Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has inaugurated the Implementation Committee on the outcome of the recent National Summit on Culture and Tourism with a pledge to demonstrate the needed political will to put culture and tourism in the mainstream of the economy.
“I have come here to once again demonstrate that I have the political will to drive this project and that I will continue to monitor the progress,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
He said that going through the summit papers and other presentations has revealed that the intention has always been there, but that lack of political will remains the stumbling block.
The Minister gave assurance that the recommendations of the Summit, which were the outcome of ideas garnered from the experiences, knowledge and painstaking researches of many people, will not be left to gather dust on the shelve.
“Many of these recommendations have always been there but they just gather dust because people think summits are just for fanfare, but summits, workshops and conferences are actually the bedrock of any organisation.
“Remember we said that we are not going to leave the summit at the level of communiqué, hence I have set up a small team, which will actually give us recommendations as to how to implement the outcome of the summit,” he remarked.
The Minister commended members of the committee for their diligence and patriotism and said even before their inauguration, they had hit the ground running.
Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Paul Adalikwu, assured that they will strive to ensure that the recommendations of the summit will boost the government’s resolve to harness the potentials of culture and tourism for wealth generation and job creation.
“We will give our best to make sure that the recommendations we make will not only serve to bolster the promises made by this administration to create employment opportunities for men, women and youths in the country but also to reposition the sector as a contributor to the GDP of this country and a contributor to the foreign exchange earnings of Nigeria,” he said.
Other members of the committee are: Ms Bolanle Austen-Peter, Chief Tomi Akingbogun, Prof. Sunny Ododo, Mallam Abdulhamid Sheriff, Mr. Bertram Azuwuike and Mr. Nkanta George Ufot, who will serve as secretary.