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Minister Identifies Culture; Tourism As Alternative To Lean Resources

LAGOS, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has re-emphasized that culture and tourism are alternatives to address challenge of lean resources and unemployment in the country.

”In this period of tough economic challenges, caused by the steep fall in global oil prices, Nigeria has no choice but to look for other viable means of earning needed resources for developmental purposes and to generate employment for its teeming youths,” the Minister stressed at the Third Festival Colloquium of Lagos at 50 on Saturday.

”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,” the Minister said.

Alhaji Mohammed restated 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 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

He also said that with Nigeria being richly endowed with globally-recognized sites and monuments, it was 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 was 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.

”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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