Lai Mohammed Appointed Special Adviser to UNWTO Secretary-General, Boosting Nigeria’s Tourism Sector

Jesse Voyamba

Lai Mohammed, the former Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, has been appointed as Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili.

The announcement of this prestigious appointment took place during the opening session of the 66th UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) in Mauritius.

In his new role, Mohammed will be instrumental in assisting the Secretary-General in achieving the objective of positioning Africa as a key region for the global tourism economy through the implementation of the “Agenda for Africa program.”

Expressing his gratitude for the appointment, Mohammed stated, “I stand before you, deeply touched and inspired by your generous words of confidence and trust. With so much gratitude for the confidence placed in me by the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Mr. Zurab Pololikashivili, and with an unswerving resolve to honor that trust, I humbly accept the appointment as the Special Advisor on Tourism to the Secretary-General of this great Organization.”

Mohammed further expressed his pride in becoming the first Nigerian to take up this role and acknowledged Nigeria’s dynamic and diverse resources in areas such as tourism, culture, creative industries, and technology, which present immense opportunities for development.

During his tenure as Nigeria’s Minister of Information from 2015 to 2023, Lai Mohammed played a pivotal role in promoting the country’s tourism sector. He oversaw the successful implementation of several initiatives, including the launch of the “Nigerian Tourism Development Master Plan,” aimed at showcasing Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty to the world.

The appointment of Lai Mohammed as Special Advisor to the UNWTO Secretary-General is seen as a significant boost for Nigeria’s tourism sector. It is expected to raise the country’s profile as an attractive tourist destination and reinforce its commitment to fostering responsible and sustainable tourism development. The move marks a promising step towards positioning Nigeria and the African region as key players in the global tourism landscape.