The introduction of smartphones in Nigeria back in 2007 meant different things to different people. For Elochukwu Umeh, a young and aspiring entrepreneur, the cellphone revolution came with a vision – a business idea that would use smartphones to drive interactions and create values for companies.
Two years after this vision came to him, Elochukwu conceptualized and established Terragon Group, a company that would later be described as “Africa’s digital powerhouse.”
The dreams of a teenager
As a child, Elochukwu had always imagined a future where he would be free to travel the world and explore. This naturally meant that all of his career plans were pointed towards exploring. As he later recounted:
“It had everything to do with exploring, and nothing to do with technology. I pictured being a pilot, an ambassador, and any other thing I thought could take me around the world.”
(READ MORE: Elo Umeh named 2019 B2B SME CEO of the year)
According to Elo, the desire to explore never died. However, it was sort of redirected after he got a job with a technology company, following the completion of his studies at the university. By this time, mobile technology had become a new avenue for him to explore the world.
The realities of adulthood
Fresh out of school as a Business Administration graduate in 2003, the then 20-year-old Elochukwu joined MTech as a content associate. His commitment quickly took him through the ranks, from content associate to head of Operator services, and then product manager, before he was finally put in charge of Telco partnerships.
The young man soon found himself traveling across Africa, setting up subsidiaries for MTech. As he went from Kenya to Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire to Uganda, Elochukw thought that all his childhood dreams had finally come to pass. But little did he know that he was acquiring the experience and acumen he would later use to build Terragon.
A brief stint with IFC and the quest to unravel smartphones’ endless opportunities
As part of his career advancement, Elochukwu took up a consulting engagement with the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) for some months. His job entailed rolling out modalities for mobile payment services, management of rural telephony initiatives, and the deployment of new products.
Even while working out his heart, Elochukwu was busy brainstorming on endless possibilities of the smart mobile technologies. Since his days as an undergraduate, he had always been fascinated by the opportunities inherent in those devices.
“As an undergraduate in Lagos, I had observed people couldn’t communicate unless they queued along with 30 or 40 people for hours to use a public phone. The government held a monopoly on phone lines and provided relatively substandard service, so not much was happening from a commercial standpoint.
“The development of mobile communications was a real game-changer and from the beginning, I realized it was going to change everything,” he later explained.
And Terragon was born…
In the last quarter of 2009, Terragon was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, and by 2010, the company launched fully into the market. However, the journey wasn’t spicy with everything nice.
As a matter of fact, it was a tough first year of operation for Terrogan, as the founders explored various options of what people could do with the smart technologies, as well as how companies could get value from it. Raising funds was also a serious challenge for Terragon, as it is the case with all start-ups.
It was a tedious journey for the founders – two young men who, until then, were never really aware of the true pains of entrepreneurship. Reflecting on it, Elo says:
“For the first year, running out of money was a constant problem. We always needed money for one thing or the other, especially to keep the business afloat while working on the product market phase. Another problem was finding competent or strong team members that buy into the vision.”
By the end of the first year, the co-founder opted out, leaving Elochukwu to drive the business alone.
Thankfully, the resilient young entrepreneur had mentors who provided him guidance and moral support. Mitchell Elegbe, the MD/CEO of Interswitch, is one of such mentors, as well as Chika Nwaobi of M-tech. Years later, Elochukwu would describe their help and contributions as ‘unquantifiable’. This is because they provided him with insights into several projects that he later undertook.
During those early days of Terragon Group, one of the things Elochukwu ensured to do was to bring critical staff members on board. A number of those critical staff later became partners in the company. Oduntan Odubanjo was one of those critical staff. He later became the co-founder of Twinpine, which was launched as an arm of the Terragon Group.
Another one of those critical staff was Ayodeji Balogun, who became the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Co-founder of the Terragon group.
With an interesting mix of grit and patience, Elochukwu Umeh was able to drive the start-up off the ground and into the competitive global market.
Milestones achieved by Elochukwu
Elochukwu is all about mobile, digital innovation and creative solutions. He is also a staunch believer in the school of thought that Africa’s problems can best be solved by Africans.
