Citybee Hospitality Ltd – Principal Consultant
5 Years industry experience
In a few words tell us about yourself.
I am Ms. Benedicta Ogar, an indigene of Cross River state, born in the mid 80s, a Hospitality professional, living and working in Lagos. I am the Principal Consultant for Citybee Hospitality Ltd. Citybee offers hospitality business set ups, start ups, service recruitment, training and operations management services. I was born into a family of 4 children, 3 females and 1 male. I am the 2nd child and first female. Academics: – B.A Hons French University of Lagos – Certificate in Airfares, Travel and EBT Landover Aviation Business School, Lagos – PG Hotel Operations Management Swiss Hotel Management School, Switzerland – Certificate in Managing Front Office Operations American Hotel and Lodging Institute, USA – Certificate in Managing Housekeeping Operations American Hotel and Lodging Institute, USA – Certificate in Hospitality Human Resources The International School of Hospitality, Las Vegas – Certificate in The Art of Concierge The International School of Hospitality, Las Vegas
What inspired your interest in the hospitality and tourism industry?
A trip to Obudu Cattle Ranch to visit my mum who was Head of Restaurant at the time and a close interaction with Mr Hans, the then Group General Manager.
What’s your vision for the hospitality & tourism industry?
I have a vision to improve the hospitality and tourism service standards in a way that it matches up to International best practice.
In what ways has your company contributed to the growth of the hospitality industry and it’s stakeholders?
We have contributed by being involved in the set up of hospitality businesses which involves attracting investors to the industry, which has in turn creates jobs in the industry. We influence the motivation, retention and compensation for staff in the hospitality businesses we consult for and realize that till date, those businesses pay slightly higher than their competitors. We offer recruitment and training services in the industry and thereby provide job placement opportunities as well as pass on acquired knowledge to trainees. The Company has done its bit in projecting the Industry in the best light to both aspiring Hospitality staff and investors. We consciously create an awareness of the industry and it offers through our social media and personal handles.
What are your major challenges in your business?
Micro management by investors and business owners. Lack of passionate people in the industry. Not enough support from the government to enable the industry take it’s rightful place in the economy. The perception that the Hospitality industry is a ‘last resort’ industry by the general public and the refusal to come to terms with the career growth and advancement available in the industry. High employee turnover in the industry which can be related to lack of proper motivation and retention plans for staff. Other stereotypes associated with the hospitality industry which further discourages passionate people from joining and improving the hospitality work force.
What are your thoughts on the state of the hospitality & tourism industry in Nigeria?
Sub-standard structures. Lack of service excellence. Lack of functional governing bodies especially in the hospitality sector. Lack of recognition and appreciation especially in the hospitality sector. Non investment in hospitality workforce by investors and stakeholders.
How do you intend to join in the campaign of changing the game and perception of the hospitality & tourism industry in Nigeria?
I believe in the industry, I always speak positive into the industry. I hope to mentor more young people in the industry as well as introduce more passionate people to the industry. I am willing to work with Government and other parastatals in properly positioning and leading the industry aright.
Words of wisdom for intending and current industry stakeholders.
This is the industry of the future. Believe in it, invest in it, Invest in you staff. Carry out due diligence while setting up hospitality businesses. Service excellence is key and yes, it is possible in Nigeria.