The Honourable Minster of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has described culture as the greatest source that bestows Nigeria its influence internationally, stressing that culture is very strategic to President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, in the sense that it is the greatest collateral that could define, redefine and redesign the space of interaction of any country in the world through the platform of tourism.
Stating this at the Ministerial Platform at National Press Centre, Radio House, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, Duke said culture remains one of the greatest tools that will be used alongside tourism to achieve the much0desred transformation of the country.
The Minister explained further: “In order to transform Nigeria and achieve President Goodluck Jonathan’s desired Transformation Agenda, culture is important. So, culture must be made a mainstream in the Transformation Agenda. It is culture that has the greatest influence to bestow Nigeria an enormous influence among the comity of nations. It is in line with this that the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation is not relenting in its efforts in boosting Nigerian culture and tourism. You can agree with me that culture has been regarded as a mere dancing at the airport or disturbance to people.”
According to him, the ministry had taken the story of Nigerian culture to a new level, through various programmes to show that culture can be used to bring unity to Nigeria, for instance, with the Abuja National Carnival, making Second Stanza of National Anthem a National Prayer, locating 235 potential heritage sites in Nigeria as major sources of wealth creation, and setting up cultural industries, among others.
To prove that he was not just telling stories, the Minister informed that the Ministry had come out with a working National Policy on Culture for Nigeria, just as the Ministry was launching a tourism brand, Fascinating Nigeria, on Thursday, 4th of July, 2013, demonstrating what the brand was all about by showing a two-minute documentary on Nigeria’s landscape and tourist potentials, and urging Nigerians to join hands with President Jonathan’s administration in its efforts at strengthening the abundant tourist potentials to transform the country.
NwNwagbo Pat Obi