The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government is very focused on the economy and has a definite economic plan.
”Those who think we do not have an economic plan have not taken the pains to check out our plan,” the Minister said in Abuja on Thursday while receiving Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria Sadanobu Kusaoke.
”We are working to reflate the economy, provide more jobs, invest in infrastructure, power, railways and roads and by so doing create the enabling environment for industries to thrive,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said there were 34 priority actions to be implemented in the 2016 budget, listing some of them as increasing low interest lending to the Real Sector and implementing measures to achieve self-sufficiency and become net exporters of certain agricultural products.
He said Nigeria would achieve self sufficiency in tomato paste by 2016, rice production by 2018, wheat production by 2019, in addition to increasing local production of maize, soya, poultry and livestock, among others.
The Minister expressed delight at the offer by the Japanese Ambassador to assist in developing the capacity of Nigerian film producers in the area of animation and children films.
”We don’t have enough films for children in Nigeria, and we run the risk of our children watching films that are inappropriate for their age and moral upbringing,” he said, adding that while Nigerian film makers are not lacking in creativity, technology for making animation poses a challenge.
Earlier, the Japanese Ambassador said his country would like to collaborate with the Ministry of Information and Culture in the area of cultural exchange and film industry.
Ambassador Kusaoke said he would want Nigerian movies to be shown in Japan and for Japanese films to be shown in Nigeria, in addition to promoting Japanese Culture in Nigeria.
The Minister later presented the Ambassador with copies of ”The Strategic Implementation Plan for the 2016 Budget of Change”, which documents the key short-term priorities of the Administration to place the economy on the upward trajectory as it is re-positioned for Change, Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development.