UNWTO to Help Boost Tourism in Nigeria


Demola Ojo

The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has rolled out a number of measures, including technical assistance, capacity building and the revision of the country’s Tourism Master Plan, as part of efforts to ensure the development of tourism in the country.

The UN Agency announced the measures, which also include the organisation of international conferences in Nigeria and the certification of tourism courses, at the end of a recent two-day meeting between the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and the global tourism agency in Madrid, Spain.

At the meeting, held at the headquarters of the UNWTO, Nigeria also expressed interest in hosting the 60th meeting of the global Agency’s Commission for Africa in 2018 in order to attract global attention to tourism in the country.
In addition, the global agency is widening access to its e-library for Nigerian tourism officials and offering support for relevant tourism institutions and agencies in Nigeria.

Under the UNWTO’s technical assistance programme, Nigeria will be assisted in the area of data collection for the elaboration of tourism statistics, rural tourism development, hotel classification and in designing programmes to create awareness for tourism.

In the area of capacity building, the focus will be on the empowerment of women in tourism through the centres being planned for the six geo-political zones and the training of festival managers, among others.
UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, who led the agency’s strong delegation to the meeting, said the implementation of the programmes would start immediately and continue for the next two years.

He commended the Minister for his ‘’great intelligence and big vision’’ for tourism in Nigeria, adding that the ‘’good chemistry’’ between him and the Minister must be used for the good of Nigeria. For his part, the Minister, who led the Nigerian delegation to the meeting, described it as ‘’most useful’’ and beneficial to the country.
‘’I want to express the appreciation of the Government and people of Nigeria to the UNWTO for their support. You have been passionate in your collaboration and you have helped us in more ways than we could imagine,’’ Alhaji Mohammed said.

The meeting, which marked the return of Nigeria to the centre stage of the organization it joined in 1975, was held at the instance of the UNWTO Secretary-General, who invited the Minister to the Agency’s headquarters after the two met at the 58th UNWTO CAF Meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, last April.

Boska in Delta
A major painkiller company, Dexa Medica, makers of Boska, has conducted another wave of its ‘Pain Free Day’ initiative in Delta. The initiative, recently staged in Asaba, according to the firm, was aimed at improving consumers’ health and also raising the awareness of the risks associated with not taking adequate care of oneself. The Boska Brand Executive, Mr. Uche Aghado, said from qualitative research, they observed consumers need to be aware of how to keep good health, and to know what the best health solution is during the rainy season, given that it is a season that comes with lots of flu-like illness. He noted Boska team provided the opportunity for consumers to see health experts who provided full range of health services for free, which included prescribing drugs to treat eye, ear and nose defects. Aghado further explained that besides rendering free health services, Boska team also leveraged the opportunity to educate consumers on how to live stress-free while at their various duties.