Funke Olaode speaks to Haseeb Hasan, a Pakistani, at the Arabian Travel Market…
Who are you?
My name is Haseeb Hasan. I am from Pakistan. I am the CEO of Intek Solutions and Corporate Trainers based in Dubai. I am a motivational speaker and a life coach and I organise training programmes. My job as a trainer has taken me round the world including Nigeria.
How would you describe your experience in Nigeria?
It was a wonderful experience because Nigerians are very good people. One of our clients asked us to come to Nigeria a few years ago and I came with my wife. We both stayed at the Federal Palace Hotel on the Island. We ate amazing food and we loved the food. Initially, our client told us not to go out that we should avoid eating local food. But I travel round the world and make friend with people. So I ask my friends to arrange a private car for me and they did. My wife and I visited Lekki Conservation Centre and we took photographs on the road that I titled “A trip to Lagos through My Eyes” and I even posted on my Facebook. Lagos is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been. We met good looking and hospitable people.
Sometimes an environment is being misunderstood by some people. But there are bad and good people everywhere. But I met very good friends out there who speak impeccable and sound English. And in terms of music give it to Nigerian artistes.
You said Lagos is one of the most beautiful cities you have ever been…
Yes. People are what make a place and also the nature. I spent about six hours at Lekki Conservation and did my yoga and relax very close to nature. We later went out and met some very nice people. I had been warned not to stop by the Automated Machine Teller (ATM). I stopped in the middle of the market, went into ATM, withdrew some cash and put the money in my wallet openly without being attacked. And came back to my car. Believe me nothing happened.
I think these set of people are being controlled by the international media perception of what Nigeria is. Well, just like our clients, we were initially intimidated by what they told us.
For me, I don’t base my perception about what people say. These same people never explored Nigeria, the people and the culture.
It is from their hotel, to the office and to the airport. We explored all and we enjoyed it. So I will like to come to Nigeria and enjoy the food over again and again.