IPADA not JAPA says Tourism Icon, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye

Tourism Icon, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye has called on Nigerians in the Diaspora to heed the Motherland Beckons call and return to Nigeria to contribute their quota to the development of the country and the African continent.

The tourism icon made the call at the 2nd annual Lagos Tourism Roundtable event put together by the Lagos Chapter of the Institute For Tourism Professionals in Nigeria (ITPN).

Speaking on the theme, Diaspora Tourism: An Untapped Niche In Lagos State, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye cautioned Nigerians about the current phenomenon of JAPA which stands for a distress abandonment of the country by Nigerians who opt to go abroad on second slavery.

Akinboboye who did not condemn going abroad for knowledge or for tourism purposes, condemned the JAPA syndrome, insisting that Africans in Diaspora should at this time be thinking more of IPADA (The Return) rather than encourage people to JAPA.

IPADA simply explained: “Our ancestors left in slave ships to make the dreadful transatlantic journey to service a reprehensive sugar industry that we liken to the sour lemon of humanity. But through the empowering movement of IPADA and IPADA Carnival, today, the table has turned with the offsprings of the continent in the Diaspora, returning in cruise ships as Motherland Beckons. IPADA is the celebration of the return of people of African ancestry back to the continent.”

Akinboboye noted that, while calling on Africans in Diaspora to heed the call to return home, “We should plan ahead what they are to return to do here and how they would be engaged. Or are we expecting them to return and then sit at-home? That is why at La Campagne Tropicana, we have created tourism products like DNERP which can conveniently take care of them.

“Diaspora Nigeria Economic Recovery Programme (DNERP), is an extensive programme, which offers Nigerians, lovers of Nigeria in Diaspora and their friends, a template to contribute their own quota of resuscitating the economy by holidaying and investing in Nigeria. DNERP is in two distinct categories or packages, that is, Leisure and Business.”
DNERP has potential for attracting foreign inflow into the country, it is a great empowerment opportunity for those working and earning income from the tourism industry.

“The beauty of this is that it is a win-win for Nigerians at home and Nigerians in Diaspora. While it offers Nigerians in Diaspora and their friends an opportunity to contribute their own quota by visiting Nigeria for three days and two nights with a payment of $1000 apiece, which comes with a first class entertainment in form of dance, drama, poetry, authentic African music, cuisines and night clubbing. The money paid grows the GDP and locals also find an earning power.”

He further said; “Apart from the leisure and entertainment package, there is also the business plan where Diaspora Nigerians, who are interested in doing business at home, can become distributors and part owners in companies and businesses with good rate of returns on investment.

“Tourists are most likely to spend between two to four weeks, thereby resulting into additional expenditure of about $4,000 on travels, family and sundry expenses. A corresponding $2 billion injection into the Nigerian economy.”

The event which had the backing of the Lagos State Governor Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had as Special Guest, the Lagos State Hon. Commissioner for Tourism Arts and Culture, Mrs Toke Benson Awoyinka, Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, the National President of the Institute For Tourism Professionals (ITPN), Otunba Ayo Olumoko, the Vice President (South West) ITPN, Dr Babatunde Olaide-Mesewale, Chairman, Lagos State chapter, ITPN, and Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO Nigerians in Diaspora Commission amongst other dignitaries.

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