The 35th Meeting of the Chief Executives of Culture of the Federation was held at the Redemption Hall, Imo Concorde Hotel, Owerri-Imo State, from 28th – 31st March, 2011. Present at the event were the Department of Culture, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, six (6) Culture Parastatals of the Ministry, which include Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN), National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), National Gallery of Art (NGA), and host National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), as well as twenty (20) States, including FCT. These were Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Kwara, Ondo, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Plateau, Rivers, Katsina and FCT.
The meeting was declared open on Tuesday, 29th March, 2011 by Hon. Dr. Amanze Obi, the Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Imo State, who was ably represented by Mr. Ash Okoro, the former Director of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture, at an impressive ceremony. Ambassador Prof. Chinedu Asinu-Anosike, Chairman of Governing Board, Imo State Council for Arts and Culture, was also in attendance.
In his speech, the Hon. Commissioner stressed that Culture and Tourism had the potentials of turning around the fortunes of Nigeria and therefore commended NCAC for sustaining NAFEST and other cultural programmes, which would create windows of investment opportunities for our economic growth and prosperity.
In his opening remarks, Mr. M. M. Maidugu, the Executive Director/CEO, National Council for Arts and Culture stated that NCAC has remained focussed over the years in its determination towards re-engineering the culture sector to contribute its quota to the growth of our GDP. He therefore enjoined all stakeholders to be involved in this great task of cultural rebirth that would bring about wealth and job creation, poverty alleviation, peaceful co-existence and national unity.
The meeting deliberated on four (4) memos/reports from the NCAC:
i. Report on National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) 2010
ii. The 4th edition of the African Arts and Crafts Expo (AFAC) scheduled for 16th – 31st May, 2011
iii. The 25th edition of the NAFEST 2011 slated for 8th – 16th October, 2011
iv. The 6th National Culture Quiz Competition for Secondary Schools billed for November, 2011.
There were also presentation of memos/reports from the Department of Culture, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation; Federal Culture Parastatals and the States Councils for Arts and Culture present.
1. That the 25th National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) with the theme, “Nigerian Traditional Music: A Vehicle for Job Creation and National Unity” should hold between 8th and 16th October, 2011, at a venue yet to be determined.
2. That States should participate effectively at the 4th edition of the International African Arts and Crafts Expo with the theme, “Promoting Craft Industry for Economic Transformation” slated for 16th – 31st May, 2011 in Abuja, as a means of developing the craft industry sector for economic empowerment
3. Traditional Wrestling, as an event of NAFEST, was reviewed to feature only one (1) category, i.e. the Open Category
4. NAFEST’s Essay Writing Competition would only involve students of the Junior Secondary School level
5. States were enjoined to start preparation for the 6th edition of the National Culture Quiz Competition for Secondary Schools, scheduled for November, 2011, while specific dates and venue are to be determined in due course.
6. NCAC should embark on advocacy visits to State Chief Executives in order to sensitize them on support for cultural programmes.
7. The meeting expressed appreciations to all the 36 State Governors and the FCT Minister, for supporting their States Councils for Arts and Culture/History and Culture Bureaux. And for particular mention, Ekiti and Anambra that recently created the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, respectively.
8. The meeting stressed the need for the recognition of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) Certificates/Diploma by the Federal and State Civil Services.
9. Ondo State was commended for the establishment of a Cultural Village and a Community Museum in the State. Other States were enjoined to emulate them.
Delegates expressed profound gratitude to His Excellency, Chief Dr. Ikedi Ohakim, the Executive Governor of Imo State; Hon. Dr. Amanze Obi, the Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism; and Ambassador Professor Chinedu Asinu-Anosike, Chairman of Governing Board, Imo State Council for Arts and Culture, as well as the entire good people of Imo State, for accepting to host the meeting and the wonderful reception accorded them.
In conclusion, the CEC expresses its fervent hope for a peaceful 2011 elections.
Members of the Communiqué Drafting Committee
1. Hajiya Zainab I. Jibril (Plateau) – Chairman
2. Martin Adaji (NTN) – Member
3. Abel O. Olawuni (Osun) – Member
4. Yunoos Kareem (Kwara) – Member
5. Ineye Johnny Dudafa (Bayelsa) – Member
6. Sanusi S. Abdullahi (NCAC) – Secretary