Finding solutions has been the crux of Terragon’s existence. And over the years, the company has rolled out products and services to provide a solution to the problems of consumer brands, mobile network operators, financial service institutions, media agencies, and SMEs.
Terragon first launched Terragon Digital – a digital media agency for companies that wanted to connect with their customers on mobile devices.
Twinpine Network was then launched as a premium mobile advertising network reaching millions of African consumers on mobile devices, and delivering outstanding results for brands and media agencies. It has helped lots of advertisers and media agencies to manage and optimize returns on their advertising budget.
These two would later form the basis for diving into the data and marketing technology business, a sector where Terragon expected to break new grounds, as the business was relatively unexplored in Africa at this time.
“We were not looking for companies to imitate, so we went in. We did a lot of market research and looked out for opportunities” Elo recalled.
The Terragon group also launched Adrenaline, the company’s flagship software in 2017. Adrenaline is a cross-platform mobile ad serving and data monetization platform specifically developed for the African market. It delivers targeted messaging via Web & Non-Web channels. It combines data, channels & tools to help businesses reach the right audiences at the right time and place.
Bringing Adrenaline to life required critical partnerships, so Terragon partnered with MTN Nigeria, Globacom and Orange.
Over the next couple of years, the software outstripped Facebook’s 18 million subscribers with 80 million subscribers in Nigeria. It gets over 3.58bn monthly impressions across its mobile operator channels, publisher and ad-exchange network.
In November 2018, Terragon Group also acquired Bizense Pte. Ltd, a Singaporean mobile advertising company targeting Telcos and large publishers.
Terragon Group is now the parent company to Terragon Ltd, Terragon Media and Twinpine.
After going through the tough early years, it undoubtedly gets to that point when the recognitions start rolling in.
In 2018, Terragon Group won the “Employer of the Year 2018” award at the Future of Workplace Awards – an initiative of HR Summit and Expo for West Africa.
Umeh also made the 40under40 list of Entrepreneurs by IESE Business school, University of Navarra Spain, from over 46,000 alumni across 129 countries. He had earlier completed his MBA from the university in 2016, graduating as ‘The Best and Brightest EMBAs of the class of 2016’.
Elochukwu Umeh was named the Business-to-Business SME CEO of the year at the 2019 Business Day CEO awards.
Elo is married with kids. Talking about what he would love to go back to doing, he says, “I am a football commentator in my free time. I have had a football program on radio and I analyze football, but since Terragon started to take a lot of time, I haven’t been able to allocate enough time to that passion.”
Looking back, Elo would say that patience played a huge role in his achievements, maybe even more than talent. “There are no shortcuts to the entrance,” he says.
He discusses the problem of entrepreneurs as that of imitation. “You must solve head-shattering problems. It’s the only way to keep competition at bay.”
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 5th of July 2020, 544 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria bringing the total confirmed cases recorded in the country to 28,711.
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria touched a new milestone as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 28,711 confirmed cases.
On the 5th of July 2020, 544 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,933 samples across the country.
To date, 28,711 cases have been confirmed, 11,665 cases have been discharged and 645 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 151,121 tests have been carried out as of July 5th, 2020 compared to 148,188 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 5th July 2020
- Total Number of Cases – 28,711
- Total Number Discharged – 11,665
- Total Deaths – 645
- Total Tests Carried out – 151,121
According to the NCDC, the 544 new cases were reported from 19 states- Lagos (199), Ebonyi (65),Oyo (47), Ondo (46), Ogun (31), Edo (30), FCT (28), Katsina (25), Plateau (15), Bayelsa (11), Kaduna (10), Adamawa (10), Akwa Ibom (8), Gombe (7), Kano (4), Taraba (3), Rivers (2), Abia (2), Ekiti (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 11,244, followed by Abuja (2,181), Oyo (1,513), Edo (1,383), Kano (1,268), Delta (1,227) Rivers (1,183), Ogun (1,005), Kaduna (865), Katsina (604), Borno (528), Gombe (520), Bauchi (516), Ebonyi (503), Ondo (456), Plateau (436), Abia (385), Enugu (372), Imo (352), Jigawa (318).
