The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says in spite of all the challenges, the Federal Government is making very positive impact on the economy.
The minister stated this in Abuja on Friday when he received a delegation from the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOC), led by its Nigerian representative, Dr. Tunji Asaolu.
According to the minister, the Federal Government is confident that very soon, the country will exit recession.
“As we all know for the fifth month consecutively, the inflation index has come down.
“For two quarters consecutively, the manufacturing sector has recorded positive growth.
“We have been able to add over seven billion dollars to our external reserve and 250 million dollars to Sovereign Wealth Fund,’’ he said.
The minister said that the government was committed to its avowed objectives of revamping the economy, making Nigeria safe and putting the nation on the path of probity.
Mohammed reaffirmed government’s commitment to protecting local creative talents and generating employment.
He said that the government would not be stampeded into abandoning its ongoing efforts to amend the Nigeria Broadcasting Code to ensure local production of programmes with Nigerian content.
He said those who deliberately twisted his comments to allege that the Federal Government would ban the shooting of films and music videos abroad were being mischievous.
“We will not be intimidated or stampeded by anybody,’’ he said.
The minister said the amendment of the Code would also encourage people to invest in the establishment of world-class studios in Nigeria to ensure that producers got the same quality of work as obtained abroad.
“We are not going to export jobs to other countries and say our economy will grow.
“Most of the arguments which are being proffered, honestly, are unrealistic.
“One of them said where in Nigeria are we going to produce our music and our films when there are no studios.
“What they don’t understand is that nobody is going to invest in (building studios) in Nigeria if the law allows you to go and do the same thing outside Nigeria,” he said.
He said the Federal Government was consciously developing the Creative Industry in its renewed drive to diversify the economy away from oil.
The minister pledged the ministry’s support for the African Festival of Arts and Culture to be hosted in Nigeria in November.
Earlier, Asaolu said the AU was presently implementing Agenda 2063, which was a framework to promoting growth and social development in Africa.
“Out of this Agenda 2063, Aspiration No. 5 talked about Africa with strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics.
“So, even this aspiration alone if you put it out to the market it can solve the problems that we are facing in Africa,” he said.
The AU-ECOSOC, which is the AU’s platform for the Civil Society, used the opportunity of the courtesy visit to confer the Distinguished Fellowship of African Arts and Culture on the minister.