The Honourable Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke, has said that films should be used as a medium to project Nigeria positively to the international community, asserting that the activities of filmmakers are very strategic to the economic growth of any country, which informed President Goodluck Jonathan’s recently approval of a N3 billion Intervention Fund for Nollywood.
Chief Duke stated this in his address on Friday, 16th August, 2013, at the 4th NICO Annual Public Lecture, with the theme, “Nollywood as a Medium for the Promotion of Nigeria’s Cultural Diplomacy,” delivered by Professor Ayo Akinwale, the Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin, at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos.
Duke, who said the film industry can serve as a major contributor to the growth of the culture and tourism sector, called on stakeholders in the industry to see themselves as Nigeria’s cultural ambassadors and that the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, was committed to repositioning the Nigerian culture and tourism sector, using Nollywood as one of the major platforms.
The Minister, who was represented by the Acting Director-General of Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), Mrs. Funmi Ladele, emphasized that films as cultural products and assets, are considered the most influential medium for entertainment and education; and called on Nigerians to take advantage of this, not only to launder the country’s international image, but also to draw attention to Nigeria, as a fascinating tourism destination.
He also commended the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, management and staff of the Institute, for the sustenance of the Annual Public Lecture, adding that theme was in consonance with government’s vision and aspiration of harnessing the vast culture and tourism potentials for the socio-economic transformation of the country.
NICO Training School, Lagos