By Prudence Arobani
A group of 40 American millennials has embarked on a trip to Nigeria to experience first-hand, the limitless opportunities of the country.
The Director of Discover Gidi, organisers of the annual trip to Nigeria, Mr Ugo Obilo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that the group would be in Nigeria from Thursday to January 2, 2019. According to him, Nigeria has limitless opportunities for the millennial, aiming to have a great time, adding the trip will increase the number of people that have been to Nigeria.
Obilo said: “We wanted to give them the opportunity to enjoy more of that in different ways with their friends, to see different things culturally. As we started promoting things, a lot of non-Nigerians wanted to come as well. We started out because a lot of young Nigerians are not excited to go back to Nigeria.
“So we wanted to give them the opportunity to go back with young crowd and enjoy and see Nigeria in a new way so that we can generate excitement about it again. This is because our generation needs to be the one that is giving back to the community, being able to fund the economy in different ways. But to our surprise, a lot of non-Nigerian millennials decided that they wanted to visit and travel there as well.”
According to him, when the 2017 group visited Nigeria, it was made up of half Nigerians and half non-Nigerians and they had a very good time and enjoyed themselves.
Obilo said in 2018, when the organisers started promoting the trip, it was overwhelming that a lot of non-Nigerians wanted to come and see and experience Nigerian culture first-hand.
“So we have about 40 people coming this year. Mostly, they are people that have never been to Nigeria, non-Nigerians themselves. We have a well-structured itinerary, a good balance being able to see the culture, enjoy Nigerian nightlife, being able to see a lot of the historical aspects of the country as well.
“We intend to go to the Badagry Slave Port, we’re going to have a cultural night at Terra Cotta, they are doing a Language Lesson, we have a day to go to the beach and enjoy. We’re going to Nike Art Gallery, we’re going to Lekki Conservation Centre, we’re going to different places on the Island to see the beaches in the Victoria Island, and a service day on the mainland.”
He said the participants would also have a naming ceremony where each of them would elect to receive a traditional Nigerian name. According to him, the idea is an effort to afford people of all backgrounds and nationalities the opportunity to experience the beauty of the African Diaspora.
“Out of necessity, we wanted to change the conversation and eliminate reservations individuals have regarding travelling to Africa and African cities. As a Nigerian, I wanted to be at the forefront of a movement that would encourage my peers to not only travel to Nigeria, but also lead them to invest in Nigeria’s future,” he said.
Obilo said the annual trip was named ‘Discover Gidi’ as a literal ode to the pre-existing beauty of Nigeria and Lagos, adding, the mission is to allow others to discover the beauty that Nigeria has to offer.
According to him, the trip sets out to appeal specifically to Nigerian-Americans looking to travel home in a curated group-trip format.
HR said there had been an influx of non-Nigerians particularly, millennials of different backgrounds, who wanted to see and experience Nigeria for the first time.