President Buhari declares open 61ST UNWTO/CAF meeting

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari speaks during a joint news conference with Cameroon's President Paul Biya in Abuja, Nigeria, May 4, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
President Muhammadu Buhari is to declare open the 61st Meeting of the
United Nations World Tourism Organization/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 on Tuesday 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.
“The Honourable Minister of the FCT is the Minister of the Host City.
That makes it imperative for us to make his office our first port of
call. Mr. President has accepted to personally declare the meeting
open and that makes Mr. President the first person to be invited and
also to accept our invitation. With this visit, the Honourable
Minister of the FCT has become the second person to be invited,” he
Alhaji Mohammed 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.
He said the theme of the 61st UNWTO/CAF Meeting is “Tourism
Statistics: A Catalyst for Development.”
While speaking on the benefits that Nigeria will derive from hosting
the meeting, the Minister said it 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.
“Also, 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,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said as the Minister of the Host City, the FCT
Minister 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.
He gave the assurance that preparations for the event are in top gear,
and called for the support of Nigerians to make the event a huge
In his remarks, the Minister of the FCT, Mallam Bello, commended
Alhaji Mohammed for his untiring effort in securing the hosting right
of the conference for Nigeria.
Mallam 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.
“I will like to congratulate the Honourable Minister of Information
and his team in the Ministry of Information 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.
“For 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,” 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.


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