different and only the partners themselves can decide how they can manage their affairs. Where there’s a misunderstanding between both partners, it will be in their best interest to settle it themselves, and where they can’t settle it, a married or informed counselor can assist. I’m not insinuating that unmarried counselors with insightful positive experience can’t advise married couples, but I do know that whenever couples have problems, they are the only ones who can address their concerns better because nobody knows the root and fundamental cause of the problem more than do especially when they are not comfortable letting it out which leaves the counselor with the only option of speaking from his/her own experience.  There have been cases where unmarried couples give advice to married people, in as much I won’t kick against that idea, I feel that sometimes, if not most times, experience plays a huge role in solving problems especially a sensitive one like marriage. Moral: somethings are best experienced than imagined. This is because of the practicality that comes with it. It’s just like driving, having sex, running a business etc.

Business

Just like the saying, old wine tastes better, the same can be said for business. The more time you spend learning the ropes in addition to equipping yourself with knowledge can play a huge role in shaping your business. Just like every great work takes time to manifest, business takes time to grow. I doubt if there’s any overnight successful in business. If at all one ever exist, it’s an exceptional circumstance it’s quite unfortunate many people jump into a business with the mindset of having a great turn over/profit just because they see it is flourishing or they see their friends/colleagues making great strides in the industry. What they fail to understand is that it is not greener out there and every business has a secret.

It’s imperative to note that one of the greatest ways to succeed in business is by having a great network. People find it comfortable to relate with people they know. According to Robin Sharma, “the business of business is relationship, but the business of life human connection”. In business, a lot of factors come into consideration before one can have a headway. First and foremost you must know what you are passionate about and what your skills set is composed of. Then, give yourself the necessary time to learn the business/trade. This learning can take several forms such as reading, volunteering, taking a class, networking and gaining exposure in the sector.

Furthermore, to succeed in business, you must learn soft skills in addition to being creative with emotional intelligence. For example, a creative and proactive businessman/woman must meet people where are as opposed to having the clients meet him/her where he/she is. A prudent business-minded fellow must have a great attitude to listen to customers, he/she must take the initiative of providing ideas on what might be beneficial to the business, and he/she must have a great attitude to relate with not only his/her clients but the public at large. According to John Maxell, ‘Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them’.

Job

One of the places that experience plays an influential role is the aspect of a job. Most employers always look for candidates with experience during the hiring process. It’s only in a few and rare instance they accept a candidate without experience. An experienced candidate tends to do a better job than a new hire. For example, a new hire may do the job in the right way, but an experienced being may do it in an efficient way.

Academic

In our contemporary society, many people seem people to downplay the role of education as it relates to succeeding in life. They opine that you can always “learn from the street”, you can also learn in an informal way as opposed to formal education. However,  they fail to realize that education itself is an experience because you need to get theoretical knowledge before applying practical knowledge. It should be noted that academic education gives you an edge over a person who doesn’t have any opportunity/exposure to one. It is a well-established fact that no knowledge is a waste and having a basic theoretical knowledge can take the place of experience in certain situations.

Sports

This is another great area where experience plays a role. Sports is one of the great areas where experience is needed. It doesn’t matter if you play football, soccer, table tennis, volleyball, basketball, track and felid events and wresting. Your experience will definitely make a difference if you harness it well.

In conclusion, regardless of what you may have experienced through life, having a positive attitude is a guaranteed way of overcoming negative experience. According to Reno Omokri, an author and Pastor, “the secret of love is sacrifice. The secret of happiness is giving; the secret of life is GOD.” This nugget may have informed his line of thought. I don’t know your experience, but whatever it is continue to learn from it because one day it will add up and when you look back, you’ll understand why you have to have to go through the whole experience.

Personal

Just like every taste bud is different, each and every one of us experience different things in life.  According to Eleanor Roosevelt, The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” If you ask anyone what’s the purpose of life, you’ll likely receive different responses. The answer to this question is subjective and deeply personal. Different things are important to us throughout the course of our lives. Yet one thing stays with us no matter where we go: our experiences. With respect to personal experience, definitely it’s important to note that your network determines your net worth. Therefore, cultivate your friendships and find companies that fulfill you. It’s from those experiences in life that you’ll learn and grow. In this process, we can learn valuable lessons about ourselves and the world around us. So, don’t be hard on yourself.

 

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. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

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Opinion: Understanding Vision and Mission

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“Your gifts or anointing isn’t really a blessing, but responsibility on shoulders to help those hanging others through in their course and causes to fulfilling destiny! When you are anointed or gifted it is not for you, but for your generation. The first rule of IMPACT states that: it has been given, to be given! Success is measured by income, but greatness is measured by IMPACT(S)!”– Tolulope A. Adegoke

God can empower anyone. In fact, God has empowered everyone; but our roles involve activating and engagement of these anointing or gifting. When God empowers you, it is not meant for you to be contained, but to be a channel of distribution to your generation.

To receive anointing or gifting in higher capacity, you must be channelled. When you are anointed or gifted it is not for you, but for your generation. When a man is anointed with knowledge or skills, it is meant for impact, not for selfish interest. To me, the first law of IMPACT says: “it has been given, to be given!”

There are two critical factors that we must consider if must fulfil a purpose:

i.                    TIME

ii.                 SEASON

The book of Ecclesiastes 3:1 reveals that:To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Speed is good, strength is also good (it gives the capacity to do exploits), wisdom is as well the principal thing, but in all our getting, understanding is paramount. Of all the thing that you shouldn’t joke with is TIME! It TIME lies CHANCES! If you cannot understand TIME, you will not be able to understand what opportunities mean. Chance is the anointing for capabilities!

