The Federal Government has restated its commitment towards exploring the numerous potentials that abound in the culture and tourism sector as sources of revenue generation in the face of dwindling prices of crude oil in the global market.

The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed reiterated this on Thursday, 3rd December, 2015 during an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism at the National Assembly complex, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Lai Mohammed, who said the culture and tourism sector remains a fundamental component of sustainable development, maintained that the present administration is committed to not only exploring all untapped resources in the country but will also revamp particularly the cultural industries as one of the strategies to create more jobs.

His words: “The culture sector will get attention unlike in the past. Our commitment now is unlike in the past when the dynamism and potentials of the sector where not recognized beyond music, dance and entertainment. Thus, the ministry under my watch will focus on the development of the nation’s cultural resources towards creating jobs. We will harness the abundant resources within the domain of the culture and tourism sector with the zeal to reposition the sector.”

Commending the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism for the manner in which they conducted the interactive session, the Minister, who stressed that he is comfortable working with the committee, pledged to accord it the respect it deserves and see it as a committee that is in partnership to enhance the growth of the ministry.

On his part, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, Senator Matthew Urhoghide said for the agencies to perform optimally, the Committee is willing to do what it takes to ensure they remain viable, adding: “If you are having challenges of paucity of funds, the committee is willing to ensure we reincorporate the issues to the agencies under this ministry a new lease of life.”

He charged all Chief Executives of culture parastatals to take advantage of the Committee to work for the good of the sector and not just look at the Committee as one that is saddled with just performing oversight functions alone.

Senator Urhoghide however admonished the Chief Executives to key into the Change Agenda campaign of the present administration, stating that for the reorientation of the citizenry to be successful, the change must start with them, stating that the country has moved to a phase where wastage can no longer be tolerated and they must use all the resources allocated to them judiciously.

Present at the interactive session with the minister, the permanent secretary and directors in the culture sector of the ministry were all ten chief executives of culture parastatals and their directors.

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja