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Experts call for ministry of information, culture, tourism


Abuja  –  Participants at the 2016 National Summit on Culture and Tourism want Federal Ministry of Information to be renamed Federal Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.

The call is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the 2016 National Summit on Culture and Tourism, organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in Abuja on Friday.

Mr Baklis Ayekoloma, Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), who read the communiqué, said culture and tourism cut across many industries.

He said the consistency at all levels of culture and tourism was not negotiable; and that measures must be put in place to protect all tourism and national monuments across the country.

“The communiqué also recommended the celebration of our cultural icons both living and dead to inspire the young ones to strive for excellence.

“Stakeholders need to imbibe the culture of documentation to have statistical data as it will enhance data base, evidence-based analysis and funding.

“The sector needs to be regulated to achieve and maintain high standard; and legislation should be strengthened to protect our national monuments’’, Ayekoloma said.

He said the communiqué also recommended that local governments should initiate and carry out cultural festivals at least once in a year.

According to the NICO boss, other recommendations include; implementation of tourism levy scheme which was already passed into law and proper cultural framework for workers in broadcast organisations.

“Government should print souvenirs and give to foreigners/visitors coming or leaving the country.

“Nigerians in foreign countries should be made to help promote our cultural heritage.

“Religious tourism should be encouraged and government could bring in taxation into it to generate revenue’’, he said.

He said the Ministry of Information and Culture should organise annual and quarterly round table meetings to engage intellectuals to chart way forward for the tourism industry.

The communiqué also recommended the establishment of a National Theater in Abuja as a national monument.

Similarly, it said the ministry should put in place public-private-partnership through provision of enabling environment and legislation for the improvement and development of the sector.

It also recommended friendly visa to facilitate easy access into the country thereby encouraging tourists to visit.

Ayekoloma said Copyright Commission should be moved from the Ministry of Justice to Ministry of Information and Culture.

“There is also need for cultural rebirth that will reposition Nigeria not only for Africa but the global community.

“Tourism Development Fund is necessary as it will contribute to the faster development of the sector and all relevant sectors must be aligned.

“Nigerians’ true value should be reintroduced into the curriculum at primary school and must be enforced; indigenous language should be given priority.

“We can build a resilient economy with our tourism potentials’’, he stressed.

NAN reports that the summit was hosted by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

The summit brought together relevant stakeholders in the culture and tourism industry across the country with a view to reviving the sector.

The theme of the summit was: “Repositioning Culture and Tourism in a Diversified Economy.’’(NAN)

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