By Babatope Adagba
The Federal Government and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) have agreed to design a two-year plan of action to promote tourism in Nigeria.
The agreement reached on the sidelines of the UNWTO Commission for Africa meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire is in furtherance of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government’s efforts to bring the culture and tourism sectors of the economy into the mainstream as revenue earners, in line with the administration’s diversification agenda.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture announced the Two-Year Plan of Action after a meeting with Taleb Rifai, the UNWTO Secretary-General at the Abidjan.
He added that UNWTO Secretary-General, who attended an earlier meeting with other members of the UNWTO’s decision-making Executive Council, has formerly invited Nigeria to the Organisation’s headquarters in Spain.
It is expected that during the meeting in Spain, the Minister of Information and Culture will also meet with the UNWTO, private sector investors and Spanish government officials.
Alhaji Mohammed said that after the Spain meeting, the UNWTO Secretary-General will visit Nigeria for on-the-spot assessment of the challenges militating against the development of tourism in the country.
Mr. Rifai said that the UNWTO is delighted to have Nigeria fully back in the fold, demonstrated by Alhaji Mohammed’s attendance of the Commission for Africa 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.
Earlier, the Minister of Information and Culture 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.