The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says insecurity was so pervasive in Nigeria before the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, using Abuja as a reference point.
He said the situation was so bad that “four-five years ago, nobody in Abuja was sleeping with his or her two eyes closed”.
Mohammed said this on Friday after inspecting the venue that will be used to host UN World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO) commission for Africa meeting.
The meeting will take place from June 4 to 6 at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.
The minister said the country has made “tremendous progress” in the fight against insecurity and revamping the economy.
“It is a global structure for you to tell your own story. We are telling the world the story that in the last couple of years, Nigeria has been on the bed. But now, we have made tremendous progress in the fight against insecurity, in revamping the economy and other sectors,” he said.
“But for the effort of this government mostly in the area of fighting insecurity, we won’t be hosting this meeting in Nigeria. When we were bidding to host this conference in 2016, I had to explain to them that the federal government of Nigeria was on top of the security situation in Nigeria.
“Four-five years ago, it would have been impossible to host this conference in Nigeria. I remember that four-five years ago, nobody in Abuja was sleeping with his or her two eyes closed. But we are very confident in holding this meeting here because of the success we have recorded in decapitating Boko Haram.”
Mohammed said the country would use the meeting to tell the world that “this is a country in a hurry to develop”.
“We are expecting about 180 foreign delegates. Already 26 ministers from Africa have signified their intention to come,” he said.
“We want to use this meeting to tell the world that Nigeria is not just at peace but that Nigeria is ready to host the entire world. We will show to them, with the planning and activities that this is a country in a hurry to develop. During the conference, we are also organizing a tour of tourist sites within Abuja.”
Mohammed expressed satisfaction with the level of Nigeria’s preparedness to host the meeting.
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