Monthly Archives: November 2016

FG Goof In De-Seconding NTDC Boss, Sally Mbanefo

The federal has goofed in the De-Secondment of Sally Mbanefo, Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC] due to what many referred to as poor filling and documentation in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

In a letter dated November 27, 2016 addressed to the director general, the government wrongly accused her of overstaying her period of secondment and directed that she handover the affairs of the corporation to the next most senior officer.

The letter signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, titled “Notification of De-secondment from the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC] stated, “I refer to the attached letter, Ref. No. SGF.6/S.23/1/568 of 8th October, 2013 in respect of your secondment from the Keystone Bank Limited to serve as Executive Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC] for a period of two years with effect from 6th May 2013.

It stated further that “You may note from the foregoing that the period of your secondment at the corporation had since lapsed on 5th May 2016. “Consequently, you are to handover the affairs of the corporation to the most senior officer on or before Wednesday, 30th November, 2016.

Unknown to many, the above letter was sent to the management of Keystone Bank Limited for secondment which was subsequently rejected by the management of the bank, whilst Sally Mbanefo resigned from the bank as executive director to take charge of NTDC as its chief executive and a fresh appointment letter issues for her appointment for a period of four years.

The purported letter of secondment is however a non-issue and that there was nothing but the works of those who cannot wait for Sally to complete her tenure in April 2017.

Meanwhile, sources closed to the power play game that has been going on between Federal Ministry of Information and Culture had submitted names of people to replace the current NTDC boss and they were all rejected before the latest shenanigan.

Sources closed to Sally Mbanefo told www.africantraveltimes.com that she has reported to the Permanent Secretary in the Secretary to the Government Office [SGF] to tender her appointment letter and the circumstance of the misunderstood letter of secondment in the first place that was flatly rejected by her former employer, Keystone Bank Limited.

Angola’s Neurite Mendes Emerges Miss Africa 2016 In calabar

By OBAJI AKPET, Caalabar

The contestant representing Angola, Neurite Mendes, 23 yesterday emerged winner of the maiden edition of Miss Africa Beauty Pageant held at the Calabar International Convention Centre [CICC], Calabar, Cross River State.

Following the line of victory was 24 year old South African, Refilwe Mthimunye, who came first runner up to take home cash prize of 15,000 US dollar; while Miss Cameroon, Jencey Anwifoje, 25 came second runner to grab 10,000dollar cash.

The event recorded participation from eighteen African countries including Botswana, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Gabon, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola.

With the theme ‘Green economy: a tool for sustainable development’ was held as part of the current Cross River Governor Ben Ayade’s climate change campaign drive.

Speaking with journalists shortly after the event, Mendes said she’s head over moon over the prizes she has won and shall not relent her effort in living up to expectation while serving as ambassador of “First of all, I’m a 23 year old girl who just won 25,000 dollars and a brand new car and so that’s something I’m just head over moon. I’m so excited, I’m so blessed.”

Adding that with her winning the crown, Africa is on its way to making history on its campaign on climate change while she seeks to tour the entire Africa to re-educate people on climate change.

Speaking earlier, the governor of Cross River who worried that despite Africa generating little emission, it has continued to bear the brunt of industrialization stating that “We have therefore created a platform that will create a new beginning for the renaissance of Africa.”

Adding that “And so, the platform we have today, we start with a beauty pageant, actually it’s a journey to climate change; the climate change, which is today a big challenge globally.”

High points of the event featured performances from Kiss Daniel, Yemi Sax, Last Prophet, Victoria Kimani, Kwela Tebza, Big Daddy Africa, Real Pee Ajaba among others.

While Ik-Osakioduwa and Juliet Ibrahim emceed the event with VJ Adams anchoring the blue carpet.

Mendes, winner of this year’s edition has since carted home 25,000 US dollars alongside a Forde Escape car, plus she becomes Africa’s climate change ambassador for the year 2016 through 2017.

T Michaels Premieres Ogodoh In Hometown

By OBAJI AKPET, Calabar

One of Nigeria’s fast rising filmmaker, Michael Thomas Enang, known in the movie industry as T Michaels recently premiered his recent movie titled ‘Ogodoh’ at his Iyamoyong hometown in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State.

T Michaels is known for movies he has produced including film titled ‘The Last Warrior,’ ‘The Crying Kings,’ ‘Nkusa,’ ‘Idiok Nduk,’ among others.

Ogodoh was shot in Iyamoyong and now premiered in same location, the reason T Michael gave to be part of his own contribution to bringing exposure to his hometown.

The producer added that he was inspired by the story his late mother to told him about a certain masquerade in his hometown called Ogodoh while she was alive; and so dedicated the film to his mother’s blessed memories.

Sheraton Lagos Unveils 107 Freshly Renovated Rooms

The iconic Sheraton Lagos Hotel [www.SheratonLagos.com] unveiled 107 newly renovated club rooms and suites, all refreshed and elegantly furnished with modern interiors and enhanced amenities.

Intuitive design blends seamlessly with local cultural elements and permeates through the re- energized interiors to provide a sense of place. The hotel also revealed an all new invigorated Sheraton® Club Lounge, the brand’s exclusive lounge destination that provides upgraded access and enhanced privileges.

