In a few words tell us about yourself.
I consider myself a self-driven and personable hospitality and management professional. In my spare time, I love reading and writing poetry. Traveling to new places is a fad for me. My family is a very close-knit one, my parents were both civil servants and I have four siblings, I am the third child of the lot. I graduated with a 2nd class degree in Geography from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. I have undergone diverse hospitality training with the Rezidor Group and currently have an on-going Hospitality Asset Management course with the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, N.Y
What inspired your interest in the hospitality and tourism industry?
Service delivery. The first time I checked into a hotel in 2005 in Enugu, I felt something was off. Back then, I had no inclination to work in a hotel until I relocated permanently to Lagos and had another experience in a different hotel. It was a stark contrast, one of improvement. I wanted to join the industry then and “fix” the poor experience I had experienced in 2005. It was a herculean task considering I had no prior hospitality training or experience.
What’s your vision for the hospitality & tourism industry?
Well, Nigerian hospitality for one should be Nigerian and not necessarily an import. Our services while being bespoke and of a high standard shouldn’t be at the expense of shoving the Nigerian culture of hospitality to the background. You see, hospitality and tourism go hand in hand – tourists can experience the soul of the country from the culture of hospitality provided. A good example of this can be seen in some of the hotels in the Maldives, Seychelles, etc. The vision is to remain efficient and original.
In what ways has your company contributed to the growth of the hospitality industry and its stakeholders?
Training – this is essential as there’s a dearth of relevant hospitality expertise locally. Asset Management Advisory – we ensure our clients know and understand the terrain and advise on brand or business positioning to optimize yield. Social media campaigns and blogs.
What are your major challenges in your business?
Lack of expertise. Heavy government taxes on hotel operations can discourage potential hotel owners. Lack of sufficient funding Lack of top-notch hospitality training schools/facilities.
What are your thoughts on the state of the hospitality & tourism industry in Nigeria?
We’ve come a long way in the last 10 years. Yet, there’s a feeling that the industry still has enormous potential that remains untapped. While there’s a primary need to make a profit, the underlying principle should remain value for money and quality service.
How do you intend to join in the campaign of changing the game and perception of the hospitality & tourism industry in Nigeria?
Social media is a very important tool and this will be used effectively.
Words of wisdom for intending and current industry stakeholders.
Be consistent without being inflexible.