The Federal Government will deepen relations with Sudan in the culture and creative sectors for economic development of the two countries, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said.
The minister disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja when he received the Sudanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Ibrahim-Bushra Ali.
Mohammed said that Nigeria and Sudan, though not neighbours, were kindred and have cultural affiliation and exchange through education.
He added that many Sudanese traced their origin to Nigeria and vice versa, while there were many Nigerians that studied and some still studying in Sudan.
The minister said that the two countries would strengthen ties for economic gains, noting that “it is about time we change our concept on economic relations. It should go beyond the buying of oil, machinery and other physical items.
“We must look at the creative industry as the area where both countries can improve relations to make up for the deficit in economic relations that we are complaining about.
“After the global economic meltdown which led to decline in manufacturing and production industries, there has been significant increase in the export of creative goods globally.”
The minister explained that Nigeria would work out a modality for the development of Sudanese films using the “Kannywood’’ (Hausa movies), which is very popular and acceptable in Sudan.
Earlier, the Sudanese ambassador had told the minister that the relationship between Nigeria and Sudan was that of “kinship and blood’’ and there were more than five million Sudanese living in Nigeria.
He said many Sudanese of Nigerian origin occupied sensitive and key positions in Sudan, adding that thousands of Nigerians were also studying in his country.
Ali stressed the need for both countries to revitalise relations in the economic sector.