Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has explained that the planned Global Tourism Conference to be hosted by the country at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, in November, this year, would hasten the recovery of the tourism sector from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The conference is billed to hold from November 14 to 16, this year.
According to the minister, the conference will also create employment opportunities and improve the economy of the country.
“Hosting this conference shows the recognition of the role that the country is playing in the industry as Nigeria has become the hub and catalyst for its growth.
“The World Tourism Organisation sees the bigger picture of the country as we are making a lot of strides in our cultural tourism -when you look at our music, fashion and film – that speaks a lot.
“The likes of Davido, Burna Boy, Wizkid and Olamide, amongst others, have made a lot of strives in the music industry worldwide and they are great ambassadors for the country as they have showcased us to the world.
“This conference would be showcasing film, fashion and music which would open the industry to the wider global stage,” he said.
Mohammed said the conference would reposition the nation’s creative industry, which was contributing two per cent to the Gross Domestic Product.
He added that the National Theatre would be a signature cluster after its renovation.
“Hosting the conference at the National Theatre is strategic as it would be showcasing the newly renovated facility to the world and it would be a signature cluster.
“It would be housing four sections, namely: fashion, music, film and information technology, within the complex.
“We have inspected the site several times and we are impressed with the job that is going on there.
“By the time the renovation is completed, it will be a world-class theatre,” the minister said.
He dismissed the notion that the National Theatre would be renamed.
He explained that there would be four signature hubs in the complex to be called ‘Lagos Creative and Entertainment Centre,’ “but the National Theatre would remain the same.”
On cultural values, the minister said there was need for parents to instill values in their children.
“There has been a massive erosion of our cultural values and this has to do with everybody, especially the parents, as they must take responsibility.
“Parents should know that sending a five or seven-year-old child to a boarding house, when they should be under their tutelage, can backfire in a bad way.
“Some even take pride in the fact that their kids can’t speak their indigenous languages,” said Mohammed.
He said many parents had the wrong notion that indigenous languages were culturally-based and could not be used to teach morals to their children.
The government, Muhammed said, had been carrying out several campaigns on the importance of cultural values.
“But in all these, parents must take responsibilities as they are the ones that can instil certain qualities in their children,” he said.