The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment towards repositioning the culture and tourism sector to serve as a catalyst for economic development of Nigeria.
Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known on Monday, 10th July, 2017, while delivering an address at the 2nd edition of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) Quarterly Public Lecture, which held at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja-FCT.
Represented by Mr. George Ufot, the Director, External Cultural Relations in the Ministry, the Minister identified culture as the missing link in the sustainable development of growing economies around the world, saying Nigeria’s vision of job creation, poverty alleviation, diversified economy and becoming one of the leading global economies, can only be achieved if we make culture a major growth driver in conformity with contemporary global realities.
His words: “There is no gainsaying the fact that the culture and tourism sector, if given priority attention, can replace oil as the mainstay of our economy, as it is the case in several countries of the world”.
Lai Mohammed maintained that with the Federal Government’s renewed interest in the potentials of our cultural industries, government is willing to mobilize relevant agencies and institutions, stakeholders as well as the general public, to ensure the nation’s economy flourish, saying even the government’s policy of promoting Made-in-Nigeria goods is in furtherance of harnessing these cultural potentials.
He therefore commended the Management and Staffers of NICO, which has the mandate of harnessing the nation’s rich culture for national development, for initiating the Public Lecture Series, which, he said, has already become a platform for harvesting credible ideas in the quest to reposition the culture sector to contribute meaningfully towards the diversification of the economy.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Associate Professor Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, reaffirmed that the Institute’s Quarterly Public Lecture Series was conceptualized, as a veritable and strategic platform, where the nation can benefit immensely from the intellectual capacity and wealth of experience of eminent scholars, renowned culture administrators, top government functionaries, technocrats and critical stakeholders.
He disclosed that the Institute’s Public Lecture Series this year set out to underscore the intrinsic relationship between culture and sustainable economic development as well as emphasize the urgent need to give priority attention to harnessing the vast potentials in the culture and tourism sector, in our quest to diversify the nation’s economy.
Ayakoroma, who lamented the sorry state of our nation today as a result of negligence to our of the vast potentials of our culture sector, saying that, unless the cultural dimension is emphasized in our economic development agenda, as clearly demonstrated by the Asian Tigers, sustainable economic development in Nigeria will remain a mirage.
It will be recalled NICO has successfully organized several editions of the public lecture series, the last being the one, which took place on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017, eloquently delivered by His Excellency Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, the Executive Governor of Imo State.
Highlight of the event was the unveiling and formal presentation of the maiden edition of CultureScope: A Journal of the NICO to the public, marking another milestone in the annals of the Institute.
Dignitaries present were: Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, Vice Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN); Professor Shamsudeen O.O. Amali, former Vice Chancellor, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK); Professor Ama Gowon Doki, former Dean, Students Affairs, Benue State University, Makurdi; Professor Oshita Oshita, Director-General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR); Professor Edde Iji, Director of Research and Policy Analysis, IPCR; Mr. Arnaud Dornoh, Head, Cooperation and Cultural Affairs, Institut Francais du Nigeria; Alhaji Dr. Ambassador Shaban Audu, Etsu Kwali; HRH Samson Gamu Yare, the Chun Mada; HRM Okpoitari Diongoli, Opu Okun IV of Opokuma Kingdom, Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA of Bayelsa State, amongst others.
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