The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, seeks the support of Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) for diversification of Nigerian economy. He further urged the organisation to scale up its investment promotions in Nigeria to facilitate more investments in the country by CCA member-companies, at a time the Government is working hard to develop other sectors of the economy.
“Your coming is very timely because as you know this new administration is determined to wean Nigeria from the addiction to oil. Fortunately, we had already made up our mind that we are going to cure ourselves of the addiction to oil even before the price of crude oil crashed to $38 per barrel,” the Minister said, while receiving some members of the CCA in Abuja on Tuesday.
“We had always been very convinced that any country that relies on a mono product is leading herself to the vicissitude of any volatility in that particular industry. There is no better time to partner with us than now, when we are looking to new ways of diversification of the economy especially in agriculture, which is an area where the US has achieved tremendous success, solid minerals, the arts, culture and tourism,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed also urged the CCA, which promotes business and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa, to partner with the Ministry of Information and Culture in the area of culture and tourism, while restating the plan to develop the creative industry, especially in the area of arts and craft, as a deliberate strategy, to empower the people, particularly women and the youth.
He said with the nation’s rich cultural heritage, an all-year-round calendar of cultural activities will be developed by the ministry to showcase the nation’s cultural richness and diversity to attract tourists.
“We believe that the country is so blessed in the area of culture that if we decide today to have a festival per day in Nigeria, it will become a reality. It will simply be a matter of reaching out to each state to give us ten cities or ten communities that will showcase their culture, arts and craft and then we will have a calendar whereby every visitor will know exactly which festival is going on and at what time,” the Minister said.
He also solicited the CCA’s support for the Ministry’s impending campaign for social re-orientation, saying a discipline and committed workforce would contribute to increased productivity, from which the Council’s member-companies will also benefit.
“We must go back to our time-tested values because no nation in the world has ever developed without very sound values, ethics and behaviors” Alhaji Mohammed said.
Earlier, the leader of the CCA delegation, Mr. Ekenem Isichei, had said the organization was committed to improving trade relations between the US and Nigeria.
He said because trade policies and investment required a lot of communication, the CCA would like to partner with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture so as to communicate the right messages about Nigeria, as against the stereotypes being put out there.
CCA’s membership comprises more than 180 companies, which represent nearly 85 percent of total U.S. private sector investments in Africa. The Council represents a diverse pool of industries from Africa’s most promising sectors, including agribusiness, capacity building, energy, finance, health, ICT, infrastructure and security. [FMI]
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