The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said
the Federal Government and the United Nations, UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are currently working with some private sector players to establish a
Tourism Academy in Lagos.
The Minister disclosed this in Lagos at the graduation of
the first set of trainees of the Terra Kulture-owned Terra Academy For
the Arts (TAFTA), saying the Academy will provide accessible
vocational and managerial transformative training for the tourism and
“We are very keen to expand the opportunities available to our youths
through training. I am therefore happy to announce that we are
currently working with the UNWTO and some private sector players to
establish a Tourism Academy in Nigeria. This initiative was launched
and approved during the global conference on Tourism, Culture and the
Creative Industry held in Lagos last November.
“In recognition of our country’s giant strides in the Creative
Industry, Nigeria was chosen
as one of the two countries in Africa to host the Academy,” he said,
adding that the UNWTO also plans to work with Nollywood to positively
change Africa’s image.
Alhaji Mohammed said the Tourism Academy will be complemented by
organizations such as TAFTA to train Nigerian youths on how to be
gainfully employed through their creative abilities.
“With TAFTA targeting 65,000 youths between the ages of 16 and 35 for
training in the next five years, I can say without equivocation that
TAFTA is contributing its own quota – and it’s a huge quota – to
efforts to solve the youth unemployment problem in Nigeria,” he said.
The Minister poured encomium on the founder of TAFTA, Mrs. Bolanle
Austen-Peters, whom he said has excelled in the Performing Arts and in
movies and was involved in discovering, nurturing, exposing and
projecting talent from Nigeria through Terra Kulture since 2003.
He expressed delight that Mrs. Austen-Peters has now deemed it fit to
establish TAFTA, an online academy set up to create a platform for
indigent youths to learn technical skills in the areas of light
design, sound design, animation and script writing, among others.
Alhaji Mohammed expressed delight that Mrs. Austen-Peters, who is the
Provost of TAFTA and the Founder of Terra Kulture, has decided to
extend her attainment of excellence in the performing arts and movie
production to the training of youths to prepare them for gainful
“Who can ever forget ‘Saro the Musical’, the premiere of which I
watched live in London; ‘Wakaa’ or ‘The Kalakuta Queens’, also
musicals, just to name a few? I recall that ‘The Kalakuta Queens’ was
performed for a global audience when Nigeria hosted the United Nations
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission for Africa meeting in
Abuja in 2018. Those who watched that performance were so dazzled that
they have continued to talk about it to this day,” he said.
The Minister pledged the partnership of the Federal Ministry of
Information and Culture with TAFTA to extend the invaluable training
of youths in the creative sector across the length and breadth of
Nigeria, adding that when vacancies are available, TAFTA graduates can
be recruited by some of the parastatals under the ministry, while the
Academy can also help train some of staffers of the ministry,
especially the great talents in the National Troupe of Nigeria.
He congratulated TAFTA for the successful graduation of the first set
3,750 trainees, and admonished the trainees to take advantage of the
opportunity offered to them by TAFTA.