The president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), said Sunday it was instructive that Nigeria has attracted international positive attention as a country that promotes media freedom and freedom of expression.
He said this was based on the government’s understanding of the important roles information literacy and media education played in sustainable development.
According to a statement signed by his special adviser for media and publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said this while pledging his “full support” for three major international events to be held in Nigeria in October and November 2022.
These include: United Nations Global Media for Education, Science and Culture in 2022, Information Literacy Week in Abuja, in October, the First Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industries in Lagos, as well as the Second Conference of the Worldwide Association of Literary Festivals, Abeokuta, in November.
In the statement titled “President Buhari pledges support as Nigeria hosts major cultural, tourism and literary events,” he said the global events were opportunities to showcase the country’s rich heritage in culture, arts, tourism and entertainment. , as well as advances in media freedom.
Earlier, Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said hosting the 2022 UNESCO Global Media, Information Literacy Week, would help tackle the rising tide of fake news, misinformation and hate speech.
Buhari expressed his joy to welcome international visitors to Nigeria and urged citizens to use the events to demonstrate the values ”which make us a unique, kind and peace-loving people”.
The statement read in part: “The President welcomes the decision of the World Tourism Organization of UNESCO and the Global Association of Literary Festivals to grant Nigeria the right to host these separate historic events, and assures all relevant stakeholders and participants of the warmth and hospitality of the people of Nigeria.
“During MIL Week, Buhari notes that it is instructive that Nigeria is attracting positive international attention as a country that promotes media freedom and freedom of expression, and recognizes the important roles that information literacy and media education play in sustainable development.
“At the first global conference on cultural tourism and creative industries, the president said the rapid growth of Nigeria’s film, fashion, music and information and communication technology sectors, and the increase in international appeal and acceptance would continue to drive the government’s interest. to devote more resources to the sector.”
Buhari noted, among other things, that the Creative Industry Financing Initiative, established by his government and administered by the Central Bank of Nigeria in conjunction with the Bankers’ Committee, had provided single-digit funding to many young Nigerians in the fields of fashion, film, music and information technology.
He noted that the redevelopment of the $100 million National Theatre, Lagos, into a world-class creative park is also underway, following the transfer of the facility to the CBN and the Bankers Committee.
The president therefore expressed confidence that the literary world would have many good things to celebrate about Nigeria when they meet in the historic city of Abeokuta, the homeland and birthplace of one of Nigeria’s top literary icons and Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.