Nigerian-China Partnership On Infrastructure, Boost For Domestic Tourism – Minister

The minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has described the partnership between Nigeria and China in the area of infrastructural development as a catalyst for domestic tourism in the African nation.
The minister made the remarks in Abuja on Thursday when he received the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Zhou Pinson, on a courtesy visit.
“I think China is a good example of how domestic tourism canprosper of course you also need improved infrastructure. This is why we are so glad that China is collaborating with Nigeria in the area of infrastructure such as roads, power and railways,” he said.
The minister expressed delight at the bilateral relations between Nigeria and China, which he described as mutual and sincere, saying China remains one of the strategic partners of Nigeria because of its genuine commitment and passion towards the country.
He said the cultural ties between the two countries can further be strengthened especially in the areas of film and cinematography, and he reiterated his earlier request for the screening of Nigerian movies in China.
He said the screening of Nollywood movies in China will reciprocate Nigeria’s gesture towards Chinese movies, which are shown in Nigeria, in addition to being a deliberate strategy to ensure better understanding between the two countries while also creating a market for Nigerian films in China.
Mohammed underscored the critical role which discipline played in the Chinese cultural revolution and said Nigeria will key into it to further enrich its national re-orientation programme, tagged, “Change Begins With Me.”
“One of the major strengths of China today is discipline, it’s ethics and respect for values and this is exactly what we are trying to achieve through our ‘Change Begins With Me’ Campaign,” the minister said.
The minister noted that even in the area of media and entertainment, China was closely linked with Nigeria through the partnership between the Nigerian Television Authority and Star Times, and acknowledged that China also offered a loan of $500 million to revamp and upgrade the broadcasting industry in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Pinson said culture and people-to-people relations are part of the 10 priority areas which China is exploring to foster relations with Nigeria.
He said China has opened discussion with the minister towards the building of Nigerian-China Cultural Centre in Nigeria to further promote the cultural ties, which will boost communication and understanding between the two countries.
“What we wish to do with Nigeria we have outlined in the four cardinal framework and we have the bilateral document with this esteemed ministry. So, cultural activities, personnel exchanges, skills training and capacity building we wish to have firm foundation in these fields and we wish we could do more in these fields with Nigeria,” he said.
Meanwhile, the minister has also  disclosed that 40 Nigerian festival managers have been trained by the British Council on the management of festivals for economic gains, under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the ministry and the British Council.
Mohammed made the disclosure also in Abuja on Thursday when he received the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright, who was on a courtesy visit to his office.
“The MoU we signed with the British Council in Edinburgh last year has started yielding some fruits. In February, we had the first training of forty Festival Managers in collaboration with the British Council. This is the first time that we are having this kind of collaboration between the British Council and the Ministry.
“These Festival Managers, on the successful completion of their training, have been assured that they will also be attached to various festivals all over the world where they will understudy the technical, financial and management aspects of festivals because we look at our culture and heritage as another area where we can diversify the economy,” the minister said.
Mohammed said Nigeria has commenced discussion with Britain on how the country can learn from the British experience in combating the piracy of intellectual property in order to adequately monetize the creative industry in Nigeria.
He also reiterated the commitment of the present administration to ensure ease of doing business in Nigeria, particularly in adopting a flexible visa regime that will ensure easy access to the country by investors, tourists and journalists.
“We also spoke at length about the difficulty that British journalists encounter when trying to come to Nigeria. The good news here is that this government has set up a Presidential Council on the Ease of Doing Business and reforming the visa regime, movement of passengers and goods are issues that we intend and we are committed to improving.”
In his remarks, the British High Commissioner said Britain is collaborating with Nigeria in a wide range of areas, especially the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting, where a British company is currently playing a pivotal role.
“We talked about the Digital Switch Over in Nigeria and this is moving TV from the analogue signal to the digital signal. There is a British company, Inview, that is working very hard in Nigeria with the Honourable Minister and other ministries here in Nigeria, looking at a way in which British experience can help in the very important switch over from analogue to digital, following very successful launch in Jos and here in Abuja,” he said.
Mr. Arkwright said Britain was also providing technical assistance in the area of film and intellectual property rights in Nigeria. propel and trigger the economy. But for domestic tourism to
Source: News

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