[Interview] Gbolahan Tobi Ayediran, MD, Suit-U Travels, Nigeria
Gbolahan Tobi Ayediran is a Nigerian entrepreneur and the founder of an NGO dedicated to creating support and opportunities for widows and orphans, while running an agency for travel and tourism.
Could you tell us about your company?
We are a travel agency founded in 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria, with the aim of contributing effortlessly to the travel world by creating strong relationships between the countries of the world. Suit-u Travels provides all travel needs to all members of the public, individuals and corporate entities.
Founded in 2018, this is your fifth year of operating. What are your strategies for growth?
The travel business is broad. We already partnered with some organizations to create better and easier services to our clients. In 2023, we are working tirelessly to collaborate with more organisations internationally, primarily in the area of tour and flight tickets. Our two-pronged approach is to promote expansion through collaboration with sub-agents that share our vision and leveraging technology for maximum customer satisfaction. Our long term goal here is to build a good company structure in such a way that Suit-u Travels and Tours will be known for its excellent performance and growth. This is possible by improving on training and management development. It also applies to our Charity foundation “Giving Is Healing Foundation".
How do you perceive the 2023 elections will impact local business and the economy, if at all?
Elections in our country always affect local businesses. Nigeria needs good leaders, and if these are elected this year then we can expect to see a positive change in our economic situation. Any country run by a good leader has the potential for excellence and Nigeria is no exception; the populace will find themselves benefiting from good infrastructure, employment opportunities, sound education, better healthcare and so much more. Under such circumstances local businesses will not need to strive too much.
What government policies would you like to see implemented for companies to thrive in Nigeria?
Policies that guide businesses to strength and stability. The government should make adjustments to the current fiscal policies that lead directly to changes in tax structures, trade, subsidies, regulations, interest rates, licensing and much more. Businesses for their own part should be flexible enough to respond to changing rules and policies.
Which African countries do you predict will perform best economically in 2023?
Considering their performances in the recent past, I'll go with Rwanda, Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Ethiopia, and Tanzania. Nigeria can do exceptionally well this year, but I think that is tied to the outcome of the elections in many ways. We have abundant resources but mismanagement is a huge setback, as well as over-reliance on oil income.
How will Africa develop as a knowledge economy in 2023 and how can companies contribute?
Improving in technology is crucial. The world has gone digital and most things are now done in comfort zones. As a continent, if we can apply the use of technology economically, the results will be swift and positive.
What are the opportunities for Agribusiness and Agritech in Africa in 2023?
It's a great time to think about new opportunities in our agribusiness and food industries. It is true that we are grappling with numerous challenges, but organizations and countries need to take quick, decisive actions backed by the right investments to enable sustainable living by accelerated digitization of agriculture. The end game really is maximizing visibility and transparency of food, enhanced focus on smallholder farmer empowerment, building food self-sufficiency and reducing wastage.
Any news or information from Suit-U that you’d like to share?
Yes, in 2019 we founded an NGO called Giving Is Healing Foundation located here in Lagos. The Foundation's vision is to eradicate poverty through humanitarian support by joining hands with individuals, organizations, governments, and other stakeholders. The foundation specifically targets the orphans and widows.