The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has demanded the implementation of the various Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and Namibia, especially in the areas of culture and tourism.
The Minister made the call Thursday, in Abuja while receiving the Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Humphrey Geiseb, on a courtesy visit.
In a statement signed by the spokesperson of the ministry, Segun Adeyemi the minister noted that the bilateral cooperation between the two nations in 1992 on the platform of the 1st Nigeria-Namibia Joint Commission, expired without implementation.
He said if the MoUs revived for implementation, it would translate into economic benefits for the two countries.
“Because the agreement on tourism cooperation between both countries suffered from lack of follow-up, a separate MOU on tourism cooperation was decided upon during the 3rd session of the Joint Commission in 2008, and signed six years later, in 2014.
“Unfortunately, the MOU, which had a lifespan of five years, has expired and, until then, nothing was done by our two countries. I am aware that efforts are on to renew the MoU for another five years. Hopefully, this time, we will act to implement the MoU,” Mohammed said.
The minister further said he will encourage a working relationship between Nollywood and the Namibian Film Industry.
The Minister also welcomed the support by Namibia to promote Elephant conservation in Nigeria, he stated that with global warming and poaching, African wildlife may go into extinction.
He lauded the Namibian Government for aiding Nigeria with 279 wildlife animals in line with the signed MoU on Cooperation in the area of wildlife with the Government of Bauchi State.
“The animals, which comprised of 10 Giraffes, 53 Burchell’s Zebras, 14 Elands, 23 Blue Wildebeests, 21 Red Hartebeests, 24 Oryx, 26 Kudus, 52 Springboks and 56 Common Impalas, were placed at the Sumu Wildlife Sanctuary, which is located in Ganjuwa Local Government Area of Bauchi State. We remain grateful to the Government and people of Namibia for this,” the minister said.
On his part, the High Commissioner, Humphrey D. Geiseb noted that Nigeria had been supportive in its struggle for independence. He noted that the Namibia-Nigeria Joint Commission met last in 2010. He added that to enhance cooperation between the two countries they will meet again next month to consider additional areas of cooperation to include creative industries, beef infrastructure, animal conservation, tourism, and oil
and gas sector.