Africa: The best of West Africa and Nigerian Tourism honoured at 2018 Abuja Jabamah

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It was an emotional and yet impressive event as the Bests in West Africa and the Nigeria’s Tourism landscape, termed M.I.C.E Awards West Africa and Top 100 Tourism Personalities in Nigeria were recognized and inducted into the Tourism 100 Club Nigeria respectively. The recognitions took place during the 6th Abuja Jabamah, held at the Exhibition Pavilion of the International Conference Center, Abuja on the 16th November 2018.

Honourable Tamwakat Weli, Commissioner for Tourism, Plateau State took the audience by surprise with fabulous gifts presentations to Otunba Segun Runsewe, DG, NCAC and Mr. Ikechi Uko, organizer, Abuja Jabamah, after the breathtaking performances by the Patatrac Acrobatic performers from the Carnival Calabar.

The acrobatic performance was intended to be a foretaste of the full blast of what is slated to be the new addition of Circus to further enrich the experiences of families and children who visit Carnival Calabar this year.

The event featured presentations by Mr. Solomon Abebe Tessema, Ambassador of Ethiopia to Nigeria as he marketed his country to participants. Other presenter included Mr. Fola Adeyemi, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture; Mr. Gabe Onah, Chairman, Carnival Calabar Commission; Mr. Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa, Trade Relations Manager, South African Tourism and Hon. Tamwakat Weli, Plateau State’s Commissioner for Tourism, Culture and Hospitality.

Appreciating the organizers of the event and marketing the State as a tourist destination to travel agents and tour operators at the event, Hon. Tamwakat Weli traces reasons why Plateau State remains a choice haven for tourists.

She presented a life-size portrait of the DG of NCAC to him as a token from the State in appreciation of his drive in helping reposition the State in tourism and culture; while Mr. Ikechi Uko was presented with a portrait of the Shere Hills in Jos. Shere Hill with its hanging rocks is one of the wonders of nature to behold in Nigeria.

Otunba Segun Runsewe, responding to the gifts with deep appreciation went on to reveal that Jos is niched in history as the City that has the first hotel/guest house in Nigeria. He also Harped on the need to counter negative media reports with counter factual evidences as he related with incidents of false reports of killings in the State while the last edition NAFEST was held in Jos.

Starting with the M.I.C.E. Awards, Dr. Edmund Yomi Jones of Six Continent Travel and Tours went home with M.I.C.E. Legend of Travel Award. Accra – Ghana carted home the M.I.C.E. City in West Africa; Kaya Tours Ghana won the M.I.C.E. Company of the Year West Africa while Prince Wale Olapade, Chief Correspondence, Nigerian Tribune, went home with the M.I.C.E. Journalist of the Year for West Africa.

Lagos State won two awards, the M.I.C.E. City of the Year in Nigeria and the M.I.C.E. Most Active Tourism State in Nigeria. Rivers State and Plateau tied-up with Lagos State as the M.I.C.E. Most Active Tourism State in Nigeria.
Uloma, Egbuna’s Tour Brokers International was honoured with the M.I.C.E. Company of the Year Nigeria.

