Lai Mohammed unveils plans to boost Tourism and Culture Sector

Lai Mohammed unveils plans to boost Tourism and Culture Sector

The Hon. Minister of Information and Culture on Sunday 6th of October in Lagos Nigeria at a press conference with Travel Journalist, Arts and Culture Writers Association of Nigeria, unveiled the Federal Government”s four years plan to boost the tourism and culture sector.
The Minister before proceeding with his speech debunk the news circulating in certain quarters that during the previous administration he gave more attention to information than tourism and culture.
In his response, the Minister said I want to review what we did in the sector in the past four years and also set an agenda for the next four years. Looking back these past four years, there is a misconception in certain circles that we paid more attention to the Information sector than we did to Culture and Tourism. This may appear so because the issues we usually deal with in the Information sector are those that receive the bigger play in the media. But I can tell you, with evidence, that we achieved a lot in the Tourism and Culture Sector, or in the Creative Industry generally.
The Minister said that “Within six months of assuming office (in November 2015), stakeholders were invited to a meeting, tagged the “National Summit on Culture and Tourism” in April 2016 in Abuja, with a view to charting a new path for the nation’s Creative Industry. An Implementation Committee  was set up to carry out the recommendations of the summit. The review of our Tourism Master plan; resuscitation of the Presidential Council on Tourism (PCT) and the setting up a Task Force on the Creative Industry are some of the outcomes of the summit.
He said to fast-track the main objective of transforming the Creative Industry which I have regularly described as Nigeria’s ‘new oil’. First, we convened a Round-table in Lagos that provided stakeholders the platform to engage in business-focused discussions, with a view to initiating and enabling private-sector-led growth and development of the Industry. Then we held the Creative Industry Financing Conference to articulate ways to source funding for the Creative Industry. Gentlemen, both meetings paid off handsomely. After I led a team of stakeholders to the Inspector-General of Police, the force set up anti-piracy units in all its 36 formations and the FCT, leading to many joint raids and seizure of pirated works, with the National Film and Video Censors Board, We haven’t eradicated piracy, but we have shown the political will to tackle the menace.
Another fallout of the meetings is the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) of the Central Bank of Nigeria to improve access to long-term, low-cost financing for entrepreneurs and investors in the Creative Industry and the Information Technology Sectors. Under this Initiative, you can get a loan ranging from 3 million Naira to 500 million Naira for movie production, movie distribution, fashion, music, etc.with the CBN, upon the recommendation of the Creative Industry Financing Conference. Same applies to the granting of the Pioneer Status, by the Federal Government, to the Creative Industry Sector to boost investment in the sector. It was one of the recommendations from the Creative Industry Financing Conference he said,
The Ministry engaged in partnerships by signing MOUs with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to train 100 Festival managers in Lagos, Abuja and Accra Ghana. It also signed partnership with the British Council.
Nigeria is given the right of hosting the 61st UNWTO CAF Meeting, and Nigeria was elected as Vice President, Africa, at the 22nd General Assembly of the organization in China.


The Minister further said that several tourism sites were visited across the Country and festivals attended as part of effort to attract attention to infrastructural development. First, we showcased the Eko Atlantic City during the 2016 World Tourism Day and he 2018 hosting of the 61st UNWTO CAF Meeting. Then we visited tourists sites that include Owu Water Falls in Kwara; Rock Painting in Birnin Kudu, Jigawa State; Durbar in Dutse, Jigawa; Calabar Carnival in Cross River State; Puus Kaat Festival in Mangu, Plateau and Ijakadi Festival in Kwara State.  In the same vein, we made sure to attend the premieres of many movies across the country in a show of support for the efforts of our brilliant and hardworking producers. The premieres we attended included Genevive Nnaji’s ‘Road To Yesterday’, Mo Abudu’s ‘Wedding Party’, Bolanle Austen-Peters’ ‘The Bling Lagosians’, ‘Hakunde’ by Nadine Ibrahim as well as ‘Oloibiri’. We travelled to London to support ‘Waka’ the musical, just as we supported ‘Saro’ the musical as well as ‘Fela and Kalakuta Queens’, all from the stable of Bolanle Austen-Pters.

Highlights of the Ministry  agenda for the next four years are as outlined for the Culture and Tourism Sector;
 – To set the necessary legal framework for the sector, we will
conclude and launch the National Policy on Culture as well as the
National Policy on Tourism.
 – Finalize work on the Motion Picture Council of Nigeria (MOPICON)
Bill and submit it to the Federal Executive Council (FEC). The plan is
to 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.
– Establish the Endowment Fund for The Arts to create a legal
framework for the financing of the sector.
 – 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
– Ensure a regularly meeting of the Presidential Council on Tourism
(PCT) to catalyze the growth of tourism. We plan at least three
meetings a year.
 – Kick-start the implementation of the parts of the Tourism
Master-plan that constitute low-hanging fruits.
 – Complete work on the establishment of Tourism Statistics and
Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), working with the UNWTO. We have
already signed an agreement with the UNWTO in this regard.
– Institute a unified National Celebration of the World Tourism
Day, instead of the current situation in which we have multiple
– Hold a National Council on Culture and Tourism in May next year,
and then hold it yearly thereafter.
-Organize a Regional Summit on Culture and Tourism, starting
next year, with a view to working with other countries in the West
Africa sub-region to foster the development of the sector.
– Continue with our visits to tourist sites and attend as many
festivals as possible across the country.
– Finalize work on and launch our National Festival Calendar this
year. This is to attract more tourists, domestic and foreign, to these
 – Get more sites in Nigeria inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites
 –  Explore private sector branding of the nation’s Cultural Centres abroad

The Minister concluded his speech saying that as we begin a new tenure, we promised to do even more for the sector, working with all stakeholders. This sector, if well harnessed, is capable of creating hundreds of thousands of jobs for our ever-creative and energetic


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1 Comment

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    October 07, 11:12 Reply

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