By Adeniyi Onaara
Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret. ), the president, stated on Sunday that it was instructive that Nigeria was gaining favorable international recognition as a nation that supported media freedom and freedom of expression.
He claimed that this was predicated on the government’s recognition of the critical roles that media education and information literacy played in sustainable development.
Buhari made this declaration while giving his “full support” for three significant international events slated to take place in Nigeria in October and November 2022, according to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
They include the Global Media, Information Literacy Week in Abuja in October 2022 organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
the second Global Association of Literary Festivals Conference in Abeokuta in November, as well as the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry in Lagos.
President Buhari said the international events were opportunities to showcase the country’s rich heritage in culture, the arts, tourism, and entertainment, as well as improvements in media freedom, in a statement titled “President Buhari pledges support as Nigeria hosts major cultural, tourism, and literary events.”
Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, had earlier declared that hosting the UNESCO Global Media, Information Literacy Week in 2022 will assist combat the spread of fake news, misinformation, and hate speech.
Buhari encouraged citizens to use the activities to demonstrate the characteristics “that make us a distinctive, kind, and peace-loving people,” expressing his joy at seeing visitors from abroad.
According to the statement, “Welcoming the decision by the World Tourism Organization of UNESCO and the Global Association of Literary Festivals to grant Nigeria the right to host these separate historic events, the President assures all relevant stakeholders and participants of the warmth and hospitality of the people of Nigeria.”
Regarding the MIL Week, Buhari observes that it is illuminating that Nigeria is gaining favorable attention from outside as a nation that supports media freedom and freedom of expression, acknowledging the crucial roles that information literacy and media education play in sustainable development.
The President stated at the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry that the government would continue to invest more resources in the sector due to the fast development of Nigeria’s film, fashion, music, and ICT industries as well as the country’s growing appeal and acceptance abroad.
Buhari listed the Creative Industry Financing Initiative as one of his administration’s initiatives. It is run by the Central Bank of Nigeria in partnership with the Bankers’ Committee and has given many young Nigerians working in the industries of fashion, film, music, and IT single-digit financing.
He pointed out that after the facility was given to the CBN, the $100 million project to transform the National Theatre in Lagos into a premier creative park is still in progress.
The President, therefore, expressed confidence 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, Professor Wole Soyinka.