Apapa Area Customs Command Hits Highest Revenue Figure in the History of the Port – Says Comptroller Mohammed Abba-Kura.

by Damilola Hammed

A landmark achievement was recorded by the Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa Area Command, with N413 billion generated in 2019, the highest in the history of the command’s operations. This figure is N41 billion above the projected N372 billion revenue target for the past year.
The Command’s Area Controller, Comptroller Mohammed Abba-Kura had told a news conference on 20th of December 2019 of the feat and the surpassing of the target even though the year had not ended.
As usual, Comptroller Abba-Kura had conducted journalists round the seizures made by the command in the outgoing year worth N12 billion.

A no-holds-barred interview by Inside Watch Africa (IWA) with the Area Controller is more revealing, and the following are excerpts of the one-on-one chat:

IWA: Nigeria is predominantly an importing and exporting nation, yet some people say doing import and export business in Nigeria seems to be problematic. Sir, what is your take on this?

Comptroller Abba-Kura: Let me start by saying that I do not agree with the assertion that import and export business is a problematic business in Nigeria. However, whatever business endeavour anyone desires to be involved in, it is compulsory that one should have very good knowledge of the laws that govern the business. Regrettably, I have over the years observed that most people, who go into import and export in Nigeria, go into it ignorantly. My advice for anyone that desires to go on this line of business either in Nigeria or in any other country for that matter, as it would be required in any other venture, is for such a person to first make enquiries and get sufficient information about the rules and regulations that guide whatever he or she wants to either import or export before jumping into the venture. It is only by so doing and strictly adhering to the rules and regulations that the person would be able to escape what I call “avoidable problems’’ in the course of importing into or exporting out of Nigeria.

IWA: Still on advice, what in your opinion should one do to become a successful customs officer? What are the salient things to be done?

Comptroller Abba-Kura: The customs job is essentially a very energetic one thus a Customs officer is generally expected to be up and doing and must possess the ability to face diverse challenges. One is constantly confronted with such challenges because of the nature of the job. The essence and practices of the Customs job is entrenched in global statues, treaties and laws, thus in order to be successful in primary duties of a Customs officer which entails trade facilitation, revenue collection and smuggling prevention, he or she should be willing to go the extra mile and get acquainted with all the relevant global statues, treaties and laws. Fortunately, the Nigeria Customs Service traditionally gives opportunity to its officers on regular basis to undergo on-the-job and off-the job trainings and courses in order to be properly equipped for the job as long as the officer is ready and willing to learn.

IWA: You are one of those officers who have had the privilege of undergoing many courses within and outside the country. Which of the courses do you consider the best and most rewarding?

Comptroller Abba-Kura: It is true that I have undergone a lot of courses within and outside the country on various topics and I must confess that I am really grateful to God for the opportunities that the Service had given me over the years in this regard. To answer your question directly, the course I have enjoyed most are the intelligence courses I attended at different times when I was in the Customs Intelligent Unit. The courses had exposed me to so many very instructive things about the job and about life generally. There was a particular course on risk assessment and management I attended for over a year which I consider all-encompassing as far as the Customs job is concerned. We did valuation, classification and also did non-intrusive examination. I must confess that even now as an Area Controller, I still draw from the knowledge and experiences I acquired on those intelligence courses.

IWA: Apapa port means different things to different people; to some it is just Africa’s premier port. Sir, as the Customs Area Controller of this port, how would you describe Apapa port?

Comptroller Abba-Kura: Apapa port is not just Africa’s premier port in the Maritime industry in Nigeria, Apapa port is the number one port and so much is expected of it particularly in the area of revenue collection, suppression of smuggling, and in many other areas. I must give kudos to my predecessors who had over the years raised the bar of excellent service delivery at this port.   However, since I became the Area Controller, we have continued to put structures in place that have seen us raising the bar much higher than my predecessors in all area of our performance. So far in the history of this port, we have generated the highest revenues and the figures are there for everyone to see. Understanding and realizing the pivotal role that human capital will play in our quest for success, we decided to take capacity building in this command very seriously. I am glad to inform you that we have finished the first phase of the training we organized in-house in the first week of November 2019 where we trained 350 officers.

IWA: This training that you mentioned organizing in-house for your officers sounds interesting, can you please tell us more about it?

Comptroller Abba-Kura: We took them in batches and the courses taught are as follow: classification, valuation, enforcement, examination, non-intrusive examination, risk management, fast-tracking, administration, Customs in the 21st Century, among others.

IWA: What is Customs in the 21st Century all about?

