The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Namibia will renew bilateral agreement on culture and tourism cooperation.
The Minister made this known on Thursday in Abuja when Mr Humphrey Geiseb, the High Commissioner of Namibia to Nigeria and Permanent Representative to ECOWAS paid him a courtesy visit.
Mohammed noted that bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and Namibia which started under the platform of the 1st Nigeria-Namibia Joint Commission session, held in 1992 had suffered setback.
“The agreements signed during that meeting, which was aimed at strengthening the ties between the two nations, covered culture, tourism, information, education, sports and social development, among others.
“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,’’ he said.
The minister said efforts were being made to renew the MoU for another five years.
He assured that both countries would act to implement the MoU to exploit the world class tourist attractions they were endowed with.
Mohammed recalled that in 2006, the Namibia Government, in line with the signed MoU on Cooperation in the area of Wildlife with the Government of Bauchi State – donated a total of 279 Wildlife animals to Bauchi State.
The animals, according to the minister 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.
He said the animals placed at the Sumu Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Ganjuwa Local Government Area of Bauchi State had flourished and multiplied.
The minister who expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Namibia for the gesture underscored the need for African countries to look inward for cooperation.
Earlier, the envoy thanked the government and people of Nigeria for the prominent role they played and support given to Namibia towards its independence in 1990.
In addition to culture and tourism cooperation and exchange, Geiseb requested the assistance of Nigeria in the development of Namibia film industry and promoting his country as location for film production.
He recalled that a Namibian actress, Ms Hazel Hinda, recently won the award for Best Supporting Actress at the African Movie Academy Awards in Lagos.
“Nollywood is regarded as the second largest film industry globally, and Namibia would like to work with Nigeria to bring about greater cooperation in the film industry,’’ he said
The envoy also disclosed that the High Commission of Namibia was planning to visit the Sumu Wildlife Sanctuary where the wildlife animals donated by his country to Nigeria are domiciled. (NAN)