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Nigerian Tourism And Possible Post-COVID-19 Turn Around

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That Nigeria does not have a minister for tourism since independence seemingly looks like an intentional strategy to fail the tourism of the largest black nation in the world. It is a neon light displaying the no premium we place on tourism, and the lack of enthusiasm cum lip service on our sorry tourism sector.

Whilst for many countries, even in Africa, tourism provides not only an alternate earner for the country, but over forty percent of their GDP. Tourism also provides one in every ten jobs across the world. For sub-Sahara Africa, it is a year round earner due to our warm weather, and a big public relation machine that provides huge one-on-one, and ‘see it yourself’ advantage. Our all sphere, current loss in tourism is too huge and cannot be calculated. We do not earn from visit by foreigners, and we lose top dollars from our citizens who always go out to spend.

With oil revenue diminishing daily, our agriculture sector almost at subsistence level, and most natural resources under our soil fully untapped, is it not about time we got serious with our tourism?

We are not talking about getting standby generators for our shameful museums, giving them a new coat of paint or providing proper lighting for artifacts, we are talking a holistic approach that can work in a short time. It is not rocket science or uranium enrichment; many countries in Africa have done it.

Covid-19 forcefully shut down some of the major destinations across the world. Nigerian middle class and elites were forced to stay within as many borders have been closed.  Do we see the blessing in disguise for our tourism sector or we await for the world to open and everyone can start jetting out again? Arising from the current ease on lockdown, from June, people who are ‘home paranoid’ would be thinking of change of environment. Obviously, they would be afraid to return to Europe and their other playgrounds for now, what are we doing to make sure they would not be thinking Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and some of the visa on arrival African countries.  How do we make sure they are thinking Obudu, Yankari, and host of other ready places in Nigeria? Mark it, the world would start opening up June or July and would travel!

For travel, the world will be turning to Africa first, and to many countries which did not record very high rates of COVID-19 infections and death. The urge to travel and see new places for travellers is like a steroid, but they will be looking for destinations they could feel safer and not borne the fear of contraction every second. I belong to many travel communities, and already people are talking about post-COVID-19 travels!  The human race must travel!

There are loads of pristine water falls in Nigeria; how many do you know? Nigeria can host hunting expeditions in our many forests, gorilla trekking, mountain climbing, fishing tours, palm wine tasting experience, booming festivals, themed slave-trade tours, and the list is endless. We should have cruise ship coming because there are lots of things to offer, and our local boats should be filled every weekend! We can’t for now compete with Dubai, Europe, America for theme parks, and even city breaks, but on nature, why not?

So, what must the government and boards do?

Organise, put platforms in place, do government – private sector ownership, run it as profit oriented gig. The civil servants are a major problem, yes, I said! Ease them out of our tourism gradually. They are do-nothing, salary-earning individuals. In practical terms, government involvement is not jamboree and cultural troupes, bringing ‘derelict relics’ to venues of events, launching this and that, making speeches, travelling everywhere with huge funding.  Involvements should be liaising the industry especially by the board, facilitating fam tours for foreign travel agencies, facilitating financing for industry people, trainings, helping to create the environment where local agencies are able to sell Nigerian packages to their counter parts abroad.

I have done a few inbound tours and they are profitable! I hope someday  when I attend  industry meets abroad, an agency will ask me for Nigerian packages  and I can receive email request for Nigerian tours from abroad every day without sweating much, same way I do every day to fulfil the request of my clients here. Consequently, our taxis, hotels, tour guide, destinations, and government can earn from the big pie tourism offers to the rest of the world. Only a Nigerian who does not know Nigeria would say we do not have places to go within!

We can learn from what South Africa, Dubai, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, did with Nigerian travel agencies, and how they got them hauling Nigerians by the truck loads to these countries!

A booming Nigerian tourism is possible post-COVID-19.

Hafees Keshinro, CEO of Butterfly Tourism Nigeria, is a travel expert and ecotourism aficionado.

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Opinion

#EndSARS ‘I Am Disappointed Nigeria Will Treat Me This Way’ – Rinu

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Oluwarinu Oduala has expressed disappointment that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, froze her account just because she lent her voice during the EndSARS protest.

On November 5, the apex bank secured a court order to freeze the account of 19 promoters of the #EndSARS protests.

In a Twitter thread shared on her handle on Monday night, Rinu who is a member of the Lagos State Panel of Judicial Inquiry probing cases of police brutality and the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate, said the recent action of the Central Bank of Nigeria is a betrayal of the supposed peace-making efforts of the government.

Read her Twitter thread below.

”I am part of a generation of Nigerians, who have lived most of their adult lives under ‘democratic’ rule yet I wake up this morning feeling there is no difference between the Nigeria I grew up in and the Nigeria my parents grew up in. The sacrifices of the democrats, who bravely stood on the June 12 mandate to bring our democracy to life seem to be in vain. Ironically many are serving in this government and ruling party.

Everywhere I turn, I am told that I should be ‘grateful’ for a democracy that lives were lost, I should be thankful that I have a voice and I can speak up for myself and my peers. But how can I be grateful when young men and women disappear every day, some killed recklessly without cause, while others get scarred for life—physically, emotionally, or both.

When we began to protest it was because young Nigerians decided to speak up.

We spoke up – not because we wanted to overthrow the government but because we wanted the police to stop killing us. We did not carry arms, or incite any insurrection. Our only weapon was peaceful protest enshrined in Section 40 of our 1999 Constitution. At every point we maintained calm and educated our followers – reiterating throughout the protests that we were not there to fight the government but to ask for change and to follow through to make sure that change was effected.

We believed that somehow we would be spared from the systemic violence and breakdown of social order that was the direct result of the government’s actions. Unfortunately we were mistaken.

I was volunteered to receive donations to our cause by Nigerians at home and abroad who felt helpless to personally protest but believed they could make a difference through financial sacrifices. Such was the passion of average Nigerians to contribute how best they can to the #EndSARS cause, they found my personal account number and sent in what they could sacrifice towards the cause. Some people even sent as little ?500; all they could spare towards the cause. To have their sacrifices rubbished by the government and their motivations questioned is disheartening because the raised funds including over N200,000 naira gathered from my business were meant to be disbursed to attend to the medical bills of injured protesters.

We called for among other things, a probe into the killings and torture of people and the government agreed by setting up judicial panels. In order to assure young people of the independence and fairness of the panel I took up the role as a youth representative at the detriment of my education, personal life and family. I did this to make peace. I did to ensure our young people understood that the only way to create a better and safer Nigeria is to do things lawfully. Why am I still being targeted for lending the government my goodwill?

I am not part of Nigeria’s political or business elite—I have no relatives in government or family members with enough wealth to sway powerful individuals. I am just an ordinary young Nigerian. I study, selling hoodies and other clothing for ?5,000 to pay my school fees. I also do the odd bit of freelancing, taking on some brand influencing work to ensure my family doesn’t suffer. Somehow, however, my existence threatens my government, the fact that I have a voice is enough for them to try to silence me.

In the Nigeria I am fighting for, it wouldn’t matter that I am a child of nobody coming from the average Nigerian home. The Nigeria I am fighting for is one that prioritizes every voice, protects every inalienable right, even mine.

I decided to use the only currency I have, my voice to speak up against extrajudicial killings, torture, extortion and unjust harassment that is still happening in a democratic nation in the 21st century! The government also agreed that reform is inevitable and promised us they were going to listen so why punish the same people that are speaking up?

I am not afraid—I am only disappointed that this country will treat me this way.

Nigeria is all I have, and I have a right to demand that it works for all of us, not just those with influence, wealth, or a government position.

In a country that people have been voiceless for a long time, people holding the government accountable is being seen as too much? How can we ensure that this sort of thing will encourage people to build a new Nigeria? A Nigeria that will be filled with accountable government officials, where all forms of oppressions and injustice is a thing of the past. How do you expect me as a part of the future of this country to still believe in a country who thinks they have the right through CBN to freeze my account for no just cause?

This is not fair. But we will make it fair. Otherwise, there is no future for my generation and the generations to come.

Lest you forget, #EndSARS !”

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Opinion

United States Electoral College Explained

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As prescribed in the U.S. Constitution, American presidents are elected not directly by the people, but by the people’s electors. The Electoral College was created by the framers of the U.S. Constitution as an alternative to electing the president by popular vote or by Congress. If it were by popular vote or who gets the most votes, Hillary Clinton would have won in 2016 and Joe Biden would have been declared the winner by now. Biden has also received the most votes of any president in American history. Whoever reaches the 270 electoral votes will be officially declared the winner. In this system, Trump still has a chance of winning.

