Information for Delegates
Welcome to Nigeria and to the 2014 Joint Annual Meetings of the African Union (AU) Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. Please find below some general information on meeting arrangements that you may find useful.
1. GENERAL INFORMATION ON NIGERIA
Nigeria is a federal republic consisting of 36 states and 774 local governments. It has a landmass of 932,768 k2 and shares land borders with Benin in the west, the Niger in the north, and Chad and Cameroon in the east. Its coast in the south lies on the Atlantic Ocean.
Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria. Abuja is a planned city and was built mainly in the 1980s. It officially became Nigeria’s capital on 12 December 1991, replacing Lagos, which is still the country’s most populous city. At the 2006 census, the city of Abuja had a population of 776,298, making it one of the top 10 most populous cities in Nigeria.
There are two main seasons – the dry season, lasting from November to March; and the rainy season, from April to October. Temperatures at the coast rarely rise above 32ºC (89.6ºF), although humidity can be as high as 95 per cent. The climate further north is drier with occasional sand storms, with temperatures ranging from 12ºC (53.6ºF) to 36ºC (96.8ºF). During the rainy season, tropical thunderstorms are a periodic occurrence, especially in coastal areas, but it is generally a period of cooler temperatures.
2. CONFERENCE VENUE
The Conference of Ministers will be held at Transcorp Hilton Abuja Hotel, 1 Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama, Abuja.
- Tel.: (+234) 708 0603000
- Website: http://www.placeshilton.com/abuja
- Email: Hilton.Abuja@hilton.com
3. REGISTRATION AND BADGES FOR DELEGATES
To expedite the registration process, delegates are kindly asked to register online at (http://www.uneca.org/content/registration-form-participants). Online registration will be closed on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 5 p.m. (Addis Ababa time, GMT +3). Onsite registration at the Registration desk at Transcorp Hilton Abuja Hotel will open from 24 March 2014, daily from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 2.30 to 8 p.m. All delegates and participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible upon arrival in Abuja. Delegates are requested to report to the Registration Desk at Transcorp Hilton Abuja Hotel with their passports or other means of photographic identification. Each delegate or participant will be given a badge for the purpose of identification during the period of the meetings and for security reasons, delegates are requested to wear their badges at all times while in the Conference venue.
4. VISA AND IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS
In order to enter Nigeria, all delegates and travelers must obtain entry visas from Nigerian diplomatic missions and have a full passport valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into the country. In addition to visa and passport requirements, an international health certificate showing current yellow fever immunization is required for entry into Nigeria. Without it, travelers may be required to submit to vaccination at entry before clearing immigration (for a fee). Delegates coming from countries where there is no Nigerian diplomatic mission may obtain an entry visa on arrival at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport upon presentation of their official letter of invitation to the Conference. In such cases, participants should inform the conference coordinators well in advance, at least two weeks before arrival in Abuja, providing their full passport details.
5. AIRPORT RECEPTION AND TRANSPORTION
Delegates will be met at the airport in Abuja and Lagos by representatives of the host country and AUC/ECA Joint Secretariat staff and they will assist in processing entry in Nigeria, assist with baggage claim and organise transport to their hotels. A protocol desk labeled with the Conference banner will be available at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos to facilitate entry and departure formalities for delegates, and another at the main entrance of the Transcorp Hilton Abuja Hotel. The Government of Nigeria will provide transport for delegates from the airport to the hotels and between the hotels and the conference venue. The host country, in collaboration with the AUC-ECA Conference Coordination Unit, will provide any information required by delegates.
6. CUSTOMS AND EXCISE
All those attending international meetings in Nigeria will be exempted from the payment of customs duties and taxes relating to certain items of equipment, as well as other items intended for direct use during the Conference.
Security and protection equipment must be declared at the earliest opportunity by informing the focal point of the conference organizers, so that the equipment can be granted advance approval.
