The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on Thursday Nigeria would continue to explore culture and tourism as veritable platforms to strengthen its ties with South Africa.
The minister stated this at a meeting with the South African Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane in Lagos.
He said: “We have always believed that culture and tourism are very effective platforms and avenues for cementing the relationship between the two countries.
“A few years back, we did actually put in motion the machinery for cultural exchanges between Nigeria and South Africa and we are still working on it because we believe that a lot of issues can be resolved when we bring to South Africa our very popular artistes because I am told that a few Nigerian musicians are extremely popular in South Africa and vice versa.”
Mohammed said following the recent happenings in South Africa such engagements and visitations at the highest level of government would inspire the citizens of both nations to continue to work harmoniously and live in peace.
“In the last half an hour or so, we discussed and we have really seen that more things unite us than those that divide us and we have resolved, at least at the level of the leadership, to ensure that the good ties between Nigeria and South Africa continue and also by example inspire our people to continue to work together and live as brothers and sisters, which they have done for many years,” he said.
In her remarks, Kubayi-Ngubane stressed the need for cultural exchanges between the citizens of the two countries as a deliberate policy to strengthen the bond between them.
The minister said she came to Nigeria to further demonstrate her country’s commitment to the discussions held between President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Muhammadu Buhari following the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.