The United States Electoral College is a name used to describe the official 538 Presidential electors who come together every four years during the presidential election to give their official votes for President and Vice President of the United States.The Constitution leaves states to decide how electors will vote. It began In 1804, 12th Amendment to the Constitution made sure that electors designate their votes for president and vice president, but the 12th Amendment leaves in place a tie breaking system established by the Constitution by which the House of Representatives breaks a tie on presidential electoral votes and the Senate.

The election of the president of the United States is a two-step process. First, voters cast ballots on Election Day in each state. In nearly every state, the candidate who gets the most votes wins the “electoral votes” for that state, and gets that number of voters (or “electors”

 in the “Electoral College.” In the Electoral College system, each state gets a certain number of electors based on its total number of representatives in Congress. Each elector casts one electoral vote following the general election; there are a total of 538 electoral votes. The candidate that gets more than half (270) wins the election.

What happens if no candidate gets enough electoral votes?Pursuant to the 12th Amendment, the House of Representatives is required to go into session immediately after the counting of the electoral votes to vote for president if no candidate for the office receives a majority of the electoral votes. … The House continues balloting until it elects a president.

Who sits on the Electoral College? The president and vice president of the United States are elected by the Electoral College, which consists of 538 electors from the fifty states and Washington, D.C. Electors are selected state-by-state, as determined by the laws of each state.

Addendum: Electoral College is a system born of compromise deeply rooted in America’s slavery foundation. I will explain this in my subsequent post.

Thank you.

Source: Maria Ude Nwachi

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2862531247403118&id=100009388131283

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Our Country is on Fire by Rhamsis

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Our country is on fire and the causes of the flames are a combination of the activities of the government in their attempts to sabotage a righteous movement and the unhinged reaction of inflamed youths who are currently on a rampage. These understandably angry and incensed people assume that the destruction of private property is “fighting the system”.

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I am truly bothered by the huge amount of destruction of public and especially private property taking place everywhere.

While stationed at the gate to my estate yesterday as we were trying to prevent hoodlums from gaining access, a woman attempted to leave the estate in the heat of the riots. She had been told her shop had been destroyed and all her goods stolen.

We had to work hard to prevent her from proceeding to her shop I saw the grief on her face. I knew this woman has no other source of livelihood. She and her dependents would now be in financial ruin. I hope she doesn’t act in desperation. Less has led to suicide in the past.

This lady isn’t a part of the government, nor is she guilty of any of the injustices that we are calling on the government to correct. She is just someone who is trying to make a living. She is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a sister. She has groaned with all of us under the yoke of bad government. Now she has been further punished for crimes she did not commit Her life will never be the same – ever again To be clear, the reaction of the government to the protests is disgusting, shocking, and unconscionable. I will not lessen the gravity of this by adding “but”. I will respectfully wait till the next paragraph to continue.

The fight must continue but it must also be fought through righteous means Civil disobedience and peaceful protests are more effective than riots If things continue in their current trajectory, we will lose our moral standing and the government will win the moral battle. Our grievance is not with banks, shopping malls, or any other businesses.

Our grievance is with the government.

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Remember that this is the same year that the covid -19 has devasted the economy and caused large unemployment Think about the effect of continuing on this path of destruction. Think of your jobs and the jobs of your family members. THERE IS TOMORROW MY PEOPLE. We must think of TOMORROW.

Do we not all share in the yoke of police brutality Do we not all share in the perils of bad leadership?

Our solution cannot be worse than the problem. We MUST Not contribute to the problems. Remember, one of our major grievances is corruption. What is happening now is also corruption. IT is the corruption of what was until 20/10/20 a righteous struggle that was garnering international support.

The response to police brutality and corruption in our government CANNOT BE riots, looting, pillaging and killing of police officers.

The hand that gave soft drinks to the police officers did more for this struggle than the hand that struck them.

We grieve for all who have lost their lives in this struggle. Protesters and Police officers alike.

#STOP THE VIOLENCE. CONTINUE THE PRORESTS

I am calling on all patriotic Nigerians to calm nerves and to engage with the youth through any medium available to them.

This struggle must not be prematurely aborted.

The youth must be guided even as they lead.

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