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Celebrating Valentine Away From Beaches



Some fun-loving Nigerians at the Ikeja City Mall, Lagos.

Tomorrow many people would be going out to celebrate Valentine’s Day at various relaxation spots in Lagos. Unlike the past when people used to visit amusement centres or popular beaches to celebrate the day with their loved ones, many have now developed a penchant for Shopping Malls for different reasons.

IN spite of the nation’s economic challenges all roads in Lagos are likely to lead to Ikeja City Mall, The Palms in Lekki, Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall, Leisure Mall, Surulere, Apapa Amusement Park, and Dreamworld Africana, Lekki, among others tomorrow for lovers to celebrate the Valentine season.

Reason for this is not far-fetched, Ikeja City Mall was one of the fun spots thronged by tourists during the Yuletide, and many are already going there all the way from Mowe and Ikorodu to get ready for the tomorrow’s celebration.
Getting a parking space there is not always easy as motorists spend 20 minutes or more trying to get a parking space.

There are CCTV and security men in place to provide security at the mall.
A regular visitor to the mall, Bolanle Lawal, a banker said that she loves going to Ikeja City Mall to shop and to watch movies.

“Once in a while I hang out here. It is a novel idea in the sense that you get to see a lot of things that meet your needs here. Killing five birds with one stone.”

She disclosed that she was staying at Ajao Estate before and even from there she used to go to Ikeja City Mall
“I used to go to other places like Supermall in GRA before now. I live close to this place so I can watch night movies here. It is just about 10 minutes walk to my house. I love Romance and Thriller movies. I can watch them over and over again.”

Lawal admitted that before now there was no place like Ikeja City Mall. “That is why people seem to be crazy about this place. I still go to the beach once in two months.”

Damilola, an Engineer said that a healthy people make up a health nation. “Productivity is going to be impacted upon if young people are happy. ”

He said that Ikeja City Mall is a good place to make people happy and to relax after work.
“Distance is not a barrier. After all people are going to Dubai to have fun. Here, everybody is competing for customers. So they have to add things that will make people want to buy from them.”

Toyin Komolafe said Ikeja City Mall is lively. “ I used to go to the beach to chill, relax but this place is closer to my house. I stay in Ikeja. I prefer coming here to watch movies.”

Sixties Akoh, a scientist said that the noise at the mall is part of the excitement.
“I wouldn’t be sitting here if it was so quiet. This is a market. If not for a place like this people like us will not have the opportunity to go to a mall. I come here once in a while. I could come here everyday if I have the time.”

Akoh said that one could catch more fun at the mall than going to the beach. Fun, he said, is not just about swimming.
“It is cheaper to buy things here. You can go in and out without paying any gate fees. And this place is very safe. You can buy things of your choice based on your financial muscle. Here a bottle of coke is N90 outside it is N100.”

The Palms, Lekki is another place people will go to celebrate the Valentine.
Saale, an Engineer said it is really cheaper to watch movies at The Palms during weekdays than during weekends. “The movies tickets are cheaper during the week than weekends. You can buy your ticket for N80 on weekdays but weekends N100. It is a good place for relaxation after a hectic day’s work. The noise is at acceptable level.”

He said that after watching a movie one can go shopping.“Here you have more options. There are occasions that demand you to go to the beach. The Amusement park is kind of a seasonal thing but people come here everyday to relax.”

He said that the place is already boosting tourism. He described The Palms as a place one can meet people of different nationalities.“The Chinese, the Indians are all coming here to do their shopping. That is just a way of boosting the tourism sector in Nigeria.”

He added that government needs to provide incentive for people who are into the tourism business.
Emeka Anyaeghuna, a businessman said he loves to go to The Palms with his children. And his children love the place.
“The first time, I came here to shop. The second time to watch movies. It is a place for fun. The ambience is very exciting. It is a beautiful place and you meet nice looking and well-dressed people. You are sure of getting high standard products here.”Account Officer of First Business Alliance, Lagos Sochukwuma Aham-naze is a fan of The Palms.

“I come here like once in a month to relax myself of work stress. I come to watch movies, and to listen to music. It depends on my mood. I come to see different things that can give me new ideas.”Similarly, many people in Surulere would be going to Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall, to celebrate the lovers’ day.

Jude Ede a Youth Corper with Bashmoh Homes, Surulere said that even during working hours people come to the place for different purposes.

“Some are coming here to buy things, to enjoy themselves. It depends on the type of work you are doing. I see this place as a place to meet people’s needs.”

Ogechi Eze said that the setting is nice. “I think any tourist would like to shop in a very conducive environment like this one, unlike when you go to the open market. You don’t have to haggle over price, just shop your things.”

Adelaja Oluwadamilare also said that it is easy to shop at the mall. “Although not every product is cheap. I still prefer coming here may be because it is more convenient. I think it will help to boost tourism. You can also do window shopping here.”

People are already coming to Party Perfect inside the mall to buy Valentine gifts. One of the attendants in the shop, Victor Anyim, said that early shoppers are already coming to buy things there.

Leisure Mall, Surulere is also set for the Valentine. The MD 5D Cinema, Kayode Owolabi said that for the Valentine week couples can come in to have a ride for N500 instead of the usual N100 per couple.

said that one is restricted to the number of entertainment in the beaches.
“When you come to a Mall you have a variety of activities for the Valentine. You have a normal Cinema, you have a 5D Cinema which gives you a different form of entertainment. You have different things you can play with.”

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