Kwara state has recorded 269 cases, Bayelsa (245), Nasarawa (225), Osun (165), Sokoto (153), Niger (122), Akwa Ibom (112), Adamawa (99), Benue (97), Kebbi (84), Zamfara (76), Anambra (73), Yobe (61), Ekiti (44), Taraba (22), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020.
|Date||Confirmed case||New cases||Total deaths||New deaths||Total recovery||Active cases||Critical cases|
|July 5, 2020||28711||544||645||11||11665||16401||7|
|July 4, 2020||28167||603||634||6||11462||16071||7|
|July 3, 2020||27564||454||628||12||11069||15867||7|
|July 2, 2020||27110||626||616||13||10801||15693||7|
|July 1, 2020||26484||790||603||13||10152||15729||7|
|June 30, 2020||25694||561||590||17||9746||15358||7|
|June 29, 2020||25133||566||573||8||9402||15158||7|
|June 28, 2020||24867||490||565||7||9007||14995||7|
|June 27, 2020||24077||779||558||4||8625||14894||7|
|June 26, 2020||23298||684||554||5||8253||14491||7|
|June 25, 2020||22614||594||549||7||7822||14243||7|
|June 24, 2020||22020||649||542||9||7613||13865||7|
|June 23, 2020||21371||452||533||8||7338||13500||7|
|June 22, 2020||20919||675||525||7||7109||13285||7|
|June 21, 2020||20242||436||518||12||6879||12847||7|
|June 20, 2020||19808||661||506||19||6718||12584||7|
|June 19, 2020||19147||667||487||12||6581||12079||7|
|June 18, 2020||18480||745||475||6||6307||11698||7|
|June 17, 2020||17735||587||469||14||5967||11299||7|
|June 16, 2020||17148||490||455||31||5623||11070||7|
|June 15, 2020||16658||573||424||4||5349||10885||7|
|June 14, 2020||16085||403||420||13||5220||10445||7|
|June 13, 2020||15682||501||407||8||5101||10174||7|
|June 12, 2020||15181||627||399||12||4891||9891||7|
|June 11, 2020||14554||681||387||5||4494||9673||7|
|June 10, 2020||13873||409||382||17||4351||9140||7|
|June 9, 2020||13464||663||365||4||4206||8893||7|
|June 8, 2020||12801||315||361||7||4040||8400||7|
|June 7, 2020||12486||260||354||12||3959||8173||7|
|June 6, 2020||12233||389||342||9||3826||8065||7|
|June 5, 2020||11844||328||333||10||3696||7815||7|
|June 4, 2020||11516||350||323||8||3535||7646||7|
|June 3, 2020||11166||348||315||1||3329||7522||7|
|June 2, 2020||10819||241||314||15||3239||7266||7|
|June 1, 2020||10578||416||299||12||3122||7157||9|
|May 31, 2020||10162||307||287||14||3007||6868||7|
|May 30, 2020||9855||553||273||12||2856||6726||7|
|May 29, 2020||9302||387||261||2||2697||6344||7|
|May 28, 2020||8915||182||259||5||2592||6064||7|
|May 27, 2020||8733||389||254||5||2501||5978||7|
|May 26, 2020||8344||276||249||16||2385||5710||7|
|May 25, 2020||8068||229||233||7||2311||5524||7|
|May 24, 2020||7839||313||226||5||2263||5360||7|
|May 23, 2020||7526||265||221||0||2174||5131||7|
|May 22, 2020||7261||245||221||10||2007||5033||7|
|May 21, 2020||7016||339||211||11||1907||4898||7|
|May 20, 2020||6677||284||200||8||1840||4637||7|
|May 19, 2020||6401||226||192||1||1734||4475||7|
|May 18, 2020||6175||216||191||9||1644||4340||7|
|May 17, 2020||5959||388||182||6||1594||4183||7|
|May 16, 2020||5621||176||176||5||1472||3973||7|
|May 15, 2020||5445||288||171||3||1320||3954||4|
|May 14, 2020||5162||193||168||3||1180||3815||4|
|May 13, 2020||4971||184||164||6||1070||3737||4|
|May 12, 2020||4787||146||158||6||959||3670||4|
|May 11, 2020||4641||242||152||10||902||3589||4|
|May 10, 2020||4399||248||142||17||778||3479||4|
|May 9, 2020||4151||239||127||11||745||3278||4|
|May 8, 2020||3912||386||118||10||679||3115||4|
|May 7, 2020||3526||381||108||4||601||2818||4|
