By G9ija

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has
called for the implementation of the various MoUs between Nigeria and
Namibia, especially in the areas of culture and tourism, to ensure
that they translate into economic benefits for the two countries.

The Minister made the call in Abuja on Thursday when he received the
Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Humphrey Geiseb, on a
courtesy visit, a statement signed by Ministry spokesperson Segun Adeyemi said.

He observed that the bilateral cooperation between the two nations,
which dates back to 1992 on the platform of the 1st Nigeria-Namibia
Joint Commission, expired without implementation, and expressed the
hope that the MoUs will be revived for implementation this time
around.

“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,” Mr
Mohammed said.

He promised to encourage a working relationship between Nollywood and
the Namibian Film Industry, against the background of the interest
expressed by a talented Namibian actress to feature in Nollywood
movies as a way of further honing her professional skills.

The Minister, who welcomed the support offered by Namibia to help
improve Elephant conservation in Nigeria,
stressed that with global warming and poaching, African wildlife is in
danger of extinction.

He thanked the Namibian Government for supporting 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,” Mr Mohammed said.

In his remarks, the High Commissioner went down memory lane to recount
the support which Namibia received from Nigeria in its struggle for
independence, and said the Namibia-Nigeria Joint Commission, which
last met in 2010, will meet next month to consider all the various
areas of cooperation between the two countries.

He listed additional areas of cooperation to include creative
industries, beef infrastructure, animal conservation, tourism and oil
and gas sector.