By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
Abuja – Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture says plans are on ground by the Federal Government to launch National Policy on Culture, Tourism and finalise work on Motion Picture Council of Nigeria and others.
Mohammed stated this when he played host to Culture, Arts, Tourism and Entertainment Writers Association, Abuja (CATEWAA) on Thursday in Abuja.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CATEWAA comprises journalists from different media organisations covering Culture, Arts, Tourism and Entertainment beats.
The minister described the achievements of the ministry, in the last four years, as remarkable and laudable.
He said that there were some misconceptions in certain quarters that the ministry, in the past four years, paid more attention to the information sector than culture and tourism.
“But I can tell you, with evidence, that we achieved a lot in the tourism and culture sector, or the creative industry generally.
“However, in this second term, we plan to conclude and launch the National Policy on Culture as well as the National Policy on Tourism in order to set the necessary legal framework for the sector.
“We will also finalise work on the Motion Picture Council of Nigeria Bill and submit it to the Federal Executive Council.
“There is plan to also create a proper regulatory environment for the sub-sector that has put Nigeria’s name on the global map, thus attracting the much needed investment to the sector.
“We will also establish the Endowment Fund for the Arts to create a legal framework for the financing of the sector.
“We also plan to make the National Summit for Culture and Tourism, which we first held in April 2016 a yearly affair, starting from the first quarter of 2020,” he said.
Mohammed added that a regular meeting of the Presidential Council on Tourism (PCT) to catalyze the growth of tourism, at least three meetings a year, is also on the way.
He said that the ministry would finalise work on and launch the National Festival Calendar within the year.
He said this was to attract more tourists, both domestic and foreign to the events.
“We will get more sites in Nigeria inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and explore private sector branding of the nation’s cultural centres abroad and many others,” he said.
On the Abuja Carnival, the minister said that 21 states have indicated interest to participate, adding that the carnival would be a special one.
Earlier, the President of CATEWAA, Mrs Bridget Onoche said the meeting with the Minister was imperative considering the desire of the association to project activities in the culture sector.
“Our objective is not to hold the government to ransom but to collaborate with other stakeholders in giving the sector the desired publicity.
“We are optimistic that this meeting will chart a new course in our relationship,” Onoche said.