Comptroller Abba-Kura: The 21st Century Customs idea was introduced by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to essentially teach officers and get them ready for the eminent disruption that is already happening in the way things will be done in the Maritime industry globally, going forward.  As a responsible leader, I consider it pertinent to keep my officers abreast of the global goings-on in our industry because if the officers don’t know where we are and where we are going, they will lag behind. Let me also inform you that this capacity building training is not only for customs officers, we are extending the training to all the critical stakeholders in the industry so that all of us will be on the same page.

IWA: As customary with us in IWA, in your last word in this interview, you are allowed to and can say whatsoever you desire to say that we did not ask in the course of the interview?

Comptroller Abba-Kura: Going by the nature of my job, I am not expected to work on or base my judgement on rumours, hearsay or suppositions. So I will greatly appreciate it when people want to come forward with their complaints and do so with concrete evidence. I do not consider it fair for anyone to be judged or punished by mere rumours or suppositions. 

Having said this, my last word to the public will be, whatever the dealings they intend to have with the Customs Service, they should please try to always back it up with tenable and concrete evidence.

Bigbus Tours: The Perfect Introduction to The City – Shareena Ali, Head PR, Branding and Social Media

IWA: The first thing I will like to know is that in the past 23 years that your organization has been in business in four continents and about twenty-three cities around the world, what would you say are the main strategies that have given you the success you have achieved thus far?

SHAREENA: First, we operate in a highly competitive industry; there are lots of hop on, hop off sightseeing tour companies out there, but most of them are franchises and we are not a franchise. We are the world’s largest provider and privately-owned hop on, hop off sightseeing tour company and in the last four years what we have done is that we have consolidated all of our operations, all of our branding etc.  To make sure that we have a very tight operational model that can be transferable across cities where we operate, we have in the last 12 months launched out into Los Angeles, Berlin, Singapore and Dublin and we are able to very easily ensure the same high quality service, the same digital opportunities for customers and the same branding that we have in the other cities very quickly and give the same service and the sightseeing tour experience across all of our cities. This is something that the other sightseeing tour companies can’t do because as small franchise owners they are essentially working as small businesses, doing their own thing just under the licence brand of another competitor.

IWA: What are the new grounds that your organization is looking at breaking and conquering? What are the new frontiers?

SHAREENA: What we have done in the last few years is that we have dramatically increased the digital transformation in our industry. For sightseeing tour companies, hop on, hop off sightseeing tours, people don’t expect us to be very digital but what we have done is that we have a digital app where people can find out local city guides and also when they hop off they can track the next bus in real-time.  We also have a very consistent operating model where people can come on board and scan their tickets; they don’t have to wait and queue to have their tickets scanned. These are the things that none of our competitors are doing, so in the world of hop on, hop off sightseeing tour we can be regarded as the cutting edges innovators; something we have over the years continued to do in all the cities where we operate.

IWA: This is interesting to know because usually when you look at certain businesses, most often people kind of get very settled into the things they have always done. So it is good to know that your organization has decided take a lot of innovative steps in the way you do things. So if you were to describe the tourism industry in the UK specifically, and in the whole of Europe generally, how would you describe it?

SHAREENA: I think it is very mixed; it depends on season. We have got 23 cities, and London is one of our core cities; we also have three other core cities — New York, London and Paris, and obviously our high season is in Summer because it is warm as you know we are all about open top sightseeing and people want to see the landmarks and have the history of these landmarks told to them. The best way to do so is to have our tour guides telling the people about the cities and the landmarks so they can then hop off and explore. In London, 50 percent of our customers are American – actually African-Americans and Caucasian-Americans constituting this consistent 50 percent, while the other 50 percent being a mixture whose relative percentages vary depending on the season. For example, during Chinese New Year or Golden Week, we will have more Chinese or during Australian half term we will have more Australians so it really depends on the season and also the public holidays that different countries that are our clients observe.

IWA: So if you were to judge or rely on the various kinds of feedback you have received over the years, what are those feedbacks that have kept recurring over the years, and do you see them pointers to the fact that you are doing well?

SHAREENA: I think it is the fact that we have very strong trade partnerships. Recently we had Expedia, we have Tripod visa and Bookings.com. All of these are our trade partners. Last year, we also signed up with one of the biggest Chinese and Asian traveller’s app as one of our trade partners to sell our tickets via their platforms and the fact that these international trade partners are very keen to sell tickets is a key success for us and KPI as well.

IWA: It is very obvious that your organization appears to be very successful. However, what are those things that you consider as downtime, things that you feel as an organization you still need to work on?

SHAREENA: I think it is more of a perception issue because we are in a very competitive market and people are not as professional as they should be, except for very few establishments like us that take professionalism seriously. Therefore, when people start seeing many tour companies doing things in an inappropriate way we also get tarnished for the same issue. What we usually do is we play up our professionalism and this usually helps to fix the issues.

