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Tourism Product No 10 is ‘Motherland Beckons – Heed the Call’ Tourism Icon

On: December 17, 2023 - In: Headlines - No comments

Tourism Product No 10 is ‘Motherland Beckons – Heed the Call’ Tourism Icon, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye has announced

 

Otunba Wanle Akinboboye’s 10th Tourism Product is ‘Motherland Beckons – Heed the Call’ and leverages off the fact that Nigeria and Africa have a huge population living in the diasporas.

He explains that, most people when referring to the Nigerian or African
Diasporas think only of those originally born in Nigeria or Africa and their first generation children. However, the upsurge of ancestry sites such as ‘23andMe’ and AncestryDNA, which provide insights into individuals’ ethic composition via their DNA, has meant that individuals can now determine their roots in Africa and commence the connection process

Otunba Akinboboye mentions that countries with an active and connected diaspora thrive in this regard. Israel, he says, has a Jewish Diaspora of 8.3 million people. He noted that these people feel a deep connection to and actively support and advocate for their country. They are committed to its development and provide it with both political and financial support.

Otunba Akinboboye reminds us that Nigeria has a large Diaspora spread throughout the world. A Diaspora, which is estimated to consist of 17 million people, remitted over US $22 billion to Nigeria during 2022. This translates to an average per person remittance of US$1389 per annum or US $116 per month.

The majority of these remittances were designed to provide stipends for family members still living in Nigeria. They therefore represent the portion of the diasporans’ income those individuals could afford to gift or give away. Some amounts were used to build second homes in Nigeria. However, only a small proportion of this money represented arms length investments in industries and infrastructure that would ultimately grow Nigeria’s economy .

He said that, this is a sharp contrast to India. “In 2022 India’s diaspora population was 18 million (out of a population that exceeds a billion) and they remitted US $111 billion to India. This translates to an average remittance per person of US $6111 per annum or US $509 per month.

“While approximately 33% of this money represented stipends paid to family members, a further 33% were gifts and donations while the balance represented arms length investments in bonds, deposits, FRI bank accounts and so on. These remittances obviously had a beneficial impact on that country’s foreign exchange flows and the comparitive strength of its currency.

In 2021, 5.18 million non – resident Indians visited India. This suggests approximately 30.4% of all Indians in the diasporas visit India each year. While it is difficult to obtain similar data for Nigeria, the Federal Bureau of Statistics mentions that, in 2021, 2.2 million international ticket holders went through our international airports (in – coming and outgoing). As this number is an aggregate of Nigerian residents, Nigerians in the Diasporas and Non – Nigerians, we can assume that less than 5% of Nigerians in diasporas visit Nigeria each year.

“When we look at these figures, we realise the importance of creating tourism products that will enhance the connection of those in the diasporas to Nigeria and the continent as a whole.

It is with this in mind that Otunba Akinboboye speaks of the need to leverage off our connection with those born in Nigeria that now live abroad, and those ‘Africans ’ that, over 300 years ago were shipped to the Americas and the Caribbean via slave ships, courtesy of the trans – Atlantic slave trade.

“These are the people whom we should look forward to welcoming back as tourists, so they can visit and connect with Nigeria and ultimately Africa via cruise ships and aero planes.

Otunba Akinboboye emphasizes that Motherland Beckons as a product, is designed to encourage Africans in diaspora to connect with Africa and to learn first hand through visits to the continent, the tremendous opportunities that are available in Africa, and which can be leveraged on to the ultimate benefit of all.

Nigeria is uniquely placed to provide an entry point to Africa. He refers to the newly constructed deep sea port at Lekki, which provides an ideal landing spot for the giant cruise liners that will form the focal point for transporting those In the diasporas who ‘Heed the Call’ when Africa beckons to them. Lagos tourists can leverage off our international airlines to visit other parts of Africa

By creating a specific tourism product that encourages Africans in the diaspora to visit Nigeria and from there access the rest of Africa, we will begin to create the strong connections required for an engaging diaspora.

Such diaspora will then be determined to uplift the continent and ensure that it takes its rightful place on the world stage. Their commitment in this regard will be based on the understanding that a developed continent uplifts not just Africans but the perception of Africans and people of colour throughout the world .

Otunba Akinboboye has promised that in the coming weeks. he will speak on other Tourism Products that are linked to this product and which evolve when the Motherland Calls and Africans Heed the Call.

 

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