Winners included
1. Chief Mike Amachree – Father of Tourism
2. Mr. Olufemi Adefope, Chairman, GHI Assets Limited
3. Mrs. Fatima Garbati – Managing Director, Speed Tours/Former President NATOP
4. Alhaji Lai Mohammed – Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Information & Culture Nigeria
5. Grace Gekpe – Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information & Culture Nigeria
6. Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director – General, National Council for Arts & Culture Nigeria
7. Folorunsho Folarin Coker – Director – General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation
8. Mr. Steve Ayorinde – Hon. Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture
9. Sally Mbanefo – Hon. Commissioner, Anambra State Ministry of Tourism
10. Mr. Eric Anderson – Hon. Commissioner, Cross River State Ministry of Tourism
11. Mr. Gabe Onah – Chairman, Carnival Calabar Commission, Cross River State
12. Mrs. Tamwakat Weli – Hon. Commissioner, Plateau State Ministry of Tourism Plateau
13. Mrs. Tonye-Briggs Oniyide- Hon. Commissioner, River State Ministry of Tourism
14. Turakin Nura A. kangiwa, Director – General, Argungu International Festival/ SA Tourism, Kebbi State
15. Mr. Hloni Pitso – West Africa Manager, South Africa Tourism
16. Mr. Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa – Trade Manager West Africa, South African Tourism
17. Ken Aklah – Special Adviser Events to Governor of Cross River State
18. Otunba Ayo Olumoko, MD, Info Gem Limited
19. Ebele Eze-Enechukwu – Mrs. Tourism United Nation ‘15-‘17
20. Ubongabasi Nseobot – Marketing Manager, Southern Sun Hotel Ikoyi Lagos
21. Stella Fubara – Head Africa, Dubai Tourism Commerce Marketing (DTCM)
22. Rita Ikechi-Uko, Co-founder Akwaaba African Travel Market Lagos
23. Senator Florence Ita Giwa – Female Band Leader Carnival Calabar
24. Akporiaye Susan, Managing Director, Topaz Travels Ltd
25. Margaret Fabiyi – Webisco Tourism & Webisco Women in Agricultural Tourism Ltd
26. Mrs. Uloma Egbuna – Managing Director, Tour Brokers International
27. Eme Affia – Director, Carnival Calabar
28. Mr. Rabo Saleh – Managing Director, All States Travels/ President FTAN
29. Hajia Bilkisu Abdul – Managing Director, BBOOG Travels/ NATOP President
30. Mr. Nkereuwem Onung – Managing Director Remlords Tours & Car Hire/BOT NATOP
31. Alhaji Kabiru Malan, President ATPN
32. Mr. Andy Ehanire MD Ogba Zoo, Edo State
33. Aliyu Badaki – President HATMAN
34. Chief Abiodun Abisayo ODUSANWO, MBA, FITP, National President ITP
35. Chief Dr. Chike Ezeudeh – HOFA President
36. Kayode Adeshola – Managing Director, Capstone Travel & Tours
37. Adelola Adewole – Managing Director Tifa Travels & Tours
38. Alhaji Aminu Agoha, Ex-Officio FTAN
39. Tokunbo Dagunduro, Vice President, NANTA, Western Zone
40. Dr. Olawanle Akinboboye – La Campagne Tropicana
41. Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, Managing Director, Transcorp Hilton Abuja
42. Barry Curran, Area Manager, Nigeria, Sheraton Hotel
43. Danny Kioupouroglou, General Manager, Eko Hotel & Suites
44. Mark Loxley – General Manager, Southern Sun Hotel Ikoyi, Lagos
45. Amaechi Ndili – Chairman, Golden Tulip Hotels Nigeria
46. Bob Bamgboye, Managing Director, Current Link Systems Ltd
47. Wasiu A. Babalola, PhD, FIH, Senior Vice President / CEO for Africa, Continent Worldwide Hotels
48. Nnaemeka Agbasi – NAC Hospitality
49. Mobisola Shobayo – Managing Director, Super International Travels/
50. Omolara Adagunodo – Managing Director, Jumia Travels
51. Chinyere ‘Chichi’ Umeasiegbu (Mrs.)– Managing Director, Global links Service
52. Ahmed Ojuolape – Managing Director, Empire Travel & Tours
53. Mrs. Foluke Abodunrin – Managing Director, Folabod Travel & Tours
54. Sam Adeleke – Afro Tourism
55. Chiamaka Obuekwe, Social Prefect Tours.
56. David & Wonuola Olatunde-Lamidi, Founder/Managing Director Diamonds & Pearls Travel & Tours
57. Isaac & Nneka Moses – Goge Africa
58. Mr. Adebayo Ajayi – Managing Director, Abay Tours
59. Abiola Lawal – Managing Director,
60. Ifedayo Andrew-Ogunbayo, Managing Director, FIDOL Trip
61. Cecile Doumbe, Managing Director, CMD Tours
62. Chidimma Tina Nwanya, Lead Travel Consultant, Nje Tours Litd
63. Erelu Funmi Rotiba, Managing Director, Special Tours Ltd
64. Olufunke Adeola Taiwo, Managing Director, Hadur Travels
65. Ediyanga Uko, Managing Director, Travelkulture
66. Mr. Stephen Isokariari, Managing Director, Dial travel Ltd/BOT NANTA
67. Oluwaseyi Adegoke Adeyemo, Publisher, Inside Watch Africa
68. Omololu Olumuyiwa, Publisher, Travelscope Magazine
69. Demola Ojo, Editor Travels, ThisDay Newspapers
70. Wale Olapade, Chief Correspondent, Nigerian Tribune
71. Chuks Nwanne, Asst. Editor, Entertainment & Lifestyle, The Guardian
72. Obinna Emelike, Tourism Editor, Businessday Newspapers
73. Lucky George, Publisher, Africa Travel Times
74. Frank Meke – Media Consultant
75. Okorie Uguru, Tourism Correspondent, The Nation Newspapers
76. Elder Emeka Anokwuru, Head, Tourism & Travel, The Sun Newspapers
77. Wale Ojo Lanre, Associate Editor, Nigerian Tribune
78. Dr. Raphael James – CRIMMD Media Lagos
78. Franklin Ihejirika, Publisher, Nigerian Franknews
79. Dayo Adedayo – Managing Director, Dap Photography/Tour Nigeria Publications
80. Pelu Awofeso – Travel Next Door
81. Mr. John-Likita Best – SA Tourism Plateau State

Some of the awards recipients in their responses appreciated the awards and recognition and insisted that the event has inspired them to go the extra mile and to do more for the tourism industry in West Africa and Nigeria.

By Renn Offor

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