|May 6, 2020||3145||195||104||5||534||2507||1|
|May 5, 2020||2950||148||99||5||481||2370||4|
|May 4, 2020||2802||245||94||6||417||2291||2|
|May 3, 2020||2558||170||88||2||400||2070||2|
|May 2, 2020||2388||220||86||17||351||1952||2|
|May 1, 2020||2170||238||69||10||351||1751||2|
|April 30, 2020||1932||204||59||7||317||1556||2|
|April 29, 2020||1728||196||52||7||307||1369||2|
|April 28, 2020||1532||195||45||4||255||1232||2|
|April 27, 2020||1337||64||41||0||255||994||2|
|April 26, 2020||1273||91||41||5||239||994||2|
|April 25, 2020||1182||87||36||3||222||925||2|
|April 24, 2020||1095||114||33||1||208||855||2|
|April 23, 2020||981||108||32||3||197||753||2|
|April 22, 2020||873||91||29||3||197||648||2|
|April 21, 2020||782||117||26||3||197||560||2|
|April 20, 2020||665||38||23||1||188||466||2|
|April 19, 2020||627||86||22||2||170||436||2|
|April 18, 2020||541||48||20||2||166||356||2|
|April 17, 2020||493||51||18||4||159||317||2|
|April 16, 2020||442||35||13||1||152||277||2|
|April 15, 2020||407||34||12||1||128||267||2|
|April 14, 2020||373||30||11||1||99||263||2|
|April 13, 2020||343||20||10||0||91||242||2|
|April 12, 2020||323||5||10||0||85||228||2|
|April 11, 2020||318||13||10||3||70||238||2|
|April 10, 2020||305||17||7||0||58||240||2|
|April 9, 2020||288||14||7||1||51||230||2|
|April 8, 2020||274||22||6||0||44||226||2|
|April 7, 2020||254||16||6||1||44||204||2|
|April 6, 2020||238||6||5||0||35||198||2|
|April 5, 2020||232||18||5||1||33||194||2|
|April 4, 2020||214||5||4||0||25||185||0|
|April 3, 2020||209||25||4||2||25||180||0|
|April 2, 2020||184||10||2||0||20||162||0|
|April 1, 2020||174||35||2||0||9||163||0|
|March 31, 2020||139||8||2||0||9||128||0|
|March 30, 2020||131||20||2||1||8||121||0|
|March 29, 2020||111||22||1||0||3||107||0|
|March 28, 2020||89||19||1||0||3||85||0|
|March 27, 2020||70||5||1||0||3||66||0|
|March 26, 2020||65||14||1||0||2||62||0|
|March 25, 2020||51||7||1||0||2||48||0|
|March 24, 2020||44||4||1||0||2||41||0|
|March 23, 2020||40||10||1||1||2||37||0|
|March 22, 2020||30||8||0||0||2||28||0|
|March 21, 2020||22||10||0||0||1||21||0|
|March 20, 2020||12||4||0||0||1||11||0|
|March 19, 2020||8||0||0||0||1||7||0|
|March 18, 2020||8||5||0||0||1||7||0|
|March 17, 2020||3||1||0||0||0||3||0|
|March 16, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 15, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 14, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 13, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 12, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 11, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 10, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 9, 2020||2||1||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 8, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 7, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 6, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 5, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 4, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 3, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 2, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 1, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|February 29, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|February 28, 2020||1||1||0||0||0||1||0|
COVID -19 saving Nigerians millions in wedding and burial costs
As long as the pandemic persists, the ‘new normal’ is for ceremonies to remain subdued.
