UNWTO Global Conference – Nigeria Ends in Success as Zurab Pololikashvili Gets Nigerian Names


The 1st UNWTO Global Conference with the theme “Linking Tourism, Culture And the Creative Industries: Pathways to Recovery and Inclusive Development” that took place at the iconic National Theater, Lagos, recently was a huge success as the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization UNWTO, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili was honoured with some beautiful Nigerian names.

Hon.Lai Muhammed, Minister of Information and Culture delivering his welcome remarks

The event which was held between 14th-16th November at three different venues with international standard programmes, saw many tourism stakeholders in Nigeria took part in all the scheduled activities within Lagos and other prominent global tourism stakeholders joined their counterparts to deliberate on the best ways to harness the enormous potential prevalent within the creative space in Nigeria for development ended in such a great success, according to the reliable feedbacks.

His Excellency, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice president, Federal Republic of Nigeria declaring the event open

The main conference with the above mentioned theme was declared opened by His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, presented an interactive opening speech to the amazement of both local and international delegates present, which was followed by the remarks from both hosting Minister, Hon. Lai Muhammed, Minister of Information and Culture, Federal Republic of Nigeria who expressed his delight at the presence of delegates from all over the world while the visiting Secretary General of the UNWTO Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, who couldn’t hide his excitement at Nigeria for hosting the event, the first of its kind in history.

Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, the Secretary General of the UNWTO making his remarks at the opening

In the course of the event, the enthusiastic programme anchor jokinglyre Hon. Lai Muhammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, Federal Republic of Nigeria to mention a Northern name to be given to Mr. Pololikashvili and he responded by mentioning Danladi while the Nigerian delegates gave the two other names from the Western part as Omotunde and the Eastern part as Emeka following the anchor’s request from them.

The UNWTO scribe further expressed his delight at the whole event during an interaction with myself saying:

“Nigeria is one of the greatest countries in the world, UNWTO is happy to be here, you have a beautiful country”.

His Excellency Vice President Yemi Osinbajo receiving an award of recognition from the Minister of Information and Culture, Hon. Lai Muhammed aided by the UNWTO Secretary General, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili

Other programmes that took place during the three day event were Nigerian Tourism Hackathon, Experts Workshops, High Level Panel of Ministers, Experts Panels and presentations.

The High level Ministerial panel at the the event

A Gala Dinner, Awards and Command Performance were held at the Landmark Center, Lekki where many prominent Nigeria tourism achievers in the sector received “Excellence in Tourism Advocacy” awards from the government of Nigeria through the Minister of Information and Culture, Hon. Lai Muhammed.

Another special event was held at the Civic Center, Victoria Island tagged “A Day With Nollywood (A Special Session on Creative Industries) where three presentations were made by the founding members of the Nollywood.

Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, the UNWTO Secretary General receiving an award from the Director General of National Theater aidede by Hon. Minister Lai Muhammed and other dignitaries

In attendance were many actors and actress who had a great interaction with both the hosting Minister Lai Muhammed, participating Minister of Tourism, Culture and Arts, Benin Republic, Mr. Jean Michel Abimbola, visiting UNWTO scribe Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili and host of other top government functionaries.

Hon. Lai Muhammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, Federal Republic of Nigeria hosted his counterparts from all over the world to a very attractive and successful event in the recent time where lots of solutions were proffered as the panacea our various change.

A joint photo ssession after the High level Ministerial /Expert panels

Other visiting Ministers included ; Hon. Dr. Memunatu Pratt, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Republic of Sierra Leone, Hon. Siandou Fofana, Minister of Tourism, Cote D’Ivoire, Hon. Hamat Bah, Minister of Tourism, The Gambia and host of other ministers.

Also present were many Ambassadors, Heads of international organizations, Heads of Tourism Boards, Captains of industries among others.

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