The Minister made the assertion at the inauguration of the 24-member Planning Committee for the event, tagged the ‘First UNWTO Global Conference on Linking Tourism, Culture and the Creative Industries: Pathways to Recovery and Inclusive Development’, which will take place at the National Theatre Complex, Lagos, 14-16 November 2022.He said the global conference will also be used as a platform to project Nigeria’s image as a safe and desirable destination for leisure and business; consolidate Nigeria’s relationship with the UNWTO and its member states, and highlight the restart of travel and tourism in a safe and seamless manner, after the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in a near collapse of Tourism and Creatives Industries sectors.
Alhaji Mohammed explained that the event would also be a platform to interact and exchange ideas and best practices with key industry players; generate foreign exchange and create direct and indirect jobs; and provide opportunities for the training of public and private sector tourism officials.
He charged the committee to ensure that Nigeria hosts a world class event in November, in line with the pledge by President Muhammadu Buhari when he visited the headquarters of the UNWTO in Madrid, Spain, earlier this month.
”Today’s inauguration of the Planning Committee kickstarts our preparation for the global conference. The task ahead of us is enormous, but with the quality of membership of the Planning Committee, I am positive that Nigeria will once again prove its ability to successfully organize an event of this magnitude.
”Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, your nomination to serve in this committee is based on your knowledge and expertise in content, logistics and planning. The success of the conference therefore rests on your effectiveness and commitment,” the Minister said.
He said the Planning Committee will be assisted by eleven sub-committees, and assured that all stakeholders, including the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) and the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism (ANJET), would be accommodated in the sub-committees ”since we cannot accommodate everyone in the Planning Committee”.
Alhaji Mohammed said the global conference will be held at the National Theatre, which is currently undergoing massive refurbishment for the first time since it was commissioned almost five decades ago.
”Apart from the rehabilitation of the building, four hubs for fashion, movie, music and ICT are being built within the National Theatre complex. There is therefore no better opportunity for us to showcase the renewal of the iconic National Theatre, which was conceived as a grand hub for the arts, than during the hosting of this global event,” he said.
The Planning Committee will be chaired by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Adaora Ifeoma Anyawutaku, will serve as the Deputy Chair.
Other members of the Committee are: Ambassador Demola Seriki, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to UNWTO and Ambassador to Spain; Mrs. Abike Dabiri Erewa, Executive Chairman, Nigerian Diaspora Commission; Ambassador Nasir Aminu, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to the President, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture; Mr. Williams Adeleye, Special Assistant to the President, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture and Mr. Bayo Omoboriowo, Personal Photographer to the President.
Other members are Dr. Mufutau Kayode, Director Finance and Administration, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture (FMIC); Mr. Friday Anumba, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation; Dr. Taiwo Famigbiyele, Nigerian Institute for Hospitality and Tourism; Sam Agbi, National Council for Art and Culture; Yanusa Mohammed from National Theatre; Mrs. Florence Ogar-Moddey, Nigeria Customs Service; Mr. Karim Idris Nigerian Immigration Service; ace comedian Alli Baba; Mrs. Ronke Kuye, Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities (SANEF); Mrs. Ngozi Nzoka, Nigerian Economic Summit Group; Ms. Dorothy Duruaku, Deputy Director Overseeing International Tourism Promotion and Cooperation, FMIC and Mrs. Ugochi Akudo Nwosu, Deputy Director Overseeing Entertainment and Creative Services, FMIC.
There will also be representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lagos State Government, Bankers’ Committee and Cappa & D’Alberto on the Planning Committee.