The great men that we celebrate and continue to celebrate today are being celebrated because they knew or have the understanding of TIME which encapsulates CHANCES for opportunities!

November 1884 (The Berlin Conference) which featured the Scramble and Partitioning of Africa as a continent was a monument. Twenty (20) determined men changed the lives and destiny of billions across the world. These people sat in a room to discuss the fate races; they discussed and partitioned the world for their making and to take charge and impact their culture on them for their continual generational gains (The Liberation).

TIME & CHANCE happens to every one of us! You do not need to be saved alone to understand these basic truths tagged TIME & CHANCE. There are some factors we must also consider per time, which are:

·        Seed

·        Time

·        Harvest

Some humans are making it big today, even though are not believers, but because they understand the fixed principle which is culled out of the Holy Scriptures: The Power of Time & Season. The Holy Scriptures affirms that Time andSeasons happens to them all.

Preparation is what you do in a season, so as to be able to harvest in the next season!

A generation is a group of people with a common course for common cause(s). The likes of Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir. Nnamdi Azikwe, Ahmadu Bello and the rest) were able to fulfil the MANDATE of LIBERATION!

The likes of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Rt. Ibrahim Babangida, Gowon amongst others were TRANSFORMERS!

But, I must reveal an absolute truism to you today that “this generation of ours, as at today have been charged with the MANDATE of TRANSFORMATION, therefore, you and I are The TRANSFORMERS! This is a noble cause that is worth living and dying for! Of course, it is a course worth squeezing the juice.

The answer to you knowing, understanding and fulfilling your authentic purpose on earth lies on you meditating on this mantra: “Oh God of Creation, show us the TRUTH, why we are here on Earth!” Because there is a saying that when the essence of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable!

I charge you to aspire for greatness, not mere success! Prominence is attached with greatness!

Success is measured by income, but greatness is measured by IMPACTS!

God does not answer to songs alone, but prayers!

Redemption, Relief, Comfort, Blessing, Blessing and Grace is all you are bound to carry the course of you acting in-line with the above generational mandate.

Guess what? You are not going to be a leader; you are one already! You are not too young to TRANSFORM (influence) the state of your nation and the world at large! Never underrate the grace which you carry as a being!

…. To be continued

Thank you for reading. I trust that you have been activated for IMPACTS!

Tolulope A. Adegoke is an acclaimed “globalpreneur”, with the mandate to enrich lives and provide the professional, spiritual, academic and leadership empowerment needed to birth, maximize and sustain possibilities in peoples, corporates and nations. He is a prolific writer, frequent keynote speaker and spoken word poet, among others. He has also written countless articles in diverse reputable fields and honoured many public invitations.

He is also a Senior Administrator.

Tolulope Adegoke can be booked for public events via the contacts below:

E-mail: adegoketolulope1022@gmail.com

            globalstageimpacts@gmail.com

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FirstBank Partners CFA Society Nigeria to Host 2019 Ethics Challenge Competition

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FirstBank Nigeria Limited, in furtherance of its commitment to promoting business ethics, professional excellence and education, is partnering with CFA Society Nigeria for the third consecutive year to host its annual flagship event, the Ethics Challenge. The event is scheduled to hold on Friday November 15 & Saturday 16, 2019 in Abuja and Lagos for the regional and national levels respectively.

FirstBank’s efforts epitomise its Endowment programme – the Samuel Asabia Chair for Business Ethics at the University of Lagos.

The Ethics Challenge is designed to increase students’ awareness of the ethical dilemmas and issues they may face when they enter the investment management industry. At the Ethics Challenge, students are given an ethics case study to analyze, evaluate, recommend and present to a panel of judges. To determine the winning team, the judges provide feedback based on the identification and understanding of the ethical issues in the case, the recommendations provided with the depth of the analysis, quality of the presentation, and responses to the judges’ questions.

The 2018 winner, Obafemi Awolowo University, would defend its trophy against 15 other higher institutions in the country. Babcock University, Bowen University, Covenant University, Federal University of Technology Akure, Mountain Top University, University of Calabar, University of Ibadan and University of Lagos are the schools competing in the Lagos preliminary round.

Competing in the Abuja preliminary round are University of Abuja, University of Maiduguri, Bayero University, University of Ilorin, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Madonna University.

The judges for the contest are Mrs. Adeola Asabia, Member, Board of Trustees, Business Ethics Chair, University of Lagos; Musa Bagudu, CFA, Head, External Funds Management Office, Central Bank of Nigeria; Kunle Anida, CFA Director, Deals Advisory, PWC Nigeria amongst others.

According to CFA Society Nigeria President, Mr. Banji Fehintola, “The annual Ethics Challenge embodies CFA Society Nigeria’s mission to promote the highest standards of ethics in our investment and financial services industry. It touches on many of CFA Institute’s Future of Finance six areas of focus which include: Transparency and Fairness, Regulation and Enforcement, and Safeguarding the System. It also promotes ethical awareness and fosters a healthy investment industry that works for the ultimate benefit of society. Through our collaboration with First Bank of Nigeria Limited to run this competition annually, we will continue to invest in our university students and we hope to build the commitment of our future professionals to operate according to sound ethical principles”.

Expressing her delight on FirstBank’s support and participation in the CFA Ethics Challenge, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Folake Ani-Mumuney said “throughout our 125 years of existence, we pride ourselves as exemplary in ensuring that global best practices are upheld in accordance to ethical standards across our organizational practices and activities.

“We recognize the impact of the CFA Society Nigeria through its giant strides in fostering Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct amongst university students and other touch points in the society in preparing them to overcome ethical challenges that they may face in the workplace environment.“

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