The Honourable Minster of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has inaugurated the National Heritage Council and Endowment for the Arts, with Mr. Igho Sanomi as the Chairman.
The Minister, who described the inauguration as historic, charged the Board to promote Nigerian heritage and arts to the international platform, saying that it was necessary because Nigeria, with over 100 heritage sites across the country, is highly regarded by UNESCO.
He added: “In this regard, we must restore and project our arts and heritage. That is why, I charge these Nigerians, who are icons in the Board, to pursue the objectives of the National Heritage Council and Endowment for the Arts we are putting in place today. This is a project deep down in the heart of President Goodluck Jonathan. I have passion for the project too; that is why I am happy that this inauguration is taking place today.”
The objectives, he continued among others are to foster the place of objects of significance, to develop a policy for the sector, to encourage knowledge, to promote Nigeria to the international platform, to underscore the importance of the visual, literary and performing arts, and to ensure realization of iconic properties in the country.
Responding on behalf of the Board Members, the Chairman, Mr. Igho Sanomi, commended President Goodluck Jonathan and the Honourable Minister, Chief Edem Duke, for the vision and setting up the Board, promising that members will work assiduously towards realising the objectives.
“We will make sure that we achieve the objectives of setting up the board. We must do all we can to encourage our arts and heritage. The Board is private sector driven. We will surely pursue the mandate;” he assured.
The membership of the Board inlude Chief (Mrs.) Folorunsho Alakija (Vice-Chair), Sir Emeka Offor, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, Omoba Yemisi Shyllon, Sen. (Mrs.) Daisy Danjuma, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, Chief (Mrs.) Nike Okundaye, Dr. Emmanuel Nsan, Mr. E. J. Williams, and Arc. (Mrs.) Fifi Ejindu.
Present at the event were the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Nkechi Ejele, the Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, Director-General, National Gallery Art (NGA), Mr. Abdullahi Muku, Executive Director, National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC), Mr. M. M. Maidugu, General Manager, National Theatre, Mallam Kabir Yusuf, and the Director of Culture in the Ministry, Mr. George Ufot, among others.
Nwagbo Pat Obi