We are done and dusted with the elections that come once in four years, it's time for this administration to make tourism a priority.
Nigeria as a nation is too blessed by mother nature for us not to make it a priority.
I had a discussion a while back with a tourism expert and he said the government do not have any business in tourism but to create the enabling environment and put policies in place that will make tourism grow. He also said Nigeria has the potential of generating $650 Billion as tourism revenue annually. This may look absurd but it is possible if Lagos State as a State was able to generate N50 Billion from Tourism in December 2017.
If we have ever met you will know how passionate I am about growing the tourism and cultural potential of my country, Nigeria. I have been to a few States in the country and I will use the tourism potential of the places as examples so we can all relate.
The enabling environment expected from the Federal Government is in different forms. But we need to start with the Federal Government parastatal that is responsible for Tourism: Ministry of Information and Culture which is presently run by Alhaji Lai Mohammed. Does the ministry have a detailed list with comprehensive data of how many tourism sites we have in each state? per local government? how many people visit these places every week, month and year? We need these data to be able to forecast and determine different challenges with respect to Tourism.
So I will outline the different key areas the government need to make a priority in order to generate more earnings internally per States.
Are you a traveller, a frequent flyer or someone who travel for work. You fall into these categories if you are travelling two out of four weeks in a month.
Ever been a city and you are lost in regards to a lot of things. Not everyone knows how to navigate around a city using google map, not everyone can manage to communicate in an unfamiliar language, and many other issues relating to travels.
Thanks to technology and apps that have made things easy for us. Here is a list of some apps that can be used by travellers.
FlightRadar24: Flightradar24 is a global flight tracking service that provides you with real-time information about thousands of aircraft around the world. You can track flights in Nigeria on this platform. Available online (www.flightradar24.com), iOS, and Android.
You can use any of the following to compare ticket fares.
KAYAK: This app is used to track price tickets and hotel bookings. It compares fares with other sites, pooling the results together. The prices are in pounds. Visit https://www.kayak.co.uk. The app is available in the iOS store and Android play store for download.
Instagram as a social media platform has opened us to a world of beauty we never thought exist. To some, it has made them observe their environment and surroundings very well. And to some, it has shown them the different travel destinations that were never on their radar.
Are you the type that keeps wondering which is the best destination to go to. Here are tips that will guide you. I am using the Nigerian environment for this but you can adapt it to your own country.
Tip 1: WHEN do you want to travel?
You need to figure out the vacation duration. For families, working parents do normally take their leave when the children are on long holiday which is usually about a month. For singles, you might look at the long Sallah holiday which lasts about five days or the Easter period, or holidays that last about three days and inclusive of weekend makes it five long days.
For those that love to use their leave for vacation period, do take your leave around the periods that have many holidays. Remember your leave is counted with working days, so with holidays in between, your leave period get extended.
Kano State was the third and last city I visited during the last Sallah festival. I started with Kaduna, went on to Katsina and finished up in Kano. I looked at the following critically and thus the way the trip was scheduled.Transport: It was easier getting vehicles to Lagos from Kano as I do not want to break my journey via Abuja.
Durbar Festival: Kano Durbar is the largest and the grand of all durbar festival in the North.
The primary reason was to document the durbar festival. I had witnessed the Durbar festival in Katsina the day before and left for Kano around 1 pm. I got to Kano at about 4 pm and I started the hunt for a hotel. A friend I met on Instagram had gotten me a hotel with a discount and so I set out to look for the place. On getting there I called my friend, the phone kept ringing but she did not pick up. I was about walking out of the hotel when she picked and directed me to ask for the owner. Apparently, the person had been sitting at the lobby all the while I had been trying to reach her on the phone. We talked and I booked my room. It was about a 45% discount.
One thing I always do is to get a cabman that will take me around, someone that can communicate effectively and speaks the native language as well as the English Language fluently.
I just have to say if you do not speak Hausa try as much as possible to get a dedicated guide that can take you around. One thing I learnt is that almost everyone that can communicate a bit in English, preferably someone young and adventurous, who will not mind wandering with you. Then you can enjoy Kano.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from 11 July 2016 the certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is valid for the life of the person vaccinated. This lifetime validity applies automatically to all existing and new certificates, beginning 10 days after the date of vaccination. So the question is why is Nigeria now changing the old Yellow card to a new one which they supposedly called the eYellow Card. Will the new card have micro chip or is it because of the barcode that is in front which we can see from the image.
I am worried because how many borders in Africa, if you are traveling by road will have the barcode reader? Will this new card be recognised by other countries? or it is just Nigeria alone?
The following instructional cards were posted online this week and I went on to test the website.
Kano State is located in North-Western Nigeria and created on May 27, 1967, from the old Northern Region. It is bordered to the north-west by Katsina State and to the north-east by Jigawa State, then to the south-east by Bauchi State and the south-west by Kaduna State. Jigawa State was carved out of Kano State in 1991.
Kano had about 10 million people according to the 2006 census figures, and 44 local government areas.
Kano City is the capital of Kano State. The capital comprises six local government areas: Municipal, Dala, Nassarawa, Gwale, Fagge and Tarauni.
Centre of Commerce is the slogan or epithet of the state. It is true, because the state was the most enterprising in pre-colonial times, and presently only second to Lagos.