IWA: Are the youths part of your target market, if they are, do you have a dedicated product for them or how are you dealing with them?

SHAREENA: I am the global Head of PR, branding and social media, so the youths are my direct responsibility and target. They are the reason we are big on our social media platforms, mainly on Facebook and Instagram. On our social media platforms, we highlight the fact that we give you the perfect introduction to the city, by not only giving you an overview of all of the key landmarks to visit, but also giving you the history so that you can hop off and explore. Or where can it be better to take the perfect Instagram picture than in an open top bus where everyone can see you in the city with the landmarks behind you? However, I must confess that the youths are not our key customers, we have solo travellers, families, mission planners, and people who plan in advance and independent explorers. But millennials can be solo travellers and independent explorers and so for me they are part of our target and the best way to capture them is by showing how 23 cities formed the perspective of the customer who is uploading their images on social platforms.

IWA: How do you manage your loyal customers?

SHAREENA: We actually have multiple channels for selling our tickets, we sell our tickets via hotel concierges, via third parties like booking.com etc. and we have on the street sales. People tend to buy our tickets spontaneously when they come into the hotel or when we are on the street, so I can’t really say that we have a high percentage of loyal customers because it is whoever is selling. Obviously we have the opportunity to sell because we have got a strong brand but we believe when people have had great customer service from us and a great touring experience they want to go back on another tour in another city and that way we keep them on board by giving them great offers etc. via our CRM. We have newsletters where they get special discounts and we always have 10 per cent online booking discounts compared to street sales and when they sign up to our loyalty newsletter they get fare discounts.

IWA: How do you deal with sustainability? I am talking about health. I know that all over the world in the tourism industry, it has become a very big issue for people to look at health and all of that. As an organization do you have a corporate plan to deal with the health concerns of your clients?

SHAREENA: Yes, we have quite a few campaigns that we are collaborating with other organizations. For example, in Westminster, in London, we are collaborating with the Westminster Council to join their campaign called “Don’t be Idle”. It is a campaign where Westminster Council encourages people not to have their car engines running when they are at the traffic light point. As a bus company, we are a moving billboard so when cars see we are highlighting this campaign, it is another reminder that they should not have it on because it affects peoples’ lungs because of the air quality. So we also do not keep the engines running at the traffic light points as we switch them off. This is a big step towards air quality and helping with breathing problems when it comes to the traffic pollution. In Dubai, another city of ours, we actually use bio fuel which is a sustainable source of fuel and made from palm oil etc. So we have different campaigns and projects depending on the cities and what is available to us and we also have multiple electric vehicles, buses in Paris, in Washington which again goes a long step away from diesel buses.

IWA: On a final note, what are the key messages that you would like to pass to those who might be seeing this all over the world?

SHAREENA: I think people do not really understand what hop on, hop off sightseeing tour experience entails. What it entails is that if you come into a city and you choose to do a hop on, hop off sightseeing tour, the first thing is that you will get the perfect introduction to the city, you will get your bearings right, you will know how to plan the rest of your short period in that city in the very best way possible because not only are we giving you an overview of the city, our amazing tour guides also give you the history and the knowledge, not minding the fact that they also know the best places to have the best cocktails and the best food in that city. So you have got a local individual who has all the top tips of the city which they can give to you; so it is the perfect introduction to the city.

LET’S SACRIFICE FOR UNITY, SANWO-OLU URGES AS NATION REMEMBERS FALLEN SOLDIERS

…Lagos To Empower Widows Of Slain Heroes

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has charged Nigerians to always make sacrifice for peace and desist from actions that may divide the country along its fault lines.

The Governor said the citizenry had a responsibility to keep Nigeria on the path of sustainable prosperity and unity, saying such remained the best way to honour the patriotism and bravery of men of the Nigerian armed forces who died in the course of protecting the country.

Sanwo-Olu spoke on Wednesday after he laid the wreath in commemoration of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day held at Remembrance Arcade at Tafawa Balewa Square. The event is held yearly to honour soldiers and officers who died in the course of carrying out their constitutional duty.

The Governor observed that labour of the fallen heroes would not be in vain if citizens remained resolute in defending the unity of Nigeria.

He said: “Today’s event is very significant, because it is being held in honour those who laid down their lives to defend our country and keep it united. We will continue to celebrate their bravery and appreciate them for their efforts. As a nation, we must continue to ensure that all their efforts did not go unnoticed.

“The event is also an evidence for brave men and women that are currently serving in the armed forces, that government will certainly not forget their service to our fatherland. Therefore, to ensure that our fallen soldiers did not labour in vain, we must make sacrifice for peace and unity of this country.”