It was a sunny Saturday in May and like it had been for the better part of 8 weeks, the new normal was in force in Nosa’s household. The lockdown induced COVID-19 meant that all the hustle and bustle of giving attention to side hustles on weekends had all evaporated. Now he spent more time with his kids watching TV and playing video games. Whilst he has had to endure multiple weekends of lost revenue, staying indoors meant that his personal finance was still intact. But things would change dramatically this weekend.
Nosa got a call that he had just lost his aged mother to a brief illness. He had been battling with a terminal illness for years, but things seemed to be under control so her death came as a surprise. Even as he grappled with the thought of losing his mother, Nosa knew that he had to start making preparations for the expenses that are bound to come with burials in an African setting.
Thanks to the pandemic, and rules that came with it, Nosa ended up spending much less than he would have for his mother’s burial with most of the funds going towards mortuary expenses, transport and the direct cost of the actual burial itself.
READ ALSO: Post COVID-19: The Challenges Ahead
“This COVID-19 is bad but it has saved me millions of naira that I would have spent in this burial,” he remarked.
“I wanted to give my mom a befitting burial but these are hard times and I may have borrowed money just to fund this. But with COVID-19 and social distancing in place I did not have to do any of this,” Nosa informs our reporter.
Nosa’s gains translate to massive losses for a whole chain of service providers in the event management industry. Similar occurrences over the last few months have resulted in the loss of revenue for such businesses.
Events in Nigeria often cost anywhere between half a million naira to over N100 million depending on the financial muscle of those spending. Burials, weddings, naming ceremonies and birthday parties, make a burgeoning industry that spans several sectors of the economy.
From mortuaries to casket makers, event planners, event Halls rentals, professional mourners, caterers, confectionaries, party rentals, photographers, video editors, tailors, newspapers , etc, its an entire value chain of businesses that provide one service or the other for this industry.
Each of these events cost millions of naira to organize hosting as many people as the budget can support. According to a CNN article quoting a report from TNS Global, Nigerians spend as much as $9,460 for a wedding ceremony. The report also indicates the party industry could be worth as high as $17 million based on statistics in 2017.
The math can be easily deducted. Assuming 50,000 ceremonies every weekend at an average cost of N1 million that is a N50 billion per weekend or N2.7 trillion ($6.75 billion) per annum. GDP data from the National Bureau of Statistics indicates sectors that support the ceremonies market in Nigeria, telecoms, transportation, Arts and Entertainment is worth a combined N18.4 trillion.
Chuks, a Partner at a top consulting firm in Nigeria admits were it not for the pandemic his wedding could have cost him about N15 million personally and another N20 million spent by family, friends, colleagues and well-wishers. He is in his forties and his wedding had been much anticipated. He went ahead with his wedding last weekend with less than a dozen people in attendance and over 140 others logging on via Zoom. He claims while he ended up not spending millions on food, drinks, wedding halls and other logistic costs, he still achieved his goal of getting married.
Necessity they say is the mother of invention and has millions stay locked in their homes, they have resorted to apps such as Zoom, Instagram Live, Microsoft Teams to hold virtual events. These days Zoom themed parties now have their own rules and conventions. Friends from all parts of the world log in with each person taking turns to say nice things about the celebrants. Games are conducted to spice up the event and stories told by the celebrant. Music is also played by the Zoom host with participants dancing and having fun.
“It is like watching a live movie and also being part of it as the audience and participant” a wedding planner informed Nairametrics. Whilst one cannot underrate the connection physical socializing brings, virtual meetings are gradually becoming a lifestyle and the longer social distancing continues its cultural significance will only continue to increase.
Aderonke Adebamibola, CEO of Unik Ushering Agency, an Event management firm, confirmed to Nairametrics that business has really slowed down in the last few months. “Even though the NCDC has now given rules to guide weddings and other events, the budget now is way less than it used to be due to the cap on numbers of guests” she explained.
