The National Assembly has declared its commitment towards the transformation of Nigeria and its economy through the use of culture and tourism, noting that it is aware that the culture sector is the mainstay of the world economies.
The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who stated this at the Boat Regatta event of the Abuja National Carnival, said the National Assembly see the Carnival as a rallying point for all Nigerians to interact and develop a national culture, and urged all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to support the Carnival, so that it will deepen national cohesion as well as boost the tourism benefits and inter-cultural understanding.
The Deputy Senate President said: “I wish to assure you of the commitment of the National Assembly to the development and full harnessing of our cultures and tourism for national unity and transformation. The National Assembly will continue to do all within its powers to ensure that other critical indices in the culture-tourism sector, such as security and infrastructural development, are further boosted to enable the sector to blossom to full potentials as a way of diversifying the nation’s economy. I commend the Minister for Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, for the innovative ideas and values he has brought to bear on the organization of the 2012 edition of the Abuja National Carnival. I commend all the participating cultural troupes from various states for their display of our rich and diverse cultural heritage.”
Sen. Ekweremadu, who sponsored the Adaeze Cultural Troupe from Enugu state, as well as invited his friend, Dr. Denzil Douglas, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, asserted that Nigerian cultural diversity should be the basis of Nigerian strength, as well as serve as a veritable platform for harmonious co-existence.
He described the boat regatta as, “an event adorned in colours with well decorated boats and paddlers that create exciting rhythms and harmony in artful display of Nigerian skills that are filled with aquatic splendour, to boost national pride.”
Earlier in his remarks, Chief Edem Duke said he was glad that Nigerian culture was being showcased through the aquatic culture, adding that it was an evidence that Nigeria was very rich and blessed with all kinds of admirable culture.
On his part, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, Dr. Denzil Douglas, expressed his joy for witnessing Nigerian culture, calling for collaboration: “There is need for us to collaborate and express our cultures for the purpose of peace and harmony. We need a message of peace so that we can all live in harmony. I look forward to hosting Nigeria in my domain for this kind of cultural expression.”
Giving the vote of thanks, the acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Mr. Chudi Nwandu, commended the guests for their presence and participants for their efforts, saying that the Boat Regatta event was quite successful with the display of various aquatic cultures with creativity from riverine communities in Nigeria.
Five states, namely, Akwa Ibom Bayelsa, Niger, Ogun and Rivers, participated in the regatta event.