The Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke, has said that culture and tourism, which is one of the top three economic activities in the world, is now the new frontier for the growth and development of the Nigerian economy, and has called for the support of the private sector and stakeholders in the culture sector, that it was high time culture and tourism was mainstreamed in the economic agenda of the country.
Chief Duke, who stated this in his address at the official opening ceremony of the 8th edition of Abuja Carnival 2012, tagged, “Carnival of Peace and Unity,” held at the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Saturday, 24th November, 2012, said mainstreaming culture and tourism in the economic agenda will galvanize the creativity of Nigeria’s teeming youths and women and convert the potentials of culture and tourism into an enabling pillar for the actualization of our millennium development goals.
According to him, the diversity of Nigeria’s culture, the multiplicity of our cherished heritage, and the share creativity of our traditional and cultural artistry as expressed in the Abuja Carnival, is a statement to the world that ours is a culture and tradition that defines our pre-eminence on the continent of Africa.
Speaking further, he said, Nigeria has made a new statement that indeed she is the “Cultural Capital of Africa” and the cultural capital of the African Diaspora, noting that with the support of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Nigeria’s culture has defined its place in the economic and socio-cultural development of the country.
He stated also that through the Abuja National Carnival, the country has unravelled before the face of all the citizens of the world that indeed we are a proud and heroic people, who cherish its rich cultural heritage and tradition.
Chief Duke paid glowing tribute to Her Excellency, the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, who represented Mr. President, stating that, “we are extremely delighted and most appreciative of your time, coming out for the first time in several months to honour your own people. Therefore, our hearts are full of joy and with your words of encouragement for the culture sector; we will take Nigeria’s culture and tourism to the next level.”
Jonathan N. Nicodemus