The Honourable Minister, Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke has emphasized that, Nigeria, as the biggest black nation on the face of the earth, and its citizenry can always ascribe to culture, art and all of its endowments as its greatest common wealth for development.

Stating this in his remark at the Unveiling Ceremony of the Official Logo of the Abuja Biennial organised by National Gallery of Art (NGA), Wednesday, 10th December, 2014 at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, the Minister intimated that, the event was a giant stride in the direction of diversifying as well as enriching the offerings within the calendar of activities of NGA and providing a platform for Nigerian artists to express themselves.

 Believing that the Abuja Biennial will rekindle the spirit of creativity among artists and fuel the propensity for them to break current boundaries in terms of achievements, in terms of creativity as they continue to reposition Nigerian arts and culture as first among equals in the continent of Africa, Duke stressed that the most important exports of some great nations like USA, China, and Brazil has been culture and all its endowment.  

Duke also decried the poor rating of the culture sector by the managers of the Nigerian economy, saying: “Culture has truly contributed in a great way to the rebasing of the nation’s economy. And though the managers of the economy say our contribution so far is about 1.5% of the economy, I think they need to rebase that parameter of evaluation because I am sure that our contribution is way beyond 1.5%.”

In his vote of thanks, the Director-General of National Gallery of Art (NGA), Mr. Abdullahi Muku expressed satisfaction on the level of achievement recorded by the event although the programme, which was inspired by the Dak’Art Biennial (Senegal), Johannesburg Biennial (South Africa), and Venice Biennale (Italy), was supposed to take place in 2013 but for exigencies.

Dignitaries in attendance at the programme included the Cultural Attaché of the German Embassy in Nigeria, Dr. Purkar Woeth; British Council Country Representative, Mr. Chijioke Onyemere; Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma; Director-General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), Mr. Ferdinand Anikwe; Director-General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Mrs. Chika Balogun; former Director-General, National Gallery of Art (NGA), Dr. Paul Dike, President Female Artists of Nigeria, and Mrs. Ngozi Akonda, among others.

Njideka Dimgba

Corporate Affairs Unit