The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) on Wednesday elected Nigeria as vice-president, Africa at its ongoing 22nd general assembly in Chengdu, China.
NAN reports that Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, who led Nigeria’s delegation to the general assembly, assumed the seat on behalf of the country for the next two years.
Reacting to his election, Mohammed said the last time Nigeria occupied the position of UNWTO vice-presidency was 20 years ago.
He said: “I feel quite honoured and humbled to be called upon to serve as the Vice-President of the general assembly of the UNWTO and it is a very big honour to Nigeria.
“It has proven one thing that in the last two years, the administration has succeeded in pushing tourism and creative industry as a whole from the back burner to the front burner, from the side issue to the main issue
“This has also been noticed by the global community and I feel highly gratified about it.”
The minister said the position would propel him to do more in the development of the nation’s tourism and creative industry
“When you are recognised on a global stage like this, it encourages and spurs you to do more,” he said.
“One thought he was doing this out of sheer commitment but not knowing that he was being noticed globally and this is what I think it is impressive about this.
“My contributions to UNWTO at various events held in Cote d’ Ivoire, Madrid and Ethiopia have been borne out of conviction that this is the way to go.
“But I was quite surprised when I got a call that I was being nominated to serve Africa as a Vice-President of this General Assembly.
“What that means is that you are squarely in the saddle of driving the global agenda for tourism for the next two years.”