The Honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has disclosed that the ministry and stakeholders in the culture sector have concluded a review of the Culture Policy for Nigeria and that the new document will be presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) soon in fulfilment of the statutory mandate of the ministry and in line with the expectations of global Conventions.
Duke disclosed this during the official presentation of the Report on the 3-Day Workshop on “Repositioning Cultural Workers for Improved Productivity,” organized by National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) for staffers of the ministry earlier in July this year.
The Minister, enthralled with the mini-documentary produced by the Institute on the workshop, had commended the leadership of NICO under Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, saying: “I want to say that I am extremely delighted to have this report from the leadership of NICO and I will like to use this opportunity to reiterate the determination of the leadership of the Ministry to escalate the cerebral content of professionalism in the sector.”
He decried the thinking of professionals in other sectors who often see culture as having no scientific content, adding, “they feel there is no great thought behind what we do and I think that this kind of thinking belongs to the past. In this transformation era, we are determined to reposition culture as a major platform for any nation’s transformation; it is very important for us to reposition culture as the great asset of our nation.”
“Often times, we look at our assets in terms of the physical attributes. However, the intangible assets of our country, the values and the systems with which we became what we are today, are the most significant collateral that any nation will be proud of. And so, it is important for us to propagate that culture has the intellectual component; that culture can predict circumstances; that culture can be used as a tool for national cohesion; and that culture is everything,” he further stated.
According to him, Nigerians should not lose focus, but rather “pay greater attention to our culture so as not to lose the very essence of who we are as a nation,” adding that the Ministry will continued to engage with the wider Nigerian public so that all aspects of our culture are communicated across the country and used to restore national cohesion.
Presenting the report earlier, the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, thanked the Honourable Minister and the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Nkechi Ejele, for the unique opportunity given to the Institute for the first time to organize the workshop, informing that the patronage had spurred the Institute to work on a repositioning programme for Honourable Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, and Directors of Culture, among others; and that two workshops, “Reinventing Cultural Administration in Nigeria” and “Developing Media Strategies in the Culture Sector,” are billed for 21st – 23rd and 28th – 30th October, 2013, respectively, in Abuja.
Corporate Affairs, Unit