Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Sunday, June 3rd, 2018, revealed that the federal government has so far spent $9 billion on infrastructural projects in the last two years.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed emphasized that such infrastructure spending will create access to more tourist sites across Nigeria and eventually boost the tourism industry. The Minister stated this during a press briefing in Abuja on Sunday to herald the 61st Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Commission for Africa (UNWTO-CAF) in Abuja on Sunday. Holding from June 4 and end June 6 at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Abuja. The theme of the event is “Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development”.
Alhaji Mohammed pointedly stated that “tourism is the fastest way to create jobs. We are a country of 180 million with over 250 different ethnic groups and each group has its own peculiarity, story and uniqueness. Therefore tourism will continue to thrive. Tourism will survive where there is the right infrastructure”.
The minister also stated that Nigeria will use the opportunity of hosting the UNWTO/CAF event to show the world that Nigeria is safe and secure for its citizens, tourists and investors. He recalled that Nigeria attracted $6b foreign direct investments in the first quarter of this year 2018.
Speaking about the UNWTO/CAF event holding at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Abuja, the Minister said, “as at today, we have confirmation from 166 foreign delegates; 26 ministers and 332 Nigerian delegates, excluding the press will be attending while waiting for other delegates”.
The minister said Nigeria’s ranking as the 24th on the ease of doing business index globally, especially with the visa processes which has been made easier for investors, has attracted investors to the country.
Also speaking at the press briefing, Ambassador Zurab Pololikashvili, the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), said one of the reasons of hosting the event in Nigeria is to promote Nigeria as an emerging tourist destination.
Ambassador Pololikashvili said “Tourism is the best way to create new jobs and we are here to discuss how to make it better and easier because most of the countries have their own policies. We will also be discussing how to make borders accessible for tourists in Africa continents. The UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.”
The UNWTO Secretary-General concluded that the best way to end poverty in Africa is to create more jobs, which is what tourism development can guarantee. Stating that the United Nations is promoting Nigeria, and other African countries, to attract local and foreign investors for the development of the continent.
Source: Nigeria Travel Digest