Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari is to declare open the 61st Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation/Commission for Africa (UNWTO/CAF), scheduled for 4-6 June 2018 in Abuja.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced this in Abuja when he paid an advocacy visit to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Mohammed Musa Bello, to intimate him with details of the forthcoming international event.
He 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 theme of the 61st UNWTO/CAF Meeting is â€˜Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Developmentâ€™.
He said hosting the meeting would put Nigeria, 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.
â€œAlso, 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,â€ he said.
He stressed that as the minister of the host city, 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.
In his remarks, the Minister of the FCT, commended Mohammed for his untiring effort in securing the hosting right of the conference for Nigeria.
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.
â€œI will like to congratulate the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture and his team in the Ministry of Information and Culture 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.
â€œFor 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,â€ he said. Nigeria secured the hosting right for the Meeting during the 59th Meeting of the UNWTO/CAF in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in April 2017.