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Tourism icon, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye released, ‘Motherland Beckons’ as the product of the week. “But this week, our tourism product is IPADA, a Yoruba word that means ‘The Return’. Motherland Beckons and then The Return. Heed the Call and Return to the Motherland,” says the tourism icon.
‘Ipada’ he says, is the response to the command of Motherland Beckons. The return. Ipada is a clarion call on Africans in the Diaspora and lovers of Africans to come back and better their lot by taking advantage of all the possibilities available in African countries and by so doing, benefitting and helping the growth of the continent of Africa.
Ipada is putting the entire continent of Africa in a single basket making it very easy for Africans in Diaspora and lovers of Africa to connect with Africa.
‘Ipada’ is not meant for one country. Ipada is meant for the entire 30.2 million square kilometers of area comprising 54 African countries.
Akinboboye reiterated that a system has been put in place to receive all The Diaspora returnees, “with the other different programs we have launched like YATE for the youth which is Youth African Tourism Exhibition where young teenagers, young managers, young leaders of African descent can connect and Return.
“When they return to Africa, they have something to do here. We don’t want them to return and sit in their hotel room. They will return to education, to business opportunities, to entertainment, to self-development.
“For the young ones that return, we give them a ‘Kamp Afrika’ Experience where they can learn African music, entertainment, culture, craft, and others.”
Ipada, he says, will be daily, monthly, and annually. “Ipada is an opportunity for us all to showcase our achievements, as we return daily. Our target is to bring a minimum of over N20 million to the economy. If Dubai with zero Diaspora, with a summation of four million people can bring 40 million, Africa can bring over 20 million tourists every year.
“We believe that the whole continent of Africa with almost a billion descent of Africa should be able to bring a minimum of 10 million through Nigeria to the different parts of Africa every year.
“With the deep sea port, we can now travel through ships from the Caribbeans to Lekki deep sea port, which is going to be about the deepest sea port in Africa. So it will be a journey of slave ships to cruise ships for our brother in the sixth region and lovers of Africa.
“From Slave ships to Cruise ships and luxurious airlines. When they land in Lagos we should be able to channel their movement to different parts of Africa. All the infrastructure for that has been done and in place.”
He said that, as a tourism product, “we have created the return process called Ipada, the return for people in the Diaspora. From Japa to Pada, and we are creating business opportunities for them, entertainment value, growth development. We are keeping data of their return.
“We have already, about 100 people in the Diaspora coming this December under Ipada. But we are not looking at just festive travel for them. We are looking at daily returns. If you are free in January, February, March, April, May, June or any month of the year, you can pick any part of Africa you want to come to. We are ready to take you there, we are not telling you to come only to Nigeria or to Ghana, we are telling you to come to Africa. All the programs we have and the type of delivery, and hospitality delivery service we have here, are also available in the 52 African countries.
“We can not add value to Africa by sending stipends to Africa. We have 17 million Nigerians in the Diaspora sending $24 billion to Africa but 17 million Indians in the Diaspora sent over 100 billion dollars to India because they came to India physically to set up businesses before going back to their country and to their second home.
“They come back physically for holidays, spending money in the economy, spending money to develop the economy of India. When you send residual money, that is, leftover funds, it is good, it helps, but it can be much better if you just, make sure you do your holiday in Africa anytime and everything.”
“So if India with 17 million people in the Diaspora can generate 100 billion dollars for India, 17 million Africans and a lot of Africans in the Diaspora, should be able to drop 100 billion dollars for the continent. So as Motherland has Beckoned, they must heed the call and Return, Ipada!” he added.Google+