The Honourable Minister for Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke has said that unless concerted efforts and deliberate policies were taken to adequately inculcate our cherished cultural values in our youths, the nation will be denied the benefits of the quality and effective leadership they were expected to provide in future.
Duke made this known at the maiden edition of the National Children’s Cultural Extravaganza organized by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), on Thursday, 12th December, 2013 at the Cyprian Ekwensi Cultural Centre, Area 10, Garki, Abuja.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director of National Orientation in the Ministry, Mr. Daniel Tifato, agreed with UNESCO that no development can be sustainable without a strong cultural component saying, “culture is the central pillar of growth and development and any society or nation that does not give priority attention to its culture will most certainly continue to lag behind in all indices of growth and development.”
According to him, most developed countries of the world and even emerging economies have attained enviable heights because they accorded culture a pride of place in their development agenda.
Decrying that despite the strong connection between culture and development, Nigeria’s development efforts have not achieved meaningful progress due to the neglect of our culture, Duke regretted that as a result of deliberate policy of inculcating the right cultural education in our children, the younger generations have been exposed to harmful cultural habits and unbridled cultural assimilation to the detriment of our indigenous culture.
He therefore assured the management and staff of NICO that government will continue to support their quest to groom our children as responsible citizens and our culture ambassadors.
Corporate Affairs Unit