Nigeria: We've Spent $9 Billion On Infrastructure - Govt

Lagos State used to illustrate the story.

The federal government said it has spent $9 billion on infrastructural projects since the commencement of the administration in 2015.

The government says such infrastructure will also foster tourism and development.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this during a press briefing in Abuja on Sunday to herald the 61st Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Commission for Africa (UNWTO-CAF) in Abuja on Sunday.

The event which will start on June 4 and end June 6 is titled "Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development."

The minister said the treasures of tourism cannot be unlocked without infrastructure.

According to Mr Mohammed, "tourism cannot die in Nigeria due to diverse culture and ethnicity. Also, tourism is the fastest way to create jobs".

"We are a country 180 million plus with over 250 different ethnic groups and each group has its own peculiarity, story and uniqueness. Therefore tourism will continue to thrive. Tourism will survive where there is the right infrastructure," the minister said.

The minister said Nigeria will use the opportunity offered by the meeting to tell the world that Nigeria is safe and secure for its citizens, tourists and investors.

"As at today, we have confirmation from 166 foreign delegates; 26 ministers and 332 Nigerian delegates, excluding the press will be attending while waiting for other delegates," he said.

He said all the ingredients to promote tourism are embedded in Nigeria. He noted that the theme of the meeting fits into Nigeria's quest to improve on tourism statistics.

The minister said Nigeria's ranking as the 24th on the ease of doing business index globally, especially with the visa processes which has been made easier for investors, has attracted investors to the country.

Similarly, the Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, said one of the objectives of the UN is to eradicate poverty across African nations.

According to him, the best way to end poverty is to create more jobs "but jobs cannot be created without good and quality education."

Mr Pololikashvili said the United Nations is promoting Nigeria and countries to attract local and foreign investors for the development of the continent.

"Tourism is the best way to create new jobs and we are here to discuss how to make it better and easier because most of the countries have their own policies. We will also be discussing how to make borders accessible for tourists in Africa continents," he said.

He said the future of Africa is tourism "which can provide lots of employment for the continent."

The UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of "responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism."

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