The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that the federal government has finalised plans to launch a national policy on culture and tourism that will serve as the legal framework for the sectors.
He made the declaration while meeting with journalists on the tourism, and arts and culture beats. The minister explained that apart from the policy, which many agree has been very long in coming, the bill that will institutionalise the Motion Picture Council of Nigeria (MOPICON) will be submitted to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in order to create a proper regulatory environment for the sub-sector that is a major powerhouse in contributing to Nigeria’s rating as Africa’s leading economy.
He said: “We will establish the Endowment Fund for the arts to create a legal framework for the financing of the sector and 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 to ensure a regularly meeting of the Presidential Council on Tourism (PCT) to catalyse the growth of tourism. We plan at least three meetings a year”.
He further said that the implementation of the parts of the tourism master plan will be part of the prerogative of his ministry in the next few years, while completing work on the establishment of Tourism Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), working with the UNWTO.
He said an agreement to that effect has already been signed with the UNWTO to institute a unified National Celebration of the World Tourism Day, instead of having multiple celebrations as it is presently the case.
“We will hold a National Council on Culture and Tourism in May next year, and then hold it yearly thereafter,” he added.
Beginning next year, he explained, a regional summit on culture and tourism to foster the development of the sector will be organised.
“We will continue with our visits to tourist sites and attend as many festivals as possible across the country and finalise work on and launch our National Festival Calendar this year. “This is to attract more tourists, domestic and foreign, to these 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,” he said.
But that is not all as the minister intends to also ensure a regular meeting of the Presidential Council on Tourism (PCT) to catalyse the growth of tourism, continue with the visits to tourist sites and attend as many festivals as possible across the country.
Also to finalise work on and launch a National Festival Calendar this year, get more sites in Nigeria inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a host of others.