IN its effort at tapping the potential of Nigeria’s cultural, artistic and tourism resources to make it a major revenue earner, the Federal Government announced yesterday it is finalising plans for a national summit on the sectors of the economy in April this year.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who revealed this during a courtesy visit to Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, added that the summit, to be held in Abuja on April 11 and 12 summit, would signpost present government’s determination to put culture and tourism at the centre of efforts to diversify the economy from oil.
The minister’s visit also yielded agreement on the need for strong collaboration between the two governments on how to lift the fortunes of heritage edifices owned by the Federal Government but domiciled in Lagos such as National Theatre at Iganmu and National Museum at Onikan.
‘’The summit will signpost our determination to put culture and tourism at the very centre of the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts to diversify the economy away from oil,’’ the said.
The Minister used the opportunity of the visit to invite Ambode to the summit, saying Lagos State, which is a foremost hub of entertainment, arts, culture and tourism, has a big role to play in the efforts to reposition the creative industry in the country.
The Minister hailed the Lagos State Government for embarking on the provision of security and infrastructure, both of which are critical to boosting culture and tourism.
‘’With the drastic fall in the price of crude oil, the Federal Government is currently in the process of diversifying the country’s economy to shift emphasis to other key sectors like tourism, agriculture and solid minerals. With particular reference to tourism, we have a lot to learn from the giant strides that have been made by this state in the provision of infrastructure, which is critical to stimulating tourism.
‘’The intra-city rail transportation system that is expected to come on stream in December 2016, the 10-lane highway to Badagry, which is one of the state’s foremost tourist destinations, and the provision of effective security through the innovative Lagos State Security Trust Fund all stand the state in good stead to remain the top tourist destination for a long time to come,’’ he said.
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