Press Release


Official working visit of Hon.Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to UNWTO, Friday 16 February 2018

Location: 
Madrid Spain
PR No.: 
PR
23 Feb 18

Official working visit of Hon.Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to UNWTO, Friday 16 February 2018

In the framework of the preparation of the 61st Commission Meeting for Africa and “Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development” Seminar to be held in Abuja, Nigeria from 4 to 6 June 2018, Hon. Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture of Nigeria paid a courtesy visit to UNWTO  whose objective was to officially sign two cooperation agreements with the Organization and discuss further areas of collaboration on the positioning of Nigeria as a tourism destination in the international scene. The cooperation agreements that were signed were on the 61st UNWTO Commission Meeting for Africa and the Strengthening of the National Statistical system of Nigeria and the Development of a Tourism Satellite Account.

As a prelude of the meeting, H.E.Mrs Susan Folarin, Ambassador of Nigeria to Spain presented her credentials to Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General in her capacity as the permanent Representative for Nigeria to UNWTO.

Hon. Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture of Nigeria congratulated Mr. Zurab Pololikshavili on his election and thanked UNWTO for its support to Nigeria on the tourism sector. He expressed his gratitude to UNWTO for being enthusiastic on the celebration of the 61st CAF Meeting in Abuja in June 2018 and the very useful meeting which has permitted to share the political and technical angle of the events. The 61st UNWTO CAF Meeting is an excellent platform to engage his fellow colleagues from ministries e.g. trade, mines and finances to showcase the importance of the sector and to raise awareness of the transversal nature and extended value chain of the tourism sector. 

He also expressed his appreciation toward the upcoming UNWTO Technical Mission on Tourism Statistics fully funded by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, an institution within the Ministry to conduct a fact-finding mission scheduled on April 2018. Some of the main objectives of this mission are to identify the gaps and constraints of collecting the tourism data, to evaluate institutional collaboration among stakeholders of statistics for the country and prepare a project proposal for the development of an efficient tourism statistic system in Nigeria. The minister commented that “Tourism statistics are not only paramount for decision-making for the sustainable tourism development but also key for better planning and unveil the contribution of the tourism sector to the economy. He said further that Nigeria is well-known for its creative industries in films, fashion and culture.

Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, thanked Hon. Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture and Ambassador Susan Folarin for their presence and strong commitment to the tourism sector. He assured the full support of UNWTO to help Nigeria to position itself as a preferred destination in Africa due to his significant role in the region and to seize the opportunity during the 61st CAF Meeting to meet with the leaders of the private sector. The UNWTO Technical support mission on tourism statistics will serve to set the tone for the tourism seminar and the half-day workshop. He encouraged the Minister to share timely information on positive developments regarding visa upon arrival and other subjects that could enhance the image of the country.

To conclude, an interview was conducted together with Hon. Lai Mohammed and Zurab Pololikashvili in front of Nigerian Media present to share their views and thoughts on the points discussed during the meeting.