Buhari urges UN stakeholders to counter racial segregation

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged stakeholders in the tourism and arts sector to counter racial segregation and rhetoric that seek to demonise foreigners in their countries.

The president, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, made the call on Tuesday while speaking at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) global conference at the National Theatre, Iganmu inLagos.

While highlighting the theme, ‘Linking tourism, culture and creative industries: Pathways to recovery and improving development,’ President Buhari noted that tourism would provide opportunities and jobs to cut across all segments of income generation.

He said “There are many questions and I am sure this gathering of experts and industry players and tourism enthusiasts will, at least, begin the process of finding answers. Tourism opportunities and jobs are inclusive, cutting across all income segments, from millionaire entertainers to janitors in hotels, jobs are gender-sensitive, and accommodate rather than discourage those who speak languages other than the local language.”

“Music, for example, as we all know, is a global language. Even though people do not know the meaning of the words of a song, they enjoy the rhythm, and some find out the meaning of lyrics by discovering the cultures and ideas that inspire them.”

“Singing songs like ‘last last’ in pidgin English to a cheering Scandinavian audience is the power of music. The song is also the first Afrobeat song to have sold over 500 thousand units in less than 17 weeks after its release.”

On his part, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability Directorate, Aishah Ahmad, announced plans by the committee of banks to rehabilitate the National Theatre.

According to him, “We will be completing the theatre in March 2023 where we will have the main bowl which will take about 5,000 people capacity.”

In his remarks, the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, assured of the United Nations’ support for educational projects that would enlighten young people on tourism.

Also speaking at the conference, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, noted that intra-travel Africa travel and tourism would be of many benefits to member-states.

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