The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is to work with the government of Nigeria to boost tourism in the country, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said.
The Minister, who met with the UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai on the sidelines of the 19-21 April UNWTO Commission for Africa meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on Wednesday, said the global tourism agency agreed to design a two-year Plan of Action to promote tourism in Nigeria.
He said the Secretary-General, who attended the meeting with other members of the UNWTO’s decision-making Execuitive Council, also invited the Minister to the Organisation’s headquarters in Spain, during which he is expected to meet with the UNWTO, private sector investors and Spanish government officials.
The visit, Alhaji Mohammed said, would be followed by that of the Secretary-General to Nigeria for on-the-spot assessment of the challenges militating against the development of tourism in Africa’s largest economy.
He quoted Mr. Rifai as saying the UNWTO is delighted to have Nigeria fully back in the fold, following the attendance of the Commission for Africa meeting in Abidjan by the Minister of Information and Culture.
”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 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, especially the successes recorded against Boko Haram, 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, while providing leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies globally.