The new Executive Director/CEO of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Mrs. Dayo Keshi is taking on her new role faithfully pledging development of the economy through the culture sector.

Briefing journalists at her office in Abuja last week, Mrs. Keshi expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve as she promised to provide necessary leadership and vision that would stimulate appreciation of the contribution of artistic and cultural expression to national development.

“If the role of culture in our development process has not been properly and adequately appreciated, we, administrators of the sector must use every opportunity to make a change, to rededicate our commitment and to use what we have to build a new dynamic future in which culture takes its rightful place in our development process.

“NCAC has the ability and capacity to lead the drive and where we do not have the requisite capacity, we shall build it. When we efficiently develop our cultural industry, especially our arts and crafts and fashion industries, we’ll be able to employ and employment will be in leaps and bounds. Once training is given to people, especially in arts and crafts, they get empowered to make a living for themselves. Once a business is viable, it brings in money and nobody leaves that business, so it is incumbent on us to make sure that the various aspects of our cultural industries become economically viable,” she said. 

According to her, “Nigeria, unlike many other African countries, has the potential of showcasing over 700 different aspects of our cultural industries contrary to the much perceived that productivity from the cultural sector is only limited to the arts such as paintings, sculptures etc. There is a viable industry in our textiles, dances and performances, to name a few.”

She underscored the need to pay attention to cultural preservation saying: “The diversity of our culture strengthens our unity and who we are as a people. Within this broad context is the role and contribution of culture to the transformation agenda of President Jonathan. It makes it inevitable that we must do away with just routine and begin to think outside the box on how we can do our work better, more effectively, efficiently and transparently.  

“This also means that we must engage ourselves in new ideas and bring in innovation in the development and promotion of our cultural industries which has the potential to create thousands of millions of jobs if properly structured,” she added.

The organisation of key events such as the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) and African Arts and Crafts Exhibition (AFAC) are areas where the new head promised to tinker with in order to scale them up.

Not new to the culture sector, Mrs. Dayo Keshi was Director in the Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation and has spent over three decades in the sector.

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