Buhari: My Govt Guarantees Media Freedom, Civil Rights
*Pledges support for hosting of major cultural, tourism events
Deji Elumoye in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that his administration guarantees media freedom and freedom of expression in the country.
This was just as he also promised total support for three major international events scheduled to hold in Nigeria in October and November this year, saying they are opportunities to showcase the nation’s rich heritage in culture, arts, tourism and entertainment as well as advancements on media freedom.
Nigeria would be hosting the 2022 UNESCO Global Media, Information Literacy (MIL) Week in Abuja, in October; the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry in Lagos, as well as the 2nd Global Association of Literary Festivals Conference in Abeokuta by November.
Welcoming the decision by UNESCO, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the Global Association of Literary Festivals to grant Nigeria the right to host the separate historic events, the president, in a statement issued yesterday by his Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, assured all relevant stakeholders and participants of the warmth and hospitality of Nigerians.
On the MIL Week, Buhari noted that it was instructive that Nigeria was attracting positive international attention as a country that promotes media freedom and freedom of expression, recognising the important roles information literacy and media education play in sustainable development.
On the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry, the president said the rapid growth of Nigeria’s film, fashion, music, and ICT sector, and the increase in international appeal and acceptance would continue to spur government to devote more resources to the sector.
Among other initiatives, he recalled that the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) established by his administration and managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee has provided single-digit financing to many young Nigerians in the fields of fashion, film, music and information technology.
He noted that the $100 million re-development of the National Theatre, Lagos, into a world-class Creative Park was also ongoing, following the handover of the facility to CBN and the Bankers Committee.
The Nigerian leader expressed hope that the literary world would find many good things to celebrate about Nigeria when they meet in the historic city of Abeokuta, homeland and birthplace of one of Nigeria’s finest literary icons and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
Buhari said he was also delighted to welcome international visitors to Nigeria and urged fellow compatriots to use the period to exhibit the values, “that make us a unique, friendly and peace-loving people.”