Sanwo-Olu reiterated the State’s commitment to working with security agencies to strengthen professionalism in the discharge of their constitutional duties. Lagos, the Governor pledged, will remain friendly and maintain non-discriminatory approach towards members of armed forces seconded to the State for duties.

He said the State Government had also been supportive of retired military personnel and spouses of fallen soldiers.

The Governor said no fewer than 2,000 members of Nigerian Legion, who are mainly ex-servicemen, had been engaged by Lagos Government to support security operations across the State. This, he said, underscored the Government’s readiness to continue to improve welfare of ex-service personnel and honour their bravery.

Sanwo-Olu also disclosed that his administration would be catering for the spouses of fallen soldiers through empowerment scheme of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

He said: “We do not want the wives of our fallen heroes to live in abject. Lagos Government will be supporting them through the little we can give out through our empowerment programme being run by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation that deliberately looks for widows.

“We will correct their narratives and I can assure you that widows of our fallen heroes will be targeted in our empowerment scheme. We also can have a special social programme which will target them. We will extract information and reach out to them.

“We will make sure that in our next programme, we deliberately look for all of the widows of our fallen heroes and we give them empowerment. It is for the Government to be able to give them empowerment, so that they can continue to fend for their families and themselves.”

The event was graced by commanders of all security formations in the State, and top functionaries of the Lagos State Government, including the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola and members of the Governor’s cabinet.

Canon is pleased to invite Nigerians to the second edition of Discovery Week, beginning today

A week full of even more rewarding activities for Nigerian photographers
Lagos, Nigeria; 8th October 2019 – Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA), a leader in imaging solutions, has launched the Canon Discovery Week in Lagos today.

Canon Discovery Week, dedicated to professional photographers, amateur or occasional, aims to get to know Canon users better by giving them the opportunity to interact with our team, which is more than happy to share best practices and give advice on Canon products. Customers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in various experiences that will give them the opportunity to develop their creative skills, with the support of the Canon team.

Discover the Passion that drives the team

These events and interactions include a nature photo walk led by the local Nigerian Canon photographer Hakeem Salam, Canon Academy educational workshops hosted by Canon trainers and opportunities for various meetings and interactions with Canon experts.

These workshops will be an opportunity for participants to interact with professional Canon users as they learn from them. The first workshop, dedicated to fashion photography, will take place on October 11th. The second series will be a Pro-video Workshop on October 17th, and the last one will be an EOS R Workshop, which will take place on October 18th. These interactive sessions give consumers access to tips and tricks on photography & practical knowledge for getting the best out of Canon equipment. By supporting youth to follow their passion through these accessible courses, Canon is empowering the next generation of artists and photographers in Nigeria and Africa.

Discover the value of an innovative range of products

Canon’s customer culture is based on a very active innovation strategy, aiming to always provide the highest image quality. This allows photographers, both amateurs and professionals, to develop their skills, all the while encouraging them to express their creativity and follow their passion. Throughout the week, various activities are offered to test Canon’s latest devices in real conditions such as:
• The incredible travel bundle kit – EOS2000D, includes the latest generation of EOS camera – which combines familiar touchscreen controls, unmatched image quality, and an optical viewfinder all packaged into a portable design. This perfect travel kit also comes along with two lenses to ensure more options for the best quality photo, which will help photographers tell their stories creatively and uniquely. Storage is always important; hence we have included a 16 GB SD Card for the photos to be captured on, and a Camera Bag for all the equipment in the Perfect Travel Kit. We are also launching
• EOS 90D is a fast and reliable DSLR, with a familiar, robust body perfect for sport and wildlife photographers. For everyday life,

• EOS M6 Mark II is a compact, yet powerful mirrorless delivering beautifully sharp images – for photographers on the move,
• PowerShot G7 X Mark III, ideal for vloggers, bloggers and anyone posting content online, the PowerShot G7 X Mark III helps you look your best with superb 4K video, a large 1.0-type sensor and 20.1-megapixel photos – all in a super-portable design you can take anywhere. YouTube live stream – Connect to a network and stream live to your YouTube channel
• RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM and RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM, which are the perfect high-performance standard zoom choice for all professionals and amateurs alike. These lenses enable photographers and videographers to capture high-quality still and moving images across all genres – from landscape and architecture, to portrait and nature, or sports and media.
• Canon Professional Camcorders XA55/XA50 Feature-packed 4K filming, Compact and lightweight with professional functions. The highly compact and lightweight XA55 / XA50 offers high quality 4K UHD image with beneficial features such as Dual Pixel CMOS AF, Canon 15x optical zoom lens and advanced Full HD image quality driven by utilising outstanding Over Sampling HD Processing.
• Canon Professional Camcorders XA40: Ultra-compact, professional palm-sized 4K XA-series camcorder with a 20x optical zoom lens Compact and efficient – XA 4K camcorder with UHD resolution and high magnification The XA40 features a 1/2.3 – type CMOS Sensor along with DIGIC DV6 image processor.
• Canon Zoemini, Canon’s smallest and lightest photo printer, which allows printing and sharing precious memories in an instant.
• Canon’s latest refillable ink tank PIXMA G Series printers: Canon PIXMA G6040 / Canon PIXMA G5040 & PIXMA GM2040. Canon’s latest range of high-volume refillable ink tank printers, small businesses or home offices can enjoy cost effective productivity and high printing yields without having to compromise on document quality.