Now, most events are kept within the premises of family residences, depriving hall rentals, the money they could have made from leasing out their halls. Venue decorators also have much less on their hands to do, as they no longer have to decorate big halls.
According to Adebamibola, every single business in the chain has been affected, from caterers to ushers.
“Now, we even have to convince them to use one or two ushers for their events because they believe they don’t need ushers for 20 or 30 guests. Caterers cannot even cook a half bag of rice now because of the number of guests. This means that they are also paid less for their services, even if they expend the same energy and time” she said.
The new normal in this industry means that the things that used to be prioritized are no longer priorities. Hand sanitisers, face masks and hand washing equipment are now compulsories in events, while the hand-shaking, and hugs that would have characterized such weddings.
Due to the nature of the industry, a large percentage of the staff are kept on contract basis, so the reduction has not really translated into lay-offs. However, the industry revenue has been badly hit. A contract staff with NPU Events, who preferred anonymity, noted that in the last three months, she has only been called twice for events.
Since this forms a major part of her income, it has caused a major dip in her resources. COVID-19 has brought unwanted hardship to the Nigerian economy with small businesses and workers in the informal sector suffering the most.
A recent World Bank report indicates the Nigerian economy might contract by as much as 3% in GDP growth rate this year. This informed government’s latest decision to inject about N2.3 trillion into the economy to spur economic growth. The funds will be targeted at small businesses through non-collateralized low-interest loans. Whilst all these initiatives are geared towards stimulating the economy, the spending power of Nigerians will remain pivotal and as long as the pandemic persists, ceremonies will remain subdued.
Top 10 travel agencies in Nigeria
Whatever the case, everyone needs a travel agency or at least knows someone that does.
Have you ever gone through the rigours of applying for a visa in Nigeria, only to get rejected in the end? Or maybe you had to make a trip and spent hours online trying to book reservations in a good hotel, then ended up getting there and discovering that your reservation didn’t go through.
Perhaps, you have been defrauded by poser travel agents, in your quest to travel abroad. Or maybe the reason you have not planned for a much-desired vacation is because you don’t have the time to attend to all the details.
Whatever the case, everyone needs a travel agency or at least knows someone that does. Even when you know how to get these things done, it cannot compare to having a professional touch. Little things like having someone welcome you at the airport, and ensuring you get checked in at your hotel, can really matter.
And that is why it is necessary to know some reliable travel agencies off the top of your head. In this article, Nairametrics brings you a list of top travel agencies in Nigeria that can take care of your travel needs and attend to all the details.
Owing to the relationships these agencies have built over the years, they can get you incredibly lower airfares, hotel rates and other expenses, much more than you could get on your own. They also ensure that even if you are arriving in a country you have never been, you don’t get stranded.
Nairametrics does not have affiliations with any of these agencies, but the list was drawn from the hundreds of travel agencies in Nigeria, selecting only the top ones which meet the criteria. All of the agencies listed here are registered with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, the Corporate Affairs Commission, National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, and have built some reputation for themselves over the years.
Each has also cornered a fair size of the Nigerian market share.
Touchdowns Travels Limited
Touchdown Travels Limited is the representative of GlobalStar in Nigeria. Though licensed by IATA since 1993, it only started representing GlobalStar in 2012.
The agency offers services in flight bookings and reservations, as well as in organising tours and travel itineraries.
The agency was established by Mr. Dayo Adeola, who is also its CEO/Managing Director. It is also a member of the National Association of Nigeria Travels Agencies (NANTA), and from having just 2 staff, it has grown to accommodate about 50 staff, firmly etching its name among the top agencies in the industry.
Touchdown is about the top agency in terms of market share and has earned several recognitions from most operating airlines in the country, as well as organisations in the industry.
Headquartered in Lagos, the agency has travel desks (out-posts) manned by its staff, and situated within some bluechip companies. It also has a branch in Abuja.
Quantum Travels also ranks among top travel agencies in the country, and is Nigeria’s representative of BCD Travel, the third largest travel management company in the world.
Its global presence gives the agency the advantage of meeting clients’ travel needs across 97 countries.