According to Bayajidda legend, the Hausa kingdom began as seven states founded by the six sons of Bawo and himself, the unique son of the hero and the queen Magajiya Daurama in addition to the hero's son, Biram or Ibrahim of an earlier Marriage. The States include only kingdoms inhabited by Hausa speakers
- Zaria (Zazzau)
- Biram (Hadejia)
Daura is the second major town after Katsina in Katsina State. It is also popular because it is the home town of Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari.
I have just a day to explore Katsina for the Durbar Festival which I primarily came to document is the following day and I leave for Kano after the parade. After lodging at the hotel and going out to get a few things, I stayed put in my hotel room while making arrangement for going round the following day. My host in Katsina, Abdulkaque had to go to work the following day.
The morning started with me trying to get across to the keke guy that will take me around town. On inquiring at the desk the distance between Katsina and Daura I decided to hire a cab that will take me around town and then we will go to Daura. Arrangements was made for me by the hotel manager and I got a cab driver/guide that speaks good English and Hausa. This was a big plus for me as I have discovered that you need to understand a bit of Hausa to be able to communicate effectively. After going round Katsina as pointed out in this guide, we set out to Daura.
The trip to Daura is almost two hours and the different views along the way was quite interesting.
Daura is a town and also a local government area in Katsina State. It is said to be the spiritual home of the Hausa people having been the ancient seats of Islamic culture and learning.. It is the second emirate in Katsina State, and is referred to as one of the 'seven true Hausa State' i.e. 'Hausa Bakwai'.
The seven true Hausa States are Biram, Kano, Katsina, Zazzau, Gobir, Rano and Daura, which are ruled by the descendants of Bayajidda's sons with Daurama (the last Kabara of Daura) and Magira (his first wife).
Katsina is a historic kingdom and emirate in northern Nigeria. According to tradition, the kingdom, one of the Hausa Bakwai (“Seven True Hausa States”), was founded in the 10th or 11th century. Islām was introduced in the 1450s, and Muhammad Korau (reigned late 15th century) was Katsina’s first Muslim king. During his reign camel caravans crossed the Sahara from Ghudāmis (Ghadames), Tripoli, and Tunis southward to Katsina and brought such prosperity to the state that it became caught in the rivalry between the great West African empires of Songhai (Gao) and Bornu. In 1513 Katsina was conquered by the Songhai.
Katsina entered its greatest period of prosperity in the early 18th century. Besides being the leading Hausa commercial state, it replaced Timbuktu (Tombouctou) as the chief West African centre of Islāmic studies.
In the 15th century the Fulani herdsmen settled in Katsina and in 1804 the Fulani jihad (holy war) leader, Usman dan Fodio, led a revolt (beginning in Gobir) against the Hausa overlords. The Fulani leader Umaru Dallaji captured Katsina town in 1806 and was named the first Katsina emir with Katsina as his seat.
I set out for Katsina from Kaduna. I left Kaduna the day before Sallah and I have to say that was a wrong move. I got to the garage and there was this huge Crowd of people but there was no free bus, the passengers far outweigh the buses.
My friend interacted with one of the park guide and ask him to get a cab to take me to Katsina. I had to charter a cab to take me to Katsina. When traveling please be aware of the holidays, do make sure it is not a big holiday season.
I finally got into town and met with a friend of a friend who lives in Katsina. He was quite calm, and we went hotel hunting, I finally got one and I settled in. The following morning, armed with my list of places to visit, I asked for a cab. I got a good driver that was patient, speaks English and Hausa which was really cool. We set out on our adventure for the day.
The day trip was divided into two, Katsina and Daura. These are places you need to visit when you are in Katsina.
KATSINA CITY GATES: There are seven city gates in Katsina. Security is the most important function of the wall in the city, especially in areas where there are rich mineral deposits. The pattern of the walls are same throughout the Hausaland, mud and burnt bricks with water obtained from nearby streams were used for constructing the walls.
As modernization became the IN thing, the wallls were rebuilt with bricks and concretes except for one which is still in mud shape.
The gates are namely, Kofar Durbi, Kofar Marusa, Kofar Guga, Kofar Kwaya, Kofar Sauri, Kofar Kaura and monumental gate called Kofar ‘Yandaka where Sir Fredrick Lord Luggard the then Governor–General of Nigeria entered Katsina through in the year 1903.
The city of Kaduna is the state capital of Kaduna State in north-western Nigeria. It is a trade centre and a major transportation hub for the surrounding agricultural areas with its rail and road junction.
According to history, Kaduna was founded by the British in 1913, became the capital of Nigeria's former Northern Region in 1917 till 1967.
Sir Frederick Lugard was the first British governor of Northern Nigeria and he was the one who chose the present site of Kaduna due to it's proximity to the Lagos-Kano railway.
Kaduna has grown to become one of the major cities in the Northern Region and it's followed by Zaria which has the prominent Ahmadu Bello University campuses and is home to the Emir of Zazzau.
If you find yourself in Kaduna, here are a few things to do in Kaduna.
NOK MUSEUM: This is situated in the famous NOK town which is in Southern Kaduna. It is where the famous Terracotta heads were first discovered.
MATSIRGA WATERFALLS: This waterfall is situated in Madakiya area, not far from Kafanchan, which also is in Southern Kaduna.
The source of this beautiful waterfall is said to be from the springs on the Kagoro Hills, which is not far from the waterfall. The springs form four different natural funnels from which the water cascade off the sheer rock cliff about 30 metres to form a large pool at the bottom.
During the rainy season you can not get close to the waterfall but you can move closer during the dry season.