" ITREALMS: Culture, tourism key to addressing lean resources – Lai Mohammed

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Culture, tourism key to addressing lean resources – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described culture and tourism as keys to addressing the challenges posed by lean resources and unemployment in the country, reports ITRealms.

He said this at the Third Festival Colloquium of Lagos at 50 at the weekend, saying at this period of tough economic challenges, caused by the steep in global oil prices, Nigeria has no choice than to look for other viable means of earning needed resources for developmental purposes and to generate employment for its teeming youths.

''In this search for a new economic paradigm, tourism, arts and culture have been identified as the most viable sector of the economy to explore. Culture drives tourism, and both are good for creating jobs, reducing crime and diversifying the economy, three of the cardinal programs of the Buhari Administration,'' he said.

Mohammed also said the potentials of the sector in boosting the country's economy had been attested to by many international agencies, including the British Council whose 2013 report of the Lagos Pilot Study on the ‘Mapping of Nigerian Creative Industries revealed that the creative businesses surveyed in the mapping exercise contributed  
N2,547,300,490.26 during the reference period, with 61% of the total Gross Value Added (GVA) derived from the film industry alone. Fashion and music contributed 26% and 13% respectively.

Nigeria, he noted, being richly endowed with globally-recognized sites and monuments, thus imperative for the country to convert its tourist sites to tourist attraction and bring the culture and tourism sector to the mainstream of the economy.

The Minister said the government is working with the World Tourism Organization, the UN agency charged with the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally-accessible tourism, to turn around the fortunes of the sector.

''Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the foundation has been laid and the ground work done. It is time for all States of the Federation to pick up the gauntlet and explore the vast tourism potentials available to us and by so doing, improve our economy and provide employment,'' he said.

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