Minister seeks implementation of signed bilateral pacts in cultural sector

Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed receiving the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Bernard Schlagheck (R) in his office in Abuja.

There is need to actualise all the bilateral agreements between Nigeria and other countries, particularly in the cultural sector, to derive the maximum benefits that the sector offers.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said when he received the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Bernard Schlagheck on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja on Friday.

Implementation is key
Acknowledging that signing bilateral agreements is critical to forging global relations and alliances towards the development of the cultural sector, Mohammed said focus should be on actualising the content of the agreements for the mutual benefit of the signatories.

“When you look at the plethora of memorandum of understanding and bilateral cooperation we have with various governments, there are so many and it appears that we do not do anything after we have signed these agreements. These agreements are good to be signed but then I think that more importantly they should be operative,” he stated.

The Minister directed the composition of a working committee in the ministry to liaise with the German Embassy to map out concrete guidelines for collaboration between the University of Frankfurt and the Nigerian Commission for Museums and Monuments for the promotion and preservation of the Nok Terracotta and culture.

He commended Germany’s support for the cultural sector in Nigeria and described the request to restore the Nigerian old films “Shehu Umar” and exhibit it at the Berlin Film Festival in 2017 as a welcomed idea.

The Minister appealed to Germany to extend a similar gesture to other old Nigerian movies.

“It is the kind of passion that Germany has demonstrated towards our cultural relationship which is quite encouraging,” he said.

The German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Bernard Schlagheck said Culture was an important component of Germany’s international relations and emphasised the country’s readiness to impact positively on the development of various indigenous cultures in Nigeria.

Mr. Schlagheck, who has just assumed office, said he was impressed by the depth of bilateral relations between Nigeria and Germany, particularly in the cultural sector.

Mercy Chukwudiebere