…As Buhari opens UNWTO-CAF meeting in Abuja today
By Ese Awhotu Abuja
The Federal Government yesterday gave assurance that Nigeria was a safe and secure haven for foreign tourists and investors.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed who gave the assurance while addressing a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, said whatever pockets of criminal acts that exist are being addressed squarely.
“Nigeria is safe and secure for its citizens and for foreign tourists and investors. Whatever pockets of criminal acts that exist are being addressed squarely.”
The Minister disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari will today declare open UN World Tourism Organisation –Commission, UNWTO-CAF, for Africa meeting holding in Abuja.
UNWTO-CAF meeting with the theme;’’Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development.’’, is expected run through Wednesday, 6th of June 2018.
He said 166 foreign delegates, 26 Ministers and 332 Nigerian delegates are expected to participate in the meeting geared toward boosting Nigeria’s quest to improve its tourism statistics for planning purposes and the ultimate development of the sector.
The Minister noted that, “ it is common knowledge that culture drives tourism. We will, therefore, use the occasion of this meeting to showcase the rich and diverse culture of Nigeria. “Some spectacular cultural events have thus been lined up for the meeting. At this evening’s cocktail, delegates will be treated to the Seki Dance Drama from the South-South, a spectacular and colourful show like no other.
“On Monday and Tuesday, the command performance of the globally-acclaimed ‘Fela and the Kalakuta Queens’ by Bolanle Austen-Peters will take the centre stage at the Gala Night. Words are not enough to describe this show.”
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his invaluable support, without which this event would not have been possible. “Thanks to the successes recorded by this Administration in fighting insecurity, we are holding this global meeting here. Four years ago, hosting this event in Abuja would have been a pipe dream, considering the level of insecurity. Remember that Boko Haram carried out many deadly attacks in this capital city. That is now history.”
Commenting on the meeting, Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, said the UNWTO had held a meeting with all ministers from Africa and ten priority tourism areas have been identified.
He said a roadmap has been worked out on the priority areas which include infrastructure, visa issues, bio-diversity, sustainable development and security.