The Minster for Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has stated that the Federal Government has mapped out strategies to develop the creative industry for reliable sources of revenue generation.
This was coming just as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) declared that Nigeria is among African countries that have recognized the potentials of the cultural sector to alleviate poverty and create jobs.
Chief Duke stated this at the opening ceremony of the Creativity Week, with the theme, Creativity and National Development, at the National Press Centre, Radio House, Garki-Abuja, saying that such strategies will create wealth, generate employment, and alleviate poverty in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Anasthasia Daniel Nwaobia, further said the strategy was to catch them young, and that informed why this year’s Creativity Week focused on the Youths and the children, noting that this attention on the young Nigerians will create an avenue for them to express their creative ingenuity, the Honourable Minister, explained: “The Nigerian Government with the realization that the creative industry like music, film, video production, literary works, arts and crafts, dance etc are reliable sources of revenue generation has put in place strategies to develop this aspect of the economy. You will agree with me that the music industry in Nigeria is doing well and has really promoted Nigerian culture outside the country. There are famous musicians like Sunny Ade, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Osita Osadebe, Onyeka Onwenu, Tu Face, D’Bang, etc. So, many youths are involved in the fashion industry either as designers or models thus promoting the development of the textile in Nigeria. The film industry, known as Nollywood, has made so much impact in Nigeria and the world with our youths fully involved. The Ministry is working towards repositioning of our cultural endowment into revenue generating venture that will add value to the Nigerian economy.”
In a goodwill message read by Mr. George Ufot, Director of Culture in the Ministry, the Chief, Creative Economy Programme, UNCTAD, Edna dos Santos, said that promoting creativity and the creative sector is a pragmatic way to harness the ample creative talent and cultural heritage of developing countries for socio-economic and cultural development.
She commended Nigeria for launching Nigerian Chapter of Creative Africa in 2008, noting that it had motivated other African countries to start articulating policies to realize the potential of their creative economies, adding: “Today it is a growing recognition in Africa of the important economic contribution of the cultural sector and creative industries in promoting social and economic development.”
The event, which was organized in collaboration with Ministry of Information, in line with Creative Africa Initiative Programme of UNCTAD, had personalities like the Minister for Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Anasthasia M. Daniel Nwaobia, Minister for Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, the Chief, Creative Economy Programme, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Edna dos Santos, represented by Director of Culture in the Ministry, Mr. George Ufot, Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, Artistic Director, National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN), Mr. Martin Adaji, Executive Director, National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC), Mr. M.M. Maidugu, Ambassadors and High Commissioners of many countries, and primary and secondary schools, in attendance.