As the baton of leadership changes in three parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, the Honourable Minister, Chief Edem Duke has charged both old and new Directors-General /CEO’s to endeavour to work in harmony in order to aggregate the strength of the sector, in line with the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

In a brief event to formally welcome the new Directors-General: Mrs. Dayo Keshi (National Council for Arts and Culture, NCAC), Mrs. Chika Balogun (National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, NIHOTOUR), and Sir Ferdinand Anikwe (Centre for Black and African Arts & Civilization, CBAAC), in his office in Abuja on Friday, 5th September, 2014, the Minister, in a congratulatory speech, charged the new appointees, stressing that, although they may find themselves in positions of leadership today, tomorrow they may not, but the bonding that they create and the values they propel will be what they will remembered for.

Duke, who implored them to be of good report, said the entire culture sector was expecting to see their footprints as soon as possible in their new assignments, further stressing that in their line of duty, they should endeavour not to, “pay evil for evil,” but with dedication and commitment, lead their various organisations with the fear of God.

According to the Minister, nobody was a repository of all knowledge and it was imperative for them to meet frequently to consult with one another, share ideas and so on; but most importantly, take the programme of one agency as the programme of every agency.

His words: “The programme of the Ministry is the programme of every agency; the programme of Government is the programme of every agency. So, we must have that at the back of our minds. A situation in which people are working in National Orientation Agency and do not know their colleagues who are working in National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) is very strange; and we cannot afford to be strange fellows in the family that we call our own. So also, somebody from the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) must know his or her colleague who is in CBAAC.”

Duke therefore stressed the importance of the synergy, saying it should be topmost in their agenda if unity must be attained in order to create a synergy that will strengthen the work in the culture and tourism sector.Mrs. Dayo Keshi

In their brief respective responses, Mrs. Dayo Keshi, a retired Director in the Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, who is succeeding Mr. M. M. Maidugu as DG/CEO of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), thanked the Honourable Minister for the opportunity to serve, saying indeed, the value that they will bring to bear in their new assignments will no doubt be the testament they will leave behind.

Her words: “I just want to say thank you for the opportunity to serve; for indeed, the value we will bring to whatever we do is what will be the testament that we will leave behind. We have large footprints to follow and I am happy that they are still part of the family. The departing DGs will not depart permanently from the culture family. So, references will be made and, of course, we are going to make sure that as much as possible, we do that which is required of us and much more.”Sir Ferdinand Anikwe

On his part, Chief Ferdinand Anikwe, who until his appointment was the Permanent Secretary, Enugu State Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs, and takes over from Professor Babatunde Babawale, as Director-General/CEO, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), thanked God for the fact that the culture sector has a Minister, who is seriously schooled in the norms and doctrines of cultural promotion and development, expressing optimism that with the man, Edem Duke, they will be able to do what is expected of them in order to promote what the Ministry is doing and indeed the entire country.

Mrs. Chika Balogun, who was appointed to take over from Dr. Munzali Dantata, as the Director-General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), also thanked the Minister for the opportunity to serve, saying, “For me, I am already a part of the family and I will disturb the Honourable Minister on a daily basis for guidance, direction and I will do so with the outgoing DGs and the DGs that are also serving now. It is an honour to serveMrs. Chika Balogun and I am sure all of us will do our very best to put the best in the sector.”

Earlier in her address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Nkechi Ejele, congratulated the out-gone Directors-General, saying it was a pleasure working with them, and that their leaving the service of their respective establishments does not mean their severance of ties with the culture and tourism sector, as the Ministry will always draw from their wealth of experience.

Ejele also congratulated the newly-appointed chief executives, pointing out that it was a call by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for them to serve and further develop the sector, to contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the country.

Mrs. Nkechi EjelePresent at the occasion were Mr. M. M. Maidugu (former DG, NCAC), Dr. Munzali Dantata (former D-G, NIHOTOUR), serving Directors-General: Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma (National Institute for Cultural Orientation, NICO), Alhaji Abdallah Yusuf Usman (National Commission for Museums and Monuments, NCMM), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo (Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC), as well as the Director, Human Resources Management of the Ministry, Dr. Ochapa Ogenyi.

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja.