_Tourism and hospitality business is like a picture of twins who go alongside, holding one another, in the hand. Changing the old order to manage these two, as. best practice is sure to bring economic elevation as well as bring into existence employment opportunities. In this interview with the Eagle, Dr. Mrs. Gladys Olaitan Igbekele presents fresh insights into challenges in the tourism business among sundry scopes on her career as a successful business person. Excerpts._

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Eagle:* *Let’s start from you. Some time ago and in 2022 precisely, you gave instances that hinted at your intention to blend tourism with your events management business. How has this been so far so good?*

*Dr. Mrs. Igbekele:* Yes, not only did I hint at this resolve, but I also expressed our object of setting up a media organization that would serve as a kind of yellow page where businesses and products are going to be listed with classified advertising. We are at present, running preliminary activities for the eventual founding of this.

*Will this not be cumbersome because of the present state of the Nigerian economy?*

True; the heartbeat of the country, most often, determines business transaction direction but it is our moderate responsibility to provide the missing link of our business for high-range patronage.

*What do you mean, exactly?*

I mean, though the economy of the country is foolproof to advancement, nonetheless, we must accept the challenge of ensuring the happiness of our patrons and other frequenters both local and international is prioritized.

*Alright, let’s shift a bit into your schedules as a woman of the family. Ma, how are your plans able to suit your family; understanding that your roles as an event planner and coordinator of a school are intense responsibilities?*

The answer is simple.

*Tell us.*

Like you said, …tense really but if I’m able to plan an event for the larger world, it cannot be hard for me to plan my family as a responsible woman. My family is just a micro-unit of the larger element.

*By now, you must be a very rich person.*

(Laughter) Hnmmmmmm. I’m by God rich in terms of planning concept and idea perspectives and I intend to change the old order.

*Change the old order?*


*What exactly is the missing link you intend to provide?*

Yes, the imperative to let adequate services be provided to tourists…those traveling for sightseeing,… should go beyond the ordinary. There is a need to design a template that will showcase the importance of tourism as a big business. Not only this, tourism agents should seek a good working relationship with the government. This will bring up an understanding of the essence of tourism and its several sources to the government. More centers of attraction must manifest.

*What benefit will this translate to the government?*

We are talking of expansionist policy here which will discover more tourist attraction locations and preservation. When this is in place, more regard will be given to tourism in Nigeria and consequently, …this.means an up-jerk of revenue to the government, elevating the opportunity for job creation.

*How can this be guaranteed, …can you advise the government?*
It is not rocket science. It is a matter of creativity, commitment, and skilled manpower. If these are alright, making tourism a veritable source of national income is already guaranteed.

*Away from tourism now. Is everything alright with event planners in Nigeria because of the present general economic quagmire?*

Well, it’s a chain reaction.


You have to note that buoyant planning is dictated by buoyant interest but buoyant interest is founded on the state of the client’s pocket. If it’s well with both the pocket and the willingness of the client a planner will have a good day.

*So, the general economic conditions can always dictate the fate of events planning. Is that what you mean?*

Nothing less.

*Ok. Let’s go a bit into your school of catering. What are you doing there? Tell me.*

It is not a development with which I target a financial win rather, to seek to lift the future out of the cesspool of poverty. I’m playing a role in how infinitesimal it might be, to lift the youths out of poverty which is hanging as a pandemic across the land.

*So, you train youths for economic self-reliance?*


*What then does it take to get admitted into your catering and events management school?*

Just your willing mind, the belief in your capability, and the happiness to be part of the changing wheel.

*Is it free?*

It is to a greater extent to save for some necessary fees which cannot slit the throat to aid quality learning and ensure the genuine concept of professionalism.

*How do you view Nigeria as a tourist destination?*
Nigeria has a lot to offer tourists! It’s a country with a rich cultural heritage, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people. Nigeria is home to many historic sites, including the ancient city of Benin, which was once the center of a powerful kingdom. There are also many natural wonders to explore, such as the Yankari National Park, which is home to elephants, lions, and other wildlife. And of course, Nigeria is known for its vibrant music and dance culture. For visitors who are interested in learning more about Nigerian culture, there are many museums and cultural centers to visit.

*What about Lagos?*
Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city, is a must-see for tourists. It’s a bustling metropolis with a vibrant nightlife and a thriving arts scene. Lagos is also home to a variety of museums and historical sites, such as the National Museum of Nigeria and the Tafawa Balewa Square. For those who want to experience the city’s natural beauty, there’s the Lekki Conservation Centre, a nature reserve that’s home to diverse wildlife, including monkeys, crocodiles, and over 150 bird species. And for those who want to soak up the sun, there are several beautiful beaches, such as Bar Beach, Oniru Beach, and Lekki Beach. And of course, no trip to Lagos would be complete without a visit to the city’s famous markets, such as the Balogun Market and the New Market. These markets offer a wide variety of goods, from traditional fabrics to spices and food items. There’s truly something for everyone in Lagos!

*How do you rate our publication?*

It is my runaway copy. It is a new indication that lends credence to the creative threshold of communication and I know it is going to become a global household property.

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