Discover the creativity that sleeps in every photographer
Throughout the Canon Discovery Week, a mobile van will drive to a different location to allow as many people as possible to meet with Canon’s experts. Locals will have the opportunity to come to the van and get a free A4 portrait photography of themselves. This will be a unique chance for customers to discuss the essential techniques required to capture beautiful portraits. They can then choose how to print their portrait and leave with a copy. They will also be able to come with their own Canon devices and ask any questions they may have on the best way to use them and have their cameras checked and cleaned free of charge.

Discover the added value Canon can offer

Canon has become a trusted partner in Nigeria over the past few years and is committed to pursuing its growth and development opportunities in this country which represent a key market in West Africa. Amine Djouahra, Sales & Marketing Director – B2C, Canon Central and North Africa, concluded: “Building on the success of last year, “Our objective is plural: to meet and exchange with photographers, give them a satisfying customer experience by helping them become more familiar with our devices and allow us to better anticipate their ever-changing needs. We aim to maintain this meeting with our customers every year in order to sustain this essential link that allows us to refresh our offerings regularly and launch innovative products that meet or even anticipate our customers’ needs.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA).

Media Contact:
Canon Moyen-Orient
Mai Youssef
mai.youssef@canon-me.com

Canon Central & North Africa (CCNA):
Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) (Canon-CNA.com) is a division within Canon Middle East FZ LLC (CME), a subsidiary of Canon Europe. The formation of CCNA in 2016 was a strategic step that aimed to enhance Canon’s business within the Africa region – by strengthening Canon’s in-country presence and focus.

CCNA also demonstrates Canon’s commitment to operating closer to its customers and meeting their demands in the rapidly evolving African market. Canon has been represented in the Africa continent for more than 15 years through distributors and partners that have successfully built a solid customer base in the region.

CCNA will ensure the provision of high quality, technologically advanced products that meet the requirements of Africa’s rapidly evolving marketplace. With over 100 employees, CCNA manages sales and marketing activities across 44 countries in Africa.

Canon’s corporate philosophy is Kyosei – ‘living and working together for the common good’.

For more information, log on to: Canon-CNA.com

The Special Envoy of South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa Meets with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria Today.

President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, sent a special envoy who arrived Abuja yesterday 15th September to meet President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. According to Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, Ramaphosa dispatched three special envoys to seven African countries to deliver messages of pan-African unity and solidarity as a result of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

In a bid to make amends with Nigeria and other African countries affected by the xenophobic attacks, the special envoy were deployed to reassure Head of States of Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia on South Africa’s stance on ‘No Xenophobia’ amidst the tension and violence in South Africa.

Acting South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe released a statement of the special envoy’s visit to Nigeria.

“The Special Envoy of President Cyril Ramaphosa, former Minister of Energy, Mr Jeff Radebe, has arrived in Abuja to deliver a special message from President Ramaphosa to President Buhari. He is accompanied by the Special Advisor to President Ramaphosa, Dr Khulu Mbatha. This follows a visit to South Africa by the Special Envoy to President Buhari over a week ago. The purpose of the visit is to reaffirm the cordial bilateral relations between the two countries and recommit the two countries to their long-standing historical relations dating back to the apartheid era. To this end, we express and reiterate our appreciation for the support received during the days of apartheid. It is this relationship that should inspire us to work together and build a formidable continent. The visit takes place ahead of the state visit to SA by President Buhari in October 2019. The envoys are looking forward to fruitful engagements with Mr President. It is our desire that the outcomes of the engagements will further cement the already cordial relations between the two counties,” Moroe stated.

On Sunday, South Africans sang and marched through the streets in South Africa against Xenophobia, South Africans from all walks of life joined migrants to march against the attacks on foreigners and to ask for forgiveness from Nigerians and other African nationals still in the country weeks after the Xenophobic attacks. They called for unity among Africans; Gabriel Hertis, the coordinator for social cohesion from the Africa Diaspora Forum, said they are deeply concerned about the attack, killing and looting.

“We stand together with South Africans in fighting xenophobia and crimes. We played a role in South Africa’s development and do not see reason why we should stop now. We are getting opportunities for our families and also contributing to the development of South Africa,” said Hertis

CWT Corporate Travel Brand Launch: Business Travel Management Limited unveils new Travel Management brand in Lagos.

Business Travel Management Ltd. (BTM) is proud to announce the partnership with CWT (formerly Carlson Wagonlit Travel), the business-to-business-for-employees (B2B4E) travel management platform.
Operating under the CWT brand in Nigeria, the company aims to elevate the standard of travel management in the region and, by partnering with a global B2B4E travel management platform, BTM will bring further focus and cohesion to positively impact the continent, enhancing value and service delivery levels.
Business Travel Management Ltd.’s (BTM) Predecessor travel management company started in 1979. In 1998 it joined a global travel group which evolved in 2006 to specialize in corporate travel and pushed the envelope for Managed Travel in the region. Business Travel Management Limited (BTM) has earned a reputation as a ‘one stop shop’ for everything travel related. Our core focus and strength being the provision of excellent corporate travel services to our clients, for over 20 years of being in existence. BTM has been an ISO certified company since 2008.
Our Management team consists of the most experienced travel professionals, especially as BTM is a member of the GHI Assets Group of companies (airline representatives and travel management specialists). The travel business is now in its third generation with a staff strength of close to 200. BTM has operations in Nigeria and Angola.
Benefits derived from representing the CWT brand in Nigeria include BTM’s ability to now deliver a global standard of service, travel technology and efficiencies, locally. The company continues to be the pace setter for Travel technology in the region. BTM will now have the ability to provide enhanced customer advice and services without compromising on ethics.

We will continue to operate in a developing market and improving industry standards with the support of a Globally Dominant Partner with sustainable business methodology.

“Nigeria has a rich cultural and economic heritage, especially in natural resources, and corporate travel is a key facilitator of industry here. With BTM, we would like to build on our long-standing reputation for successful travel delivery in the country, and want our brand to be as synonymous with corporate travel as Zuma Rock is with Nigeria,” said Francisco Nunez, CWT’s Vice President of Global Partners Network.

“Business Travel Management Limited is proud to Partner with CWT. There have been some very exciting changes within the global company that we are looking forward to being a part of. Our company has operated in the Managed Travel space for almost forty Years as a TMC (Travel Management Company). This is what we do best, efficient service delivery, innovative ideas and cutting-edge travel technology,” says Lola Adefope, Managing Director of CWT in Nigeria (owned and operated by Business Travel Management Limited).

“The evolution of the travel industry is inevitable. With technology underpinning everyday life it is obvious that corporate travellers are going to want the same efficiencies in their Travel Programme that they get in their every day life. Partnering with CWT in Nigeria allows our company to bring new travel technology and ideas to the table. This partnership allows Business Travel Management Limited to remain at the forefront of Travel Technology in the region” says Olufemi Adefope, Company Founder & Chairman of Business Travel Management Ltd.

Amongst the long-term goals of the partnership between BTM and CWT is for Business Travel Management Ltd to encourage Corporate Brands in Nigeria to improve the efficiency of their travel programme and experience truly professional, open and honest travel services.

At an elaborate corporate event at the Civic Centre in Lagos on September 10th, 2019, the CWT brand will officially be launched as being operated by Business Travel Management Limited in Nigeria.

After a welcome evening cocktail, and delightful entertainment the “Who’s Who” of Nigeria’s travel industry and corporate brands will sit to dine, celebrate and learn about evolution of service delivery in the corporate travel space and the new look and products from CWT.

The brand launch is sponsored by BTM partners; Africa World Airlines
Air Cote d’Ivoire, Amadeus, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air France, Emirates, Kenya Airways, Lufthansa, Radisson Blu, RwandAir Limited, South African Airways & Virgin Atlantic.

Delta to debut wholly reinvented international Main Cabin experience

First-of-its-kind service will launch for Main Cabin customers on international flights in November

Customers can expect to be impressed on board Delta’s international routes* starting this November when the airline debuts its industry-leading Main Cabin experience. Free “Welcome Aboard” cocktails featuring Bellinis to start, hot towel service and mix-and-match options for premium appetizers and larger entrees are just a few of the ways Delta is differentiating its international Main Cabin service.

“This is about investing in every single customer who chooses Delta, no matter where they sit on the plane,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s S.V.P. — In-Flight Service. “The thoughtful touches we’re investing in throughout the new Main Cabin experience were designed by flight attendants with one goal in mind: delivering an exceptional experience that our customers will rave about and one that our team, the best in the business, is proud to deliver.”

Designed to delight and create “wow” moments that feel like dining in your favorite splurge restaurant, Delta’s reinvented Main Cabin experience has been met with high marks – with increased customer satisfaction scores on the more than 700 flights it’s been tested on between Portland and Tokyo (NRT) over the past year.

A Main Cabin experience designed by flight attendants, endorsed by customers

The experience launching in November isn’t the same service Delta started testing more than a year ago. Rigorous reviews of the service through nearly 14,000 hours of flight time, information from over 1,800 customer surveys, robust crew feedback and input from a design team made up of 24 flight attendants resulted in a number of changes to perfect the innovative service for Delta’s international flights.

“With this service, at the end of the flight I know I’ve made a difference in the customer’s journey,” said Michael Miller, a New York-based flight attendant and member of the design team behind the new experience. “I know I’ve had the opportunity to not only offer an exceptional onboard experience, but also to engage with customers and create special moments for them.”

Creating magical moments in-flight

In addition to these enhancements, over the past several months, Delta has provided specialized training to its team of more than 3,000 Pursers – the lead flight attendants on international flights. Responsible for the customer experience from nose to tail, the Purser role at Delta has been elevated to include pre-flight introductions in the gate house and personal greetings at the boarding door – just a few examples of the important connections between crew and customers that lead to memorable moments and a delightful experience all around.

Also, in addition to recently upgraded amenity kits, more international onboard enhancements are coming soon — like refreshed ear buds and headsets — to further demonstrate the airline’s commitment to creating a best-in-class experience all customers can look forward to.

Delta’s new international Main Cabin service is part of the airline’s multi-billion dollar investment in the overall customer experience. In the past several years, the airline has made significant enhancements to the Main Cabin experience including free Main Cabin meals on select domestic coast-to-coast routes, free mobile messaging, free in-flight entertainment, upgraded Main Cabin snacks, the addition of sparkling wine, access to Wi-Fi on nearly all flights and refreshed Flight Fuel food-for-purchase options. Recent upgrades to the Delta One in-flight experience include the introduction of seasonally rotating, chef-designed Delta One menus with the option to pre-select first choice of entree, an Alessi-designed collection of serviceware and more.

Whisky Business: Sheraton Lagos Hotel Celebrates Whisky Day

LAGOS – May 8, 2019 – Sheraton Lagos Hotel is happy to announce to enthusiasts and lovers of whisky that the hotel teams will celebrate World whisky day on the 18th of May 2019.

The General Manager for Marriott Hotel’s in Nigeria, Barry Curran explains “World Whisky day is a day to try a dram and celebrate the “water of life” as it has been called since ancient times.

“We will offer 10% off our whisky bottles and equally sell whisky based cocktails for just N2,500 on that day.

We encourage you to show up with your friends and loved ones and indulge your Whisky palate.

To make it more pleasurable, we will commemorate all types of whisky as we encourage everyone to drink responsibly.

A set menu will equally be available at our lobby bar and goodies pub for you to choose whichever whisky cocktail catches your fancy.

It’s all about making it fun and enjoyable, whether preferred with ice, a mixer or water, our teams are sure to deliver on your preference.

The hotel looks forward to welcoming all lovers of whisky and our Food & Beverage Director -Mr. Churchill Bemigho, guarantees an enriching experience for anyone who comes in to savour our elevated Whisky cocktails.

As a City Landmark Hotel, located within the epicenter of Ikeja’s bustling area, our focus has always been geared towards stepping up our game and creating great food & beverage experiences that help connect people through their passions.

With the hotel’s proven success and exceptional reputation in beverage expertise, The Sheraton Lagos Hotel looks forward to welcoming everyone to celebrate World Whisky day with us.

SAA Voyager launches new mobile application

South African Airways (SAA) Voyager has launched its own SAA Voyager Mobile Application.  This means that the transactional experience for Voyager members is now in the palm of members’ hand with easy navigation whilst on the go.

The current SAA Mobile App only displays a customer’s status and balance of miles, whereas the first release of the SAA Voyager App includes additional transactional functions beneficial to the customers namely; update of personal details, PIN reset, award requests, claiming of missing miles, converting miles and, being able to donate miles.

The SAA Voyager App is an intervention aimed at enhancing Voyager members’ transactional experience with Voyager in the short term.  It is envisaged that once SAA relaunches its Mobile App in the latter part of this year, there will be integration between the SAA and SAA Voyager Mobile Apps, whereby customers will be able to transact seamlessly with SAA, be it for check-in, printing of boarding passes, making and/or changing reservations or transacting on their Voyager accounts.