An unlimited amount of local currency can be imported into the country by visitors alike. Likewise, unlimited amounts of other currencies may be imported but will need to be declared when entering and leaving the country.
7. FLIGHTS AVAILABLE TO AND FROM ABUJA AND LAGOS
The international airlines operating in Nigeria and currently flying to and from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and Murtala Muhammed International Airport are: Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, British Airways, KLM and Lufthansa. If you require any date changes, please bring a copy of your ticket with you when you go to the travel agent.
8. HOTEL ACCOMMODATION
Delegates should make their own hotel reservations and reservations can be made online with the hotel concerned through its website or contact the hotel directly. A list of recommended hotels in Abuja, room types and rates can be found in the list below. Delegates will be responsible for paying for their hotel accommodation and payment can be made in Nigerian naira or in any convertible currency, including United States dollars. Payment in cash is preferable, although some hotels accept Visa credit cards. Preferential rates obtained by the National Organizing Committee in all selected hotels will be posted on the Conference website shortly.
Nigeria’s currency is the naira (NGN). Visitors can exchange currency in banks, at the airport, in exchange bureaux and in major hotels in Abuja. At the time of writing, One United States dollar is equivalent to 158.75 NGN, 1 euro is equivalent to 216.84 NGN, One pound sterling is equivalent to 259.08 NGN, One South African rand is equivalent to 15.14 NGN and One Canadian dollar is equivalent to 148.71.
10. MEDIA REGISTRATION AND FACILITIES
All media will require accreditation by the host government and the Joint AUC/ECA Secretariat. For this accreditation, media representatives will be required to present a letter of assignment, one form of valid identification (e.g press card, work ID, driver’s license or passport) and proof of media affiliation. These items should be presented when registering for the Conference at the Registration Desk. All media representatives are kindly requested to register online at (http://www.uneca.org/content/registration-form-participants). A media centre will be set up at Transcorp Hilton Abuja Hotel to facilitate media coverage of the Conference. More information on this will be communicated directly to registered media.
Simultaneous interpretation is available for the official meetings of the Committee of Experts, the plenary sessions of the Conference of Ministers and selected side events in the following languages: Arabic, English, French, and Portuguese.
12. BILATERAL MEETINGS WITH THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF ECA
Delegates seeking bilateral meetings with the Executive Secretary of ECA should contact Ms Flavia Ba (Tel: +251 11-544-3504, email: FMendesBa@uneca.org, or Ms Mestawet Mistir (Tel: +251-11-544-3336. email: Mmistir@uneca.org); Journalists seeking high profile interviews will have a chance to register their interest at the media centre or during the pre-conference media workshop.
13. DISTRIBUTION OF STATEMENTS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS BY DELEGATIONS
It is essential that texts of prepared speeches be made availble to the Secretariat before delivery. Twelve copies of the text should be handed to the Conference Officer in the meeting room for the use of the interpreters, translators and report writers. Delegations wishing to have the text of their representative’s statement distributed are requested to provide them to the Conference Officer in the meeting room.
Similarly, delegates wishing to distribute other documents (monographs, national reports, etc) should provide them to the Conference Officer in the meeting room.
14. CONTACTS FOR MORE INFORMATION
(i) For information regarding substantive issues, please contact:
Ms. Sandra Baffoe-Bonnie
Secretary of the Commission and Legal Advisor to the Executive Secretary
Office of the Executive Secretary
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
P.O. Box 3001, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Telephone numbers: (+251-11) 544 3378 or (+251-911) 523 267
(ii) To confirm your participation, and for any request for information pertaining to logistics, please contact:
Mr. Gerard Hounkponou, Officer-in-Charge
Conference Services Section
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
P.O. Box 3001, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Telephone numbers: (+251-11) 551 4945 or (+251-11) 544 3545
Fax: (+251-11) 551 3155 or (+251-11) 551 4874
Regular updates are also available on twitter, using hashtag #COM2014 and on the ECA facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EconomicCommissionforAfrica