Communiqué Issued At The 38th Meeting Of The Chief Executives Of Culture Of The Federation (CEC), Held At The Aminu Isah Kontagora Theatre Complex, Makurdi, Benue State, From Tuesday 16th-Friday 19th April, 2013


The 38th Meeting of the Chief Executives of Culture of the Federation was held at the Aminu Isah Kontagora Theatre Complex, Makurdi, Benue State, from Tuesday, 16th – Friday, 19th April, 2013. Twenty-six (26) States were present at the meeting as detailed below: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, FCT, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina, Kwara, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Yobe and five (5) Parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation (FMTC&NO), namely: the convener – National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), National Gallery of Art (NGA), National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN), and the Centre for Black African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC). Also present was the Deputy Director of Culture, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, representing the Honorable Minister for Tourism, Culture and National Orientation.

The meeting was declared open on Wednesday, 17th of April, 2013, by the Executive Governor of Benue State, Rt. Hon. Gabriel T. Suswam, PhD, CON, who was ably represented by Prof. Saint Gbilekaa, the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Benue State.

In his speech, the Executive Governor highlighted his government’s resolve and commitment to the development, preservation, and promotion of all the arts, culture and tourism potentialities of the State, by mapping out strategies and policies in promoting peace and national unity, which was in tune with the theme of the meeting, “Culture, Peace and National Transformation.”

In his address, Mr. M. M. Maidugu, the Executive Director/CEO, National Council for Arts and Culture and Chairman of CEC, called on his colleagues to exhibit a high level of creativity and commitment as well as the collective spirit required to arrive at the decisions that were endearing and could contribute to the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, and the Vision 20: 2020.

Resolutions Resolutions arising from the deliberations on the memos and briefs presented were as follow:

I. The meeting congratulated Nigeria on the occasion of her Centenary. It noted the efforts of the various levels of government at celebrating the occasion and once again called on the Private Sector to play its role in this respect.

II. State Governors and the FCT Minister were commended for ensuring their states participation at all national cultural programmes, which included NAFEST, AFAC and Abuja Carnival, etc. However, the CEC noted the continued absence of some states at national events. It therefore recommended Advocacy Visits to Executive Governors of such states to be led by a high-powered Federal Government Delegation.

III. The meeting received and approved the syllabus for NAFEST 2013. The festival was slated for Saturday 14th to Saturday 215t September, 2013, and would feature the following events: Traditional Dance and Music Competition with emphasis on Textile, Embroidery and Accessories (Physical and DVD Presentations), Children’s Essay Writing Competition, Children’s Drawing and Painting, Traditional Children’s Storytelling Contest, Traditional Wrestling (Intermediate Category only) that is 51kg – 60kg and Traditional Cuisine Competition.

IV. The meeting identified three states vying for the hosting rights of the 28th National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), namely Ondo, Ogun and Bayelsa, with the theme, “Culture, Peace and National Transformation.” The meeting acknowledged their various efforts and levels of preparedness for the hosting. The National Festival Secretariat was expected to announce the final decision on the hosting state.

V. The meeting applauded the arrangements so far put in place towards hosting the 6th edition of the African Arts and Crafts Expo (AFAC 2013) with the theme “Leveraging the Arts and Craft Industry for Job Creation and Economic Empowerment,” scheduled to hold in Abuja, FCT, from 1st to 15thJune, 2013.

VI. Some states were commended for responding to the call for submission of data collated on Nigerian Festivals and Crafts. However, letters were given reminding states on the need to submit and expand their submissions to avoid exclusion or inadequate representation in the final work. The aim of the project was to create measurable indices for assessing the impact of the activities of the cultural sector.

VII. Some states reported that they had formed School Cultural Clubs within their states in accordance with a resolution of the CEC meeting held in Minna, Niger State. Other states were encouraged to imbibe such initiatives and replicate same in their respective states.

VIII. The CEC totally disassociated itself from the wanton infringement of human dignity by some television stations and cable networks in their airing of culturally insensitive programmes that promote nudity and other provocative content. It rather advised such media to key into the various character building materials that had emanated from states and national cultural programmes over the years.

IX. The meeting expressed a sense of loss in respect of the late Governor of Kaduna State, Sir Patrick I. Yakowa and the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka. Similarly, it noted the demise of the Permanent Secretaries of Culture in Benue and Plateau States, the erstwhile Director of the Kano State History and Culture Bureau, Mallam Ali Bature, as well as various workers in the culture sector. The meeting particularly noted the loss of one of Nigeria’s literary icons, Professor Chinua Achebe, and acknowledged his immense contributions to the building of the Nation’s image worldwide.

X. The meeting noted the departure of some of its members either by way of elevation to higher posts or retirement. It prayed to God to guide and bless them in their new endeavours.

XI. The meeting noted the creative use of Public Private Partnership in some of its member organizations and called for greater use of the instrument so as to supplement government efforts at funding culture. In this regard, it called on the organized private sector to be more responsive when approached with such propositions.

Appreciation The meeting noted with gratitude the efforts of Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, at highlighting culture as an important aspect of the Transformation Agenda.

Delegates expressed profound gratitude to the Executive Governor of Benue State, Rt. Hon. Gabriel T. Suswam and the good people of Benue State for the wonderful reception accorded the delegates at the 38th Meeting of the Chief Executives of Culture of the Federation noted that this was the third time the State was hosting the CEC.

Similarly, a special commendation was extended to the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke and the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Nkechi Ijele for their supportive roles towards the success of the meeting and for putting in place some progressive measures towards repositioning and uplifting the sector to an enviable height.

Finally, the CEC noted with admiration the expression of interest to host the 2013 edition of NAFEST by Bayelsa, Ogun and Ondo States.

Members of the Communiqué Drafting Committee:

Mr. Richard Tsevende (Benue)         Chairman
Dame Queen N. Opara (Imo)            Member
Longe Michael Abayomi (Ekiti)          Member
Mal. Yunoos Kareem (Kwara)           Member
Mrs. Deborah Bature (Kaduna)         Member
Mr. Bisi Ayodele (National Troupe)   Member
Mr. Oludotun Osunsanya (NCAC)    Member