by Wale Olapade
The centenary of Nigeria comes with different landmark celebrations and for the tourism sector and players, the stage is set to roll out drums not only to assess and celebrate achievements, but also to encourage icons whose efforts are indelible at bringing tourism promotion to limelight.
However, one of the few committed to the promotion of practical tourism with evidence of sustainable platform on ground is the publisher of ATQ magazine and organiser of Akwaaba African Travel Market, Mr Ikechi Uko who is billed to honour 100 personalities who are threshold to tourism development in Nigeria.
As Nigeria celebrates anniversary, Abuja Bantaba will be honouring the 100 leading Travel and Tourism personalities in Nigeria’s history at the Travellers Award Dinner on April 25, 2014 at Abuja.
The personalities who were carefully drawn from both core and allied tourism and travel sector, based on their immense contribution to tourism include CP Audu Bako the former Governor of old Kano State, seen as one of the greatest tourism visionaries in Nigeria along with Dr Donald Duke the former governor of Cross River State. Other pioneers in Aviation include Chief Igbinedion of the famous Okada Air the first private major airline in Nigeria, Sir Louis Ojukwu of Ojukwu Transport, Chief Ubajiaka of Izuchukwu transport, Austin Ilodibe of the famous Ekene Dili Chukwu.
In addition, frontline hospitality and tour operations will be honoured along with the first male and female pilots and the Nigerian who invented the popular Chapman drink.
According to the organiser of Abuja Bantaba, “the annual travel event organised by Akwaaba Travel Market in Abuja, which is a one-day speed-dating event at Abuja Sheraton Hotel, in its fourth edition celebrate with Nigeria the Centenary.
“As part of our centenary, we seek to honour the best of Nigeria 100 travel companies selected as the leading travel organisations in Nigeria and list of 100 top hotels.
“To this end, a special edition of our annual magazine Travellers Yearbook will be launched.
Ikechi Uko said the publication will include a compilation of 100 Nigerians that have made impact in the development of tourism and travel in Nigeria’s history and the top 100 organisations at the forefront of travel business today in Nigeria.
‘The publication and the listed organisations and people will be honoured at the 12th Travellers Award ceremony at Abuja on April 25,” Uko added.