Cultural-display-620x350The recent rebasing of the Nigerian economy has clearly shown that the creative industry is making a huge impact on the annual earnings of the nation.

Obviously committed to enhancing the chances of this sector, the National Institute of Cultural Orientation, NICO, has started boosting the manpower base in culture administration to cushion the inadequate service delivery in the sector.

The agency organised a five day training exercise for over 40 cultural workers selected from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation to enhance improved productivity by making them to understand the dynamism of culture in their work environment.

This year’s training featured resource persons, who are not only scholars but also well-grounded in culture and tourism. They are: Associate Professor ABC Duruaku (Imo State University), Professor Barth Chukwuezi, the Director Department of Educational Services and Training National Commission for Museums and Monuments, NCMM Abuja, Barr. Abayomi Oyelola and Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma (Executive Secretary, NICO), among others.

Declaring the training open in Nasarawa State, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke who was represented by a Director in the Ministry Dr. Ochapa Ogenyi, regretted that the Civil Servants have not been delivering the key services in every sector because of inadequate training.

He said: “Today, civil service is not delivering the service it is supposed to; in health, education, culture, governance, agriculture, oil and gas, and in finance, civil servants have not been properly positioned, given the necessary capacity to deliver services. What we are witnessing today, the training of over 40 cultural officers of level seven to ten is the beginning of series of training programmes that we will undertake in the next few weeks and months to come, after this one we will move to ministry until everybody have some level of capacity to be able to be efficiently discharge the duties of its office.

“I am sure by the time economy will be rebase in the next three more years the increase output will show and this is what we are trying to lay the foundation for. We are trying to move away from any oil dominated sector to a non-oil driven sector, as we all know the dilemma of oil revenue; many countries in the world are now developing alternative sources of energy, America which used to buy 30 per cent of our oil are no longer buying it. So there is a great challenge to diversify the economy and onus is lies on culture and tourism which is very important exchange earner.”

In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma said that the Institute has been mandated to organize the workshop, adding that the last exercise was very rewarding. “The last exercise was very rewarding and we believe that this one will be much more rewarding, as you have come; I believe you are coming with expectations. I want to tell us that, workshop of this nature is more of knowledge but unfortunately some staffers are looking more toward the financial benefits gain of the training, let me tell you the money will finish today or tomorrow but the knowledge you are gaining will never be lost because we are living in the world that is knowledge-driven.”

In his lecture, Professor Barth Chukwuezi, a Director in the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, emphasized the need for proper documentation of cultural resources. He said: “We are living in an age where information and knowledge are quite challenging and there is need to confront these challenges for better adaptation to our environment and society development.”

Professor ABC Duruaku, in his own lecture, titled, “Re-inventing the Culture Sector in a Developing Economy: a Template for Nigeria,” noted that the culture sector in the country has been neglected owing to misconception of importance of culture.

He said: “Government is paying a lip service, they have overlooked and taken for granted, the abandonment of some of Nigeria sites which I believe, if solved, would in no doubt contribute immensely to Gross Domestic Product, GDP. Despite the huge potentials of tourism sector in the country, the huge revenue from oil blocks, oil exports has consigned other vital sector such as tourism sector agricultural sector to mention but few that are supposed to bring effective and sustainable development to the periphery of economic activities in the country.”

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