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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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Court Reaffirms Sack of Ifeanyi Uba as Senator

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A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in the Bwari area of Abuja has reaffirmed the sack of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party (YPP).

Senator Ubah was the lawmaker representing Anambra South district in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

In a ruling on Friday, Justice Bello Kawu refused to reverse the judgement of the court delivered in December which removed Uba as a member of the Senate.

He, however, ordered that Mr Obinna Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had challenged Ubah’s victory in the February 23 poll, be recognised as the winner of the election.

The judge also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Uzoh, the applicant, as the senator-elect in the district.

Among other claims, the PDP candidate alleged that his YPP counterpart presented a forged National Examination Council (NECO) secondary school certificate to INEC, which enabled him to contest the Anambra South senatorial election.

He also insisted that Ubah’s party should be disqualified for not conducting a primary for its candidates in the poll.

In his judgement, Justice Kawu sacked Ubah and declared that the second defendant in the suit – the YPP – did not have the locus standi, and should not have participated in the election.

Reacting to the judgment, the National Chairman of YPP, Mr Bishop Amakiri, said his party would appeal the decision of the court.

According to him, the court erred in law on the ground that the party was never served with the court processes.

Amakiri added that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain and enter judgment in favour of Mr Uzoh who he said never participated in the senatorial election.

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Divine Relationship: Success in Life is Principally about Who You Know – Pst Kalejaiye

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By Eric Elezuo

A Regional Evangelist of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Johnson Tomisin Kalejaiye, has said that for one to be successful in life, it has to go beyond what you know, but revolves round who you know. Kalejaiye hinted that there’s the possibility of the Ph.D holder to continue to roam the streets despite his accumulation of education and knowledge if he does not know anybody to enhance his status and speed up his quest to make use of his knowledge.

The firebrand evangelist, who is three months short of celebrating 22 years of prolific Anointing Service across the globe, made this remarks while ministering on the topic Divine Relationship during House J Fellowship held every Thursday under the guidance of successful industrialist, Mr. Bayo Fatusin.

“Everything a man desires in life can be found inside divine relationship, which is a state of connectedness. Success in life is not about what you know; it also includes who you know. Who you know can determine what you get. In other words, your connection can determine your collection. You can have 10 Ph.Ds in 10 disciplines, but if you know people, you remain at a place. The question is who do you know? A godfather or God the Father? You may not have a godfather, but if you have God the Father, you are secured,” he said.

Pastor Kalejaiye, a fellow of two professional bodies, revealed that the best and most rewarding relationship is recorded in what he called ‘chapter 23’. A further revelation unveils that chapter 23 refers to Psalms 23, otherwise known as ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’ from the first verse to the end.

Chapter 23 is a chapter loaded with blessings’ Chapter 23 is a chapter of an object that attracts the shadow’ chapter 23 is a chapter of Godly relationships between a sheep and a shepherd. Everything a man needs in life is inside Chapter 23 – divine relationship,” Kalejaiye exposed.

The vibrant evangelist, who is due to be 60 on April 1, went deeper to expatiate the relationship in Chapter 23, which he says leads to eternity.

“Chapter 23 begins with a relationship and ends with eternity”

The exposition, according to the man runs thus:

The Lord is my shepherd – relationship

I shall not want/lack – supply

He makes me lie down in green pastures – rest

He leads me beside still waters – refreshment

He restores my soul – restoration

He leads me in the path of righteousness – guidance

For His name sake – purpose

Yea, though I walk through the valley of death – protection

I will fear no evil – boldness/faith

For thou art with me – divine presence

Thy rod and thy staff; they comfort me – discipline

Thou prepares a table before in the presence of my enemies – provision

Thou anointed my head with oil – anointing and empowerment

My cup runs over – overflow

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life – security

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever – eternity.

“Relationship with God will provoke every other thing,” Kalejaiye submitted.

Pastor Kalejaiye, who prides himself for attending five primary schools, is a regular guest speaker at the House J Thursday fellowship, where God is dedicated men and women to move and change lives.

According to the coordinator of the fellowship, Mr. Bayo Fatusin, House J fellowship centre has over the years, remain an epicentre of life changing miracles and testimonies abound. He therefore, called on many to join for the one hour weekly gathering for an encounter of a lifetime.

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Lagos Assembly Confirms Three Commissioner-Nominees, Others

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The Lagos State House of Assembly has confirmed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s nominees for the state Executive Council, Civil Service Commission and the state House of Assembly Service Commission (LAHASCOM).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the confirmation of the 11 nominees took place through a voice vote conducted during plenary on Thursday.

The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, explained that the three commissioner-nominees confirmed by the Assembly were Ganiyu Ayuba, Olugbenga Oyerinde and Bamigbose Martins.

He said those confirmed for the LAHASCOM were Akeem Bello, a former member of the Eighth Assembly, Kabiru Lawal, a member of the Assembly from 2007–2015 and Richard Osungboye.

He added that the nominees confirmed for the Assembly service commission were Babatunde Seriki, a former member of the Assembly, Avoseh Suuru, Adesina Odeyemi, Olubunmi Fabanwo, who was confirmed as Chairman and Kamalrudeen Olorunoje.

NAN reports that an eight-man Ad-hoc Committee on Screening of Governor’s Nominees had given its report through its Chairman, Rotimi Abiru, on Monday during plenary.

Mr Abiru stated that all the nominees were screened by the committee on December 13 and that they all answered the questions put to them satisfactorily and provided all the necessary documents.

The report of the committee was, however, adopted as the resolution of the Assembly, while motion for its adoption was moved by Abiodun Tobun, supported by Victor Akande.

The Assembly had, on August 16, 2019, rejected three of the cabinet nominees presented to it for approval by Mr Sanwo-Olu, thus necessitating their replacements.

Those rejected by the Assembly then included Ajayi Bembe, George Obafemi and Olanrewaju Sanusi.

(NAN)

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