L-R: Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; FCT Minister, Mallam Mohammed Musa Bello and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu-Gekpe, during a courtesy visit by the Information and Culture Minister in Abuja on Tuesday.


Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed
(left), and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam
Mohammed Musa Bello, during a courtesy visit by the Minister of
Information and Culture in Abuja on Tuesday.

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.”

Speaking on the benefits that Nigeria will derive from hosting

the meeting, the Minister said the event would put the country and the

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.