“The renovation of our Club Rooms and Suites and the Sheraton® Club Lounge at the Sheraton Lagos underscores the brand’s new elevated and customized approach to design as part of Sheraton 2020, a 10-point plan designed to put Sheraton back in the global spotlight and solidify its positioning as a leading global hotel brand of choice, everywhere,” said Barry Curran, Area General Manager for Nigeria.

“We are confident that these modern enhancements and added amenities will further empower our guests and enable them to experience more during their stay. ”

All of the 107 Sheraton Club Rooms and Suites have been completely redesigned in order to create a modern and elegant experience.

Purposefully designed with attention to detail, they come equipped with the renowned Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience providing unmatched comfort.

Particular attention has been given to the lighting to ensure efficient task lighting where required and just the right level of ambient light for relaxation.

The use of a mosaic pattern on the wall tiling adds intricate detail to the room. The bathrooms are thoughtfully designed using quality materials and fittings with premium bath amenities.

The Hotel also unveiled the new Sheraton® Club Lounge which combines intuitive design with a higher level of comfort and access, providing Club guests with added privileges and highly personalized services. Guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast, tea, coffee, drinks and snacks.

“We’ve inspired change that we’re sure will exceed expectations by issuing modern, elegant and intelligent updates to both our service and Club Room and Suites design,” added Barry. “Our associates are excited to connect with our guests whenever possible, collaborate on their passions and make each stay memorable delivering on our commitment to service excellence”.

The hotel celebrated and showcased its refurbished spaces with “Paired”, the Sheraton brand’s new hotel lobby bar experience that comprises of artisanal small plates and elevated bar snacks, served alongside premium wines and suggested beverages. Paired stretches the boundaries of traditional pairing principles by blending ingredients together in new and unexpected ways.

The food and beverage experience was complimented with music and cultural nuances for a truly delightful intimate evening attended by the esteemed invitees for this exclusive showcase and celebration.

Sheraton Lagos Hotel which opened in 1985 as the first arrival point for international travelers to Lagos has since been a city landmark and a hotspot for the local community as well as the international traveler. The hotel’s close proximity to the international airport has positioned it as a safe haven in the commercial capital of Nigeria.

Sheraton Lagos offers a variety of dining experiences that range from local cuisine to an international buffet to authentic Italian at the three restaurants. A lively and eclectic Sunday brunch, Theme Nights every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday at the Pool Terrace along with local live entertainment on Fridays and the very popular Wazobia nights form a highlight, while the buzzing atmosphere of the lobby and bars creates the ideal ambience for regular Sheraton Paired events where friends, family and colleagues connect over a delightful selection of premium wines paired with unexpected bar snacks and food.

Recreational facilities include Sheraton Fitness, outdoor pool, tennis courts, and a mini golf range ensuring guests can make the most out of every stay. Endless connectivity through high-speed Wi-Fi and a full-service business centre caters to every business need round the clock while flexible meeting spaces with the dedicated event specialists ensure the success of any gathering.

Sheraton Lagos Hotel continues to deliver effortless travel experiences enabling guests to experience more combining international facilities with the warm and welcoming spirit of Nigerian hospitality.

Lai Mohammed Inaugurates Committee To Review Tourism Master Plan

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday inaugurated the Technical Committee on the Review of Nigeria’s Tourism Master Plan, with a call on members to articulate realistic policies that will drive tourism from the periphery to the mainstream of the economy.

Speaking at the inauguration in Abuja, the Minister said even though the Tourism Master Plan was designed in 2006, a plan of action to implement it was abandoned half way hence the need for members of the committee to review the Plan in consonance with contemporary challenges and realities and the peculiarities of Nigeria.

“This team is to review our own Tourism Master Plan and see which aspect of that Master Plan needs to be reviewed in consonance with what has happened both in terms of technology, politics and even in terms of climate change.

“We are talking about reasonable and sustainable tourism because what we are offering to the world in terms of cultural and natural resources are also dependent on Mother Nature, and you must make sure that we do not expend it or expose it in a manner that children unborn will not have anything to show for it,” he said.

Mohammed said part of the drive of this administration to make tourism one of the pillars of the nation’s economy is the resuscitation of the Presidential Council on Tourism [PCT] and the
review of the Master Plan.

He said the Steering Committee on the PCT had already commenced the drafting of the Council’s agenda, which will be handed over to the President.

The Minister also disclosed the readiness of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation [UNWTO] to assist Nigeria in the review of the Master Plan, having contributed immensely to the drafting of the initial plan.

He underscored the need to develop a synergy among all sectors of government, the private sector and the local community in order to have a multi-sectoral approach towards the development of tourism in Nigeria.

“The thing about tourism is that it’s probably the most inclusive of all endeavours in life,” Mohammed said, noting that in tourism, the Ministries of Agriculture Health, Power, Works and
Housing and even Trade and Investment are all important, ”and until we take this on board we will not be able to transit from being a country of huge tourism potential to a country’s who’s economy will be driven by tourism and this is the beginning”.

Members of the Review Committee include representatives from the Federal Ministries of Information and Culture, Interior, Budget and National Planning, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, as well as the National Association of Nigeria’s Travel Agencies [NANTA].