- Nigeria will host the United Nations World Tourism Organization/Commission for Africa (UNWTO/CAF) in June, 2018
- Lai Mohammed says his visit to the FCT minister is because the latter will be the host of the conference
- According to him, President Buhari has accepted to personally declare the meeting open
President Muhammadu Buhari is to declare open the 61st meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization/Commission for Africa (UNWTO/CAF), scheduled for 4-6 June 2018 in Abuja, minister Lai Mohammed has said.
Mohammed, the information and culture minister, announced this in Abuja on Tuesday, April 10, when he paid an advocacy visit to his counterpart and head the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Mohammed Musa Bello, to intimate him with details of the forthcoming international event.
“The honourable minister of the FCT is the minister of the host city. That makes it imperative for us to make his office our first port of call.
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“Mr President has accepted to personally declare the meeting open and that makes president the first person to be invited and also to accept our invitation. With this visit, the honourable minister of the FCT has become the second person to be invited,” he said.
Mohammed said the meeting is an annual platform through which the UNWTO secretariat informs member states of the general programme of work for the African region and presents the reports of the various standing committees.
The minister, who spoke on the benefits that Nigeria would derive from hosting the meeting, said it would put the country, and the nation's tourism industry, under a global focus, in addition to attracting foreign research experts and promoting the necessary network that will form the basis for future cooperation.
“Also, it will provide Nigeria the opportunity to showcase itself to the world, especially in the area of its culture and tourism. And of course, we have a lot to showcase: Our tourist attractions, our rich culture, as well as our music and films, which have taken the world by storm,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed further noted that Bello will play a major role during the meeting, which includes giving the welcome address on the official opening ceremony, another speech at the welcome dinner and also at the official opening ceremony for the technical seminar on the second day.
He gave the assurance that preparations for the event are in top gear, and called for the support of Nigerians to make the event a huge success.
Speaking too, Mallam Bello, commended Alhaji Mohammed for his untiring effort in securing the hosting right of the conference for Nigeria.
Mallam Bello, who expressed delight that this is coming on the heels of another hosting right for the International Press Institute annual general assembly also in Abuja, said the gesture is a reflection of how the global community now perceives Nigeria.
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“I will like to congratulate the honourable minister of Information and his team in the Ministry of Information for really having been able to get the hosting right of this very important conference that is coming up in June. As you know these are conferences that showcase countries and even continents.
“For us to be able to really get this to be approved to be hosted in Nigeria is something that I am sure involved a lot of very good hard work,” he said.
Nigeria secured the hosting right for the meeting during the 59th session of the UNWTO/CAF in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in April 2017.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari, when he travelled to the United States of America on a working visit, delivered an address at high level plenary meeting at the United Nations Headquarters, New York on September 16, Monday.
In his speech, he warned the world leaders that unless their is collective resolve to develop more effective strategies in addressing large movements of refugees and migrants as well as humanitarian needs of IDP’s in Nigeria, the world aspirations towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals may be obstructed.
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