It is mostly known for corporate travel management, but its services extend to others such as passport and visa arrangements, flight and hotel reservations, as well as providing rentals for transportation.
This agency also has a fair size of the Nigerian market share, ranking among the top five highest in terms of monthly ticket bookings.
Wakanow was launched as the first online travel agency in 2008. Its founder, Obinna Ekezie, a former professional basketball player, led the company till 2019 when Adebayo Adedeji was appointed CEO.
With IATA code 59-211806, and NANTA code ZTN/NANTA/LOS/08-821, the company did not waste time in capturing a significant market share, and at some point, was reported to own about 10% of the market share. Currently, it has the third highest flight bookings in the country.
The agency offers travel consulting, hotel reservations, bespoke travel packages, flight booking, visa assistance, travel financing, etc. The company also offers credit facilities with flexible travel payment plans, where the customer can pay 25% upfront, and structure the rest of the payments.
The regular discounts and reward packages have also contributed to attracting more customers to the company. Recently, a little reward package was introduced, where customers are rewarded for referring new customers to the company.
The agency recently introduced a new video selling product, where clients can schedule a visual tour of their potential destination with a Wakanow agent.
To encourage travels after the pandemic, the company has introduced more deferred payment options called “Travel now, pay later”.
FlinchGlow Travels was founded in 2002 by Mr. Bankole Bernard, the current NANTA president who still runs the agency as CEO.
As a partner with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), FlinchGlow offers some of the best services in the tourism industry, although it also serves clients with personal and business travel needs.
FlinchGlow also takes pride in its ability to secure good hotel rates at choice destinations, and plan tours for its clients. It ranks among the top five in terms of market share and sells a considerable volume of tickets monthly.
Dees Travels and Tours Limited
Dees Travels and Tour Limited was founded in 2000 and registered with IATA in the same year. Apart from booking both local and international flights, it handles travel arrangements for individual and group tours, visa procurement, travel insurance, hotel reservations across countries, chauffeur/car hire, and airport protocol services.
According to data from airline operators, the agency is 5th highest in terms of market share and tickets sold on a monthly base.
Business Travel Management Limited
This agency is a member of the GHI Assets Ltd group, and has several names under it including Emirates holidays, Sky logistics ltd, Rwandair and HRG Nigeria. It was incorporated in 1998 and it was also accredited by IATA. It specializes in comprehensive travel management, logistics for business, corporate service and corporate travel management.
The agency is IATA certified, and registered with other regulatory agencies. With the names under the group, BTM Limited has claimed its own share of the Nigerian travel market as well.
Travelstart another leading online travel agency with operations spread across Africa, and headquartered in Cape Town.
Customers can utilise the online platform to book flights across all African countries and other continents as well, and also get their itinerary all planned for a vacation or business trip. Apart from flight reservations, the agency also handles car rentals and hotel reservations tailored to the traveller’s budget.
Travelstart also handles visa processing and travel insurance. It was founded in Sweden by Stephan Ekbergh, but has since extended operations to Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, Egypt, Kenya, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and even Turkey, where it trades under the brand name Geziko.
Travelstart has also captured its share of the Nigerian market, leveraging on its international network and brand recognition across the continent.
Rewards Travels and Tours Limited
Rewards Travels and Tours has over the last two decades earned its space in the industry. Its services include travel consultancy, travel itinerary management, tourism and planning corporate travels.
It was founded in 1999, and now has a network of branches across major cities in Nigeria, with established partners in the global tourism industry. the agency gives hotel booking services, car hires, cruises and charters across several countries.
It is IATA accredited, giving clients access to international and local airlines.
City Travels and Tours
City Travels and Tours is one of the travel agencies you want to consider if the purpose of your travel is largely tourism. The company offers tourism services, reservations and bookings, vacations, cruises, consultation, destination and accommodation decisions.
The agency is registered with IATA, as well as NANTA, and has a commendable network with critical stakeholders in the tourism industry across the continent. City Travels and Tours is often ranked among the top 10 among over 1500 registered travel agencies in the country.