SAA Executive for Customer Loyalty, Suretha Cruse explains that one of SAA’s key strategies is to enhance the customer experience.  “Customer insights were a key driver in the design and development of the SAA Voyager App with our Africa-based members in mind, where 80% access the internet via their mobile phones,” she says.

SAA Voyager was Africa’s first value-based airline loyalty programme, offering members miles based on the ticket price purchased, rather than the distance travelled.  The earning velocity of miles in the SAA Voyager programme remains the best in class on the African continent whereby members receive one SAA Voyager Mile per ZAR 1.60 spent, which counts towards the status of members. The programme also allows members to spend miles on any available ticket price for flights operated by SAA. With more than 67 partnerships globally, including the Star Alliance global network, the programme gives members access to more than 1 300 destinations in 190 countries.

Not a SAA Voyager member yet, but want to register? Simply download the SAA Voyager mobile app onto your phone from the Apple App store or Google Play store, alternatively, contact the SAA Voyager Call Centre on 011 978 1234.  You can also send an e-mail to voyager@flysaa.com.

Programme specific terms and conditions can be found on www.flysaa.com
SAA Voyager – Forever part of your journey. 

LOVE AND DINE WITH YOUR HEART AT MARRIOTT HOTELS IN NIGERIA

Romantic getaways, great meals, exceptional offers

In the famous words of Henry David Thoreau “There is no remedy for Love but to love more”, in this spirit, Sheraton Hotels in Lagos and Abuja have created the perfect ambience for a Romantic staycation or dinner with loved ones to make your valentine’s day truly special.

According to Barry Curran- General Manager for Marriott Hotels in Nigeria “Our hotel teams have truly “gone beyond” to create unforgettable love filled moments for all who come in through our doors.

Sheraton Lagos Hotel with its location at the epicentre of Ikeja’s bustling area, is delighted to celebrate the most magical time of the year with exceptional packages for both classic and club rooms. Rates will start from N66,000 and those who book these rates will get inspirational valentine gifts.

To add more spice to your day with us, a photo booth will be set up beside our Pumpkin Leaf Restaurant where lovers can take pictures and selfies. We then encourage our Guests to head up to our Pumpkin Leaf or Italian Restaurants for a delightful Valentine’s Day dinner; specially curated to spark up the evening and all-inclusive of a valentine’s day welcome cocktail at N16,500 per person and N33,000 per couple.

Our ingenious Executive Chef and his expert team have come up with a variety of sumptuous dishes and our customers are sure to delight their palates with offerings such as smoked Norwegian salmon, shrimp cocktail with tropical fruits, prawns bisque, prime beef fillet, heart shaped potatoes, whole oven roasted ram, roast chicken a l’orange, jollof rice, white forest gateau and more.

We will offer roses to the ladies, a live band to keep diners entertained and to top it off, 20% discount dinner vouchers will be handed over to each couple who dines at our Italian Restaurant during the Valentine’s evening.

Sheraton Abuja Hotel teams have put together a unique collection of Valentine’s Day experiences. The packages include special Valentine’s day offers for diners at all our four restaurants, a transformational arrival through a Love tunnel as well as free rose stems for the first 80 ladies to arrive.

To ignite the reason for the season; we will set up a cozy love photo booth for those pictures and selfies that create long lasting memories.

Couples are welcome to enjoy an elevated buffet dinner at our continental Papillon Restaurant or indulge in an inspiring waterfront buffet dinner experience at our Pool Bar & Restaurant all-inclusive of a complimentary glass of mocktail on arrival and live music entertainment for just NGN11,000 Per Person.

We are also happy to offer an original taste of Italy at our Luigi’s Italian Restaurant for our patrons looking to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine at just NGN22,000 Per Couple with a free glass of wine on arrival.

While at NGN30,000 Per Couple you can enjoy an enriching 3 course set menu at our Obudu Grill steak house restaurant and a complimentary bottle of prosecco.

A complimentary proposal package is available for our customers who call on or before the 8th of February 2019 for pre-arrangements.

All Diners will stand a chance to win either a couple’s weekend get-away or a couples Steam & Sauna session at the Sheraton Abuja Hotel

Our accommodation package is not left as you can equally relax over a staycation with us from the 14th – 17th of February for just NGN39,999 Per Night all Inclusive of taxes & breakfast for 2 Adults.

Sheraton Lagos and Sheraton Abuja will be beautifully decorated to reflect the valentine spirit as we look forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day with everyone” says Barry Curran

At our Sheraton Hotels in Lagos and Abuja we go beyond in our efforts to create long lasting memories and by doing this we believe that we have strengthened our place not just as a hotel for business travelers but as destinations that create experiences for leisure seekers too.