The federal government has set the necessary legal framework for the information and culture sector which would finalise plans for the launch of the National Policy on Culture as well as the National Policy on Tourism.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos on Sunday October 6, on the plans and programmes of the government for the sector in the next four years, the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed that the government has conclude works on the Motion Picture Council of Nigeria (MOPICON) Bill and has submitted it to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) 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.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed said there is plans also to establish the Endowment Fund for the Arts so to create a legal framework for the financing of the sector.
According to him, part of the programmes for the next four years is to make the National Summit for Culture and Tourism – which was held in April 2016 – a yearly affair, starting from the first quarter of 2020.
The minister outlined plans to ensure a regularly meeting of the Presidential Council on Tourism (PCT) to catalyze the growth of tourism.
He said the meeting will hold at least three times in a year.
Lai Mohammed explained that there is also plans to kick-start the implementation of parts of the Tourism Masterplan that constitute low-hanging fruits and also complete work on the establishment of Tourism Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) working with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, UNWTO.
We have already signed an agreement with the UNWTO in this regard, he said.
He listed other plans for the next four years to include, institute a unified National Celebration of the World Tourism Day, instead of the current situation in which there is multiple celebrations, plans to 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.
He said the ministry will continue with their visits to tourist sites and attend as many festivals as possible across the country.
Lai Mohammed stated further that the Ministry has finalised work on and launch of the country’s National Festival Calendar this year to attract more tourists, domestic and foreign to these events.
He said the federal government is intensifying effort to get more sites in the country inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and also explore private sector branding of the nation’s Cultural Centres abroad.
“Everything we have listed here and many more are achievable, with the support of stakeholders like you. That is why we have decided to announce the agenda in front of you! We seek your continued cooperation as we set forth on this journey, because we can’t do it”, the minister concluded.