Oba Akran of Badagry, De Wheno Aholu-Menu-Toyi I, flanked on the right by Mr. Abiola Lawal, MD, FlyBoku and on the right by staff of the company during a courtesy call on the Oba on Thursday
…gets Akran of Badagry’s nod
Posted by Sade Williams
Managing director of Flyboku.com, a leading digital online and offline travel agency in Nigeria, has opened talks with stakeholders on his plans to build a world class resort and park centre at the ancient town of Badagry in Lagos State.
The Resort, which would be known as ‘FlyBoku Resort and Park’, Lawal said, would be unequalled in Africa, adding that the Disney Island in the United States of America (USA), which attracts thousands of visitors and tourists from all over the world, was started by someone with a vision for creating leisure and jobs through tourism.
Speaking in the presence of Oba Akran of Badagry, De Wheno Aholu-Menu-Toyi I and other chiefs at the palace on Thursday, during a courtesy call, the FlyBoku boss noted that the ancient, coastal town of Badagry, which has for many years been viewed as a sleepy town would come alive as people from all walks of life would have no choice than to visit the Resort when completed.
Oba Akran, flanked by his chiefs and Mr. Abiola Lawal, display the award plaque in his palace
“I always ask myself, the man that built Disney Land has been dead for 50 years and why do people still come to that place as the world’s happiest place, it is because they built something, they built culture. I think we have some things around tourism in this country, I think it is important for us to build tourism and culture so that we can begin to get over this our over dependence on Oil. I am not also one of those that will depend on government to do everything, they are there to create the environment but Disney did not wait for the government to go and build Disney land. For those who know my passion, the big thing is domestic tourism, I just came back from a four-country tours few days ago and I say to myself at each country that what do these people have that we don’t have. We went to Bob-Marley Estate in Jamaica and people were paying $50 to enter or get T-shirts, the multiplier effect of that is jut massive.
“Badagry has a lot to offer in terms of tourism and that is why we are here to explain our mission to you sir. We are here to seek for your assistance to achieve this. For instance, I lived in the United States for 29 years and I was fascinated by the magnificent Disney Land which had existed for a long time. The owner did not wait for government before he built the world’s happiest place.
Mr. Abiola Lawal stands with the Oba as he displays the award
“We want to build FlyBoku Resort and Park in Badagry that would attract the world and export to the rest of the world our great culture, create jobs. Government only needs to create enabling environment but the private sector must pull resources together. We have been over-dependent on oil but tourism is a development of the people because it creates jobs”, he said.
Speaking on availability of capital for the project, he said he has good relationships with big financiers as he has worked with the big wigs in the oil and gas, finance and traversed other sectors that can easily inject funds into the project.
“I can attract the capital, I have traversed many sectors, including the oil and gas, we can attract the funds for a big Resort centre in Badagry that the whole world would be coming to even when I am no more. We are already having discussions with foreign investors, we are already discussing with some stakeholders but above all, we are seeking the cooperation of the royal father in achieving this because tourism is about creating something differently and exciting and it will take Africans to develop Africa, we must come back to our root.
“The future of Nigeria has to include tourism because of the multiplier effect and not just oil that we have over depended upon, most of the USA Gross Domestic Product (GDP) come from tourism and so we’re opening a dialogue on how we can open a big resort centre for the world”, he added.
Responding, the Oba Akran of Badagry, De Wheno Aholu-Menu-Toyi I, who spoke through one of the chiefs and called for quick implementation of the project, gave an instant nod to the plan while immediately asking the chiefs to work with the FlyBoku team in order to secure land near the coastal area.
The FlyBoku boss, who coincidentally hails from Badagry and thus a Lagos indigene, promised to pursue the project with vigour and passion for the benefits of Badagry, Lagos state and indeed, the country as a whole .
The Flyboku team did not leave the palace without honouring the Oba with the award of ‘royal ambassador for tourism’ .