The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the hosting of the UNWTO global confab in Lagos is an affirmation of Nigeria’s position as a trusted business hub and a safe harbour for capital, talent and intellectual property.
The Minister stated this on Tuesday in Lagos at the opening of the UNWTO Global Conference on Linking Tourism, Culture and the Creative Industries: Pathways to Recovery and Inclusive Development.
It was reported the conference held at the National Theatre Complex was declared opened by President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
In his opening remarks, the minister said contrary to views in certain quarters, the country is safe and secured and had played host to international event in succession in recent time.
“In the lead-up to the conference, Nigeria hosted the 2022 UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Week in Abuja, from 24th to 28th October 2022.
“Through the progressive scaling-up of our MICE events (with MICE here standing for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), we intend to build public confidence and increase our operational readiness to host international events.
“The hosting of these events in quick succession by the Nigerian government is also a testament to the increasing readiness, safety and security of our cities to play host to global events,” he said.
The minister said the objective of the conference is to fast-track UNWTO objective of transforming the tourism sector into a preferred sector, and the creative industry into a creative economy.
He said the Confab was also organised to the bring to the fore the need for governments of member nations to support and facilitate the enabling environment for the true business growth of tourism and the creative industry.
Speaking on the importance of the sector, the minister said more than ever, tourism and the creative industry are in the global spotlight due to their economic viability
He said the sectors have their place at the forefront of national and international development agenda.
He thanked participants and stakeholders from across the globe who thronged the venue of the event.
“Your presence here today confirms the passion and the zeal of the stakeholders to move these sectors forward.
“I am glad to see many important personalities, experts, professionals and distinguished industry representatives. Tourism, culture and the creative industries, which are the focus of this conference, play critical roles in the economies, prosperity and growth of many countries globally,” he said
He tasked participants to engage in business-focused discussions, with a view to initiating private sector-led growth and development of tourism and the creative Industry.