Lagos – The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is to partner the Federal Government to boost tourism in the country, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said.
This is contained in a statement released by Mr Segun Adeyemi, the Special Adviser (SA) to the Minister from Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.
The statement said that the minister had met with the UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, on the sidelines of the UNWTO Commission for Africa meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on Wednesday, during which Rifai made the promise.
The statement quoted the Secretary-General as saying that the global tourism agency had agreed to design a two-year Plan of Action to promote tourism in Nigeria.
The statement said that the Secretary-General attended the meeting with other members of the UNWTO’s decision-making Executive Council.
It added that the Secretary-General had also invited Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture to the Organisation’s headquarters in Spain, during which he would be expected to meet with the UNWTO, private sector investors and Spanish government officials.
The visit, Alhaji Mohammed was quoted as saying in the statement, would be followed by that of the Secretary-General to Nigeria for an on-the-spot assessment of the challenges mitigating against the development of tourism in Africa’s largest economy.
He quoted Mr Rifai as saying the UNWTO was delighted to have Nigeria fully back in the fold, following the attendance by the Minister of Information and Culture at the meeting in Abidjan .
”We are happy Nigeria is here. Nigeria is too significant to disconnect from UNWTO. Happily, the new government in Nigeria has a good reputation,” the Secretary-General said.
The statement said that the minister also briefed the Secretary-General and his team on the efforts being made by the Nigerian government to ensure the security of lives and property.
It said the minister laid special emphasis on the successes recorded against Boko Haram insurgents, as well as the upgrading of infrastructure.
The UNWTO is the leading international organisation in the field of tourism, promoting tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability.
It is also providing leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies globally.(NAN)