Stories by VICTOR NZE
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has inaugurated the planning committee for the 61st Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Commission for Africa (CAF) taking place in Abuja, from June 4-6, 2018.
The Minister, who performed the ceremony in Abuja, last Tuesday, charged members of the committee to ensure the success of the event.
“Today’s inauguration kick-starts our preparation for the hosting of the (UNWTO/CAF Meeting). The task ahead of us is enormous, but with the quality membership of the Planning Committee, we are up to the task and we will host a successful event,” he said.
“You have been selected based on your knowledge and expertise in content, logistics and planning. Your role is to execute a successful event with professional inputs and assistance from the Ministry and the UNWTO. I have no doubt that you will take your assignments very seriously,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
The Minister said the hosting right of the event, which was given to Nigeria, has clearly demonstrated the confidence of the CAF member states and the UNWTO in the country.
He said the highlight of Nigeria’s relevance and acceptance by the Organization, within two years of its return after a period of absence, was further shown in his election as a Vice Chairman of the UNWTO General Assembly at an election held during the 22nd session of the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu, China, in September 2017.
Mohammed said the UNWTO meeting will afford the country the unique opportunity to project its image as a safe and desirable destination for leisure and business as well as promote the country’s tourism products and services.
He said the meeting will also provide a platform for tourism stakeholders to interact with their counterparts from other countries, generate foreign exchange through accommodation in hotels, airfares and souvenirs purchased by foreign delegates, create direct and indirect employment, thereby alleviating poverty, and provide the platform for the training for public and private sector tourism officials.
Membership of the planning committee cuts across the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Capital Territory, extra-ministerial departments and agencies as well as the private sector.