President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged full support for three major international events scheduled to hold in Nigeria in October and November this year, saying they are opportunities to showcase the nation’s rich heritage in culture, arts, tourism and entertainment as well as advancements on media freedom.
Nigeria will be hosting the 2022 UNESCO Global Media, Information Literacy (MIL) Week in Abuja, in October, the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry in Lagos, as well as the 2nd Global Association of Literary Festivals Conference, Abeokuta, in November.
Welcoming the decision by UNESCO, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the Global Association of Literary Festivals to grant Nigeria the right to host these separate historic events, the President, in a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, on Sunday, assured all relevant stakeholders and participants of the warmth and hospitality of the people of Nigeria.
On MIL Week, the President Buhari noted that it is instructive that Nigeria is attracting positive international attention as a country that promotes media freedom and freedom of expression, recognising the important roles information literacy and media education play in sustainable development.
On the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry, the President said the rapid growth of Nigeria’s film, fashion, music, and ICT sector, and the increase in international appeal and acceptance would continue to spur government to devote more resources to the sector.
Among other initiatives, President Buhari recalls that the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), established by his administration and managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, has provided single-digit financing to many young Nigerians in the fields of fashion, film, music and information technology.
The $100 million re-development of the National Theatre, Lagos, into a world-class Creative Park is also ongoing, following the handover of the facility to CBN and the Bankers Committee.
The Nigerian leader trusted that the literary world will find many good things to celebrate about Nigeria when they meet in the historic city of Abeokuta, Ogun State, homeland and birthplace of one of Nigeria’s finest literary icons and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
The statement added that President Buhari is delighted to welcome international visitors to Nigeria and urged fellow compatriots to use the period to exhibit the values “that make us a unique, friendly and peace-loving people.”