How do you see Seattle Residences contributing to Nigeria’s tourism? How are you able to impact the tourism industry?
In terms of what we bring to tourism, one of the reasons I moved back to Nigeria is because I wanted to make an impact on the hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria. I had all this experience quite young, I moved back about seven years ago, but I’m still very much in London, we are working with our hotel groups here, it’s my country, Nigeria, and I want to make a key the difference, a key contribution to the industry.
One of the issues people complain about a lot in the hospitality industry is Service. What brings the difference in how you train your staff?
There is a very big difference. Almost all of the excellence training service that I’ve heard about in Nigeria is classroom based, and I do mine differently. It’s always on the job because service is a verb, it’s a doing word. When you give service, it’s an action, an act or a facial expression or a smile. It’s something that you do, it’s not cognitive and it’s not academic as something might be in other industries.
What is your favourite story about hospitality in the Bible?
How would you say the government is supporting Nigeria’s tourism business? What’s your take on the government efforts to improve tourism in Nigeria?
At the moment, we are in-between governments, we have our new Governor-elect, and I’ve met with him several times. He, in particular, wants to focus on tourism, which is refreshing. I was an ambassador of tourism for about two years and we were able to do some projects on beach renovations.
Naomi Campbell, Edward Eningful, Robert Cavalli and Andre Leon Tally all stayed at the Seattle Residences in May. What was it like?
It was really exciting to have them stay at Seattle Residences. It was amazing to house all of the big fashion people. They were all very happy with their experience here at Seattle and Lagos in general. Naomi Campbell made a very creative video essentially marketing Nigeria from the fashion shows, the beaches, Seattle Residences and the Lagos vibe. It is important for people to see the various sides of Lagos. Lagos is a dynamic city with luxurious experiences and we want people to see this side of Lagos too.
What advice do you have for young women navigating their professional lives?
My advice to young women is simply ‘Go for it’. The sky is the limit. Women in this culture are too concerned about their reputation and what other people think. A lot of people hold themselves back because of what they think people will say, the fear of being judged for being too assertive and out there. My advice is to stay focused on your objectives. Men in Nigeria are the ones closing all the deals and that is how they get ahead. Women need to believe in their abilities and go after what they want unapologetically.