BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has expressed readiness to showcase the state’s world-acclaimed cultural heritage and tourism assets at the 61st Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation/Commission for Africa billed to hold in Abuja from June 4 to 6.
Obaseki disclosed this when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City, to seek the state’s support for and participation in the event to be hosted by Nigeria.
Obaseki said the state is well disposed to the event because of its towering reputation as a culture and tourism hub in Nigeria.
“As a state, we believe we have the greatest potential for culture and tourism in the country. It is imperative for us to be at the meeting. We will support the event because it is in our best interest that the event takes place.
“For us in Edo, we know we have enough assets to show the world. We have a great civilisation that the world needs to see,” he said.
Noting that the state government is repositioning its tourism industry to align with global best practices, he said the state has approached experts on the development of the state’s tourism master plan.
“We have initiated moves to develop a tourism master plan. We are hiring international experts to develop the plan and are intent on ensuring that it is sustainable.”
Alhaji Mohammed said that the UNTWO/CAF Meeting is a great opportunity for Nigeria to showcase her culture and tourism assets to the world.
According to him, “In addition to the socio-economic gains, the event will put the country on the global map. We will showcase our tourism potential, the cultural assets, including arts, music and others. This couldn’t have come at a better time,”
He said the country will be hosting 51 African ministers, and with support from relevant stakeholders, the event is expected to be a huge success.
On Edo’s participation at the meeting, the minister stressed that “Edo State cannot be ignored at such a global meeting on tourism. You cannot be left out. A critical city like Benin cannot be left out in such a meeting.”