Dreams, Vision, determination, focus, doggedness are inseparable words deployed when describing the iroko, Founder, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The New Planet Resorts Limited, Ajangbadi, Ojo, Lagos, Chief Sunday Nwobodo. He brought fulfillment with great difference to fun-seekers in Badagry Axis of Lagos; he once disclosed that if Nigeria can make people happy, it can attract foreigners, boost the economy and create jobs for the people, CYRIACUS NNAJI writes.
Lagos being Nigeria’s commercial capital City boasts of hospitality industry that is second to none in Africa. No wonder that foreigners find it easy to visit Lagos either for business, fun-seeking or relaxation and indeed the City offers them approximately maximum experience just as they have in their home countries.
However, usually the focus and search for luxurious and plush hospitality facilities, calm and inviting scenery, entertainment and leisure offerings of different blends, was in Victoria Island, Ikeja, Ikoyi and lately Amuwo-Odofin. They not only look at the comfort, they also find succor where there is maximum guarantee of security.
Both foreign and Nigerians enjoy and constantly explore culinary world, rich gastronomic treat from African to continental dishes, posh restaurant, an inviting and artistic ambience and chef and kitchen that hand ever exploring guests with enjoyable meals of their choice.
But the search for excellence in hospitality sector in Lagos began to shift in August 2015, when Chief Sunday Nwobodo, Akaekpuchionwa 1 of Enugu and Lagos respectively, in his business acumen meticulously studied the Lagos hospitality industry and decided to thread where no man has dared with the opening of The New Planet Resort for fun seekers in the Ojo axis of the city.
Visitors to this resort could easily attest to its appealing nature and the rich hospitality bouquet on offer daily, especially during weekends and festive periods when the home takes on a new ambience, turning into a beehive of fun city for love birds and fun seekers of all sorts. Established and upcoming Nigerian entertainers who see the hotel as a good place to play their trades and keep alive their growing fan base are never scarce at the resort.
It offers serene scenery with a touch of lush and luxuriating greens with well apportioned facilities of sophisticated and luxurious nature while its leisure and entertainment palate is always fulfilled with unending activities, hence the hotel prides itself as an enclave with unhidden treasures, waiting to be discovered by those with exploratory and courageous spirit.
In the area of business conference and social events, the hotel holds a pride of place for the local residents and business organisations as well as social clubs which because of its rich and numerous facilities, patronise it on regular basis, making the hotel the most sought after for business and social events when the venue and class of event matter.
When it comes to the culinary world, it offers guest a rich gastronomic treat from African to continental dishes with its posh restaurant exuding an inviting and artistic ambience of some sorts while the chef of the day and the kitchen hands delight guests with savoury meals of their choice.
Perhaps one service area that has made the hotel a household name and the most popular as well as heavily patronised by both the locals and visitors, is that of entertainment, as its entertainment packages are richly put together with complementary amenities and sensuously designed environment to both.
Nwobodo was once asked what informed his investment in hospitality business he said “I got into the hospitality business when I travelled abroad and I saw how they treated people well. Their service was excellent and I wanted to go back all the time. I feel giving happiness is what I want to do so I decided to bring such service to Nigeria. I feel if we can make people happy, we can attract foreigners, boost our economy and create jobs for our people.
On his impression of the hospitality industry in Nigeria he said “I feel if we want the hospitality industry in Nigeria to grow the government needs to take the industry more seriously considering the huge foreign investment it can attract to the country. People travel abroad to stay in hotels where their services are superb, they feel happy and security is top notch.
We can do same in Nigeria so as to attract foreigners to the country to spend on the industry and this will boost out economy, create jobs and keep the country from recession.”
He added that Government should provide regular electricity, provide security and water. “There is also the need for government to check multiple taxations on hotels. Tax can become burdensome and this affects service delivery, staff recruitment and standard facilities in the hotel that people should explore when they come to a hotel.”
A man who does not involve in blowing his trumpet, a philanthropist, Nwobodo advised upcoming entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry saying “They should know that business is hard and business is simple too. It is not how much you have to start but you need to be knowledgeable in the business you want to venture into. It is important you humble yourself and learn from someone. You have to be involved in your business. You should not start a business you do not have time for. You have to be present. Do not expect your staff to make money for you. Nobody will make money for you. You make money and your staff are there to assist you.”
On the claim that hotels are the den of socio-economic vices, providing a safe haven for armed robbers and kidnappers, Nwobodo said “This is not correct because hotels are actually well catered home for business travellers, tourists, leisure seekers and the locals with a check in place to screen out criminals of all sorts. There is maximum security with the use of CCTV and the government monitoring the activities of hotels in the country.