The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Thursday, February 17, said the Federal Government’s engagement with microblogging site, Twitter has been fruitful.
The Minister made this call while receiving the United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Akunna Cook in his office in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Lai Mohammed reiterated the motive behind the banning of Twitter in the country by the Federal Government; saying certain persons were using the microblogging site to cause disunity in the country.
“Twitter was suspended because it became a platform of choice; for those who are working for the disunity of this country,” he said.
“This is a country of 200 ethnic groups, very multi-religious; and there is a lot of forth lines that Twitter was exploiting.
“Before the suspension, there were a lot of notices and warnings. I am glad to say that our engagement with Twitter has been very productive and useful for both parties. The outcome of that engagement is going to help us not just in our engagement with Twitter; but in engagement with all social media platforms.”
The minister also solicited collaboration between Nigeria and the United States; in repositioning the nation’s creative and culture industry; especially in improving the quality of Nollywood movies.
According to him, the Nigerian government is working hard to reposition the creative and culture industry, which has been badly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, because of the immense contribution of the sector to the nation’s GDP.
Lai Mohammed listed some strategic interventions from the Nigerian Government in the Creative Industry including the N22.9 billion Central Bank of Nigeria Creative Industry Financing Initiatives; the N1 billion Bank of Industry Nollyfund; another N1 billion Bank of Industry Fashion and Beauty Fund; N-Power Creative and Project Act Nollywood Federal Grant.
In her remarks, Cook asked the Nigerian government to invest in the digital sector, saying it is the nation’s future.
She commended the Federal Government for refurbishing the National Theatre, Lagos which, she said, will create an eco-system and provide phenomenal opportunities for the stakeholders in the Creative Industry.
The US official also pledged her country’s readiness to collaborate with Nigeria towards boosting the nation’s creative industry.