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February 22, 2024

Create sole ministry for tourism, culture – FTAN tells President-elect

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By Taiye Olayemi

The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) on Tuesday urged the incoming President, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to create a sole ministry for tourism and culture, once he assumes office.

Mr Nkereuwem Onung, FTAN President, made the call in Abuja during a creative stakeholder’s meeting organised by the  National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC).

The meeting had as its theme: “Culture, Peace and National Rebirth: An Agenda Setting”.

Onung said that it was important to separate the tourism and culture industry from information to give room for growth in the creative sector.

According to him, tourism and culture industry would have thrived better if separated from the ministry of information as currently obtained.

“I want to seize this opportunity to plead with the incoming president to separate the ministry of information from culture and tourism.

“We want a stand alone ministry for tourism and culture so that proper attention can be given to the creative space, such that will engender remarkable growth.

“The combination of culture and information has hindered the growth of the culture and tourism industries over the years because more attention has  been drawn toward information so much.

“We also plead that individuals appointed to head government parastatals within the tourism and culture industries should be made accountable while in office to ensure growth, novices should not be engaged,” he said.

Also Mr Israel Eboh, National President,  National Association of Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), harped on the need for the incoming President to work unanimously with stakeholders in the culture and tourism industry, to ensure that the nation’s cultural values were upheld.

Eboh noted that the problems confronting the nation in terms of lack of unity was due to the fact that Nigerians had lost their cultural values.

He, however, called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) to wake up to their responsibilities of upholding the nation’s cultural values.

“Agenda setting is absolutly necessary as we move into the next administration.

“The incoming administratiom need to pay attention to all elements of our culture, in storytelling, dancing, songs and all.

“NOA, NICO and other cultural parastatals need to be deliberate and systematic in cultural re-orientation in the incoming administration,” he said.

Television analyst, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, urged Nigerians generally to be totally committed to building a better nation in view of culture collapse the nation is experiencing.

Kolade-Otitoju also advised the President-elect to reduce cost of governance to make remarkable progress in nation-building.

He noted that if Nigeria could have three good successive leaders, the nation would be great again. (NAN)

Edited by Folasade Adeniran

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