The Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Mrs. Dayo Keshi says there is the urgent need to encourage structured investments by government and stakeholders in the culture sector to drive home the economic importance of the nation’s cultural industries.

This was contained in an address she presented at the Round Table Forum and Official Unveiling of NCAC @ 40 Logo on Tuesday, 8th September, 2015 at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, as part of activities lined up for the 40th Anniversary celebration of NCAC, designed to re-engineer and reform the cultural industries towards contributing to national development.

Mrs. Keshi stated that, laying a solid foundation where creative industries are projected as economic goldmines will provide direction that will expand our cultural industries, equip the sector with the required capacity for sustainability, and position it as a major player in the nation’s economic development.

According to her, all that is required from government and stakeholders of the Nigerian Arts and Crafts industry is conscious and concerted efforts towards developing the capacity for undertaking the supply of large volume and high standard products, which can effectively dominate the domestic market, while excelling in the global market.

With the presence of scholars, artists, investors and other stakeholders present at the event to interact, create awareness on policy issues as well as exchange ideas towards improving skills and knowledge, Dayo expressed optimism that such intellectual discuss can reposition the sector, including the development of products that will compete favourably in global markets.

She expressed optimism that the forum will clearly define the future of Nigerian Arts and Culture while achieving the objectives of challenging the practitioners in the industry to strive towards acquiring necessary skills and knowledge to enhance production of goods, developing appropriate structure, required capacity and skills needed to ensure sustainability in the sector, chart a course for propelling the market and increasing demands for wide range of cultural products and services as well as enlighten Nigerians to the imperatives of our cultural heritage.

The NCAC DG therefore disclosed that on the part of the Council, innovative strategies have been outlined to propel the market and increase demands for our cultural products, including the putting in place a deliberate state policy that supports the sourcing of all official gifts from products made from Nigeria’s cultural industry, encouraging display and sale of arts and crafts products at major events, and also encouraging the use of adire for production of school uniforms nationally, among others.

Present at the event was the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Mrs. Nkechi Ejele, who was represented by the Director, External Cultural Relations in the Ministry, Mr. Goerge Ufot; Professor Pat Utomi, who was Keynote Speaker, former Executive Director of NCAC, Professor Sule Bello, who was Chairman of Forum; Ambassador Joe Keshi, and Dr. Anthonia Ashiedu.

Among chief executives of federal culture parastatals at the event were the Director-General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), Sir Ferdinand Anikwe; General Manager, National Theatre, Alhaji Kabir Yusuf; Artistic Director, National Troupe, Mr. Akin Adejuwon; Director-General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Alhaji Yusuf Usman Abdallah; while the Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma was represented by the Director, Research and Documentation, Prince Bamidele Olusa and Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Alex Omijie.

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja