The administration of culture in Nigeria was in focus once again as the 44th Meeting of the Chief Executives of Culture (CEC) of the Federation held from the 12th to 15th April, 2016, at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Indoor Sports Complex, Murtala Square, Kaduna, Kaduna State.
It was a gathering organized by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) and involved Chief Executives of Culture from all the 36 States of the Federation in addition to the Federal Capital Territory as well as Chief Executives from federal establishments in the culture sector, including the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO).
Speaking at the occasion, the Director-General of National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Mrs. Dayo Keshi, welcomed all culture stakeholders to the meeting, acknowledging the kind gesture of the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El’ Rufai, for hosting the meeting, and stating that the meeting was intended to embolden potentials, principles, practices, and policies that will best make culture a revenue earner and also drive the economic market in the country.
She admitted that the time had come for our national festivals to form part of a central focus to making our culture marketable and economically viable, and encouraged participants to think outside the box to make culture relevant in the country in line with the change agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
While declaring the meeting open, the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El’ Rufai, represented by the Honourable Commissioner of Youths, Sports and Culture, Kaduna State, Hon. Daniel Danauta, highlighted the necessity of making culture more economically viable, considering the fall in oil revenues in the global market.
Using Kaduna State as a case study, which involved the resuscitation of the NOK Heritage Centre, the building of a Cultural Museum, the rebranding of the Kaduna Bazodo Cultural Troupe, and the generation of jobs through the culture sector, the governor affirmed that culture can become a major economic base of any state.
At the technical session, the Kebbi State delegation were quick to acknowledge the magnanimity of the Management of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), led by Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, in giving three of its officers the opportunity of acquiring an advanced diploma and postgraduate diploma in cultural administration at the NICO Training School, which will in many ways improve the fortunes of cultural administration in Kebbi State.
Responding during the Institute’s presentation, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, represented by the Acting Director, Research and Documentation, Mr. Michael Ekoko, thanked the Kebbi State Government, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), National Gallery of Art (NGA), Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) and National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN), for nominating participants to the NICO Training School in Lagos and Abuja for the 2015/2016 Academic Session.
He added that more nominations and applications are being expected for NICO Training School programmes for the 2016/2017 Academic Session, just as he also highlighted the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) and the National Conference on ‘Culture, Peace and National Security for Traditional Rulers and Local Government Chairmen,’ among other NICO programmes, which are all lined up for the year.
The Artistic Director/CEO of the National Troupe of Nigeria, Mr. Akin Adejuwon and his counterpart at the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), Dr. Ferdinand Anikwe, as well as eighteen (18) other State Chief Executives of Culture also made presentations and recommendations on how to get the best out of the culture sector in Nigeria.
The meeting ensured the ratification of, amongst other things, the proposed dates of NAFEST and AFAC with their respective themes: NAFEST 2016 with the theme, “Exploring the Goldmine Inherent in Nigerian Creative Industries”, scheduled to hold from 2-9 October, 2016 in Akwa Ibom State; and AFAC 2016 with the theme, “African Arts and Crafts as Catalyst for Investment in Nigerian Creative Industry”, scheduled to hold from 28th July – 13th August, 2016 in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
Major highlights of the 44th CEC meeting were cultural performances by the Kaduna State Cultural Troupe, a Gala Night, and a courtesy call on the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Architect Bala Bantex.
Mrs. Francisca Okoro (AD, Orientation), Mrs. Khadijat Amin (PEO) and Mr. Arnold Elue (CO 1) also formed the team that represented NICO at the meeting, at the end of which a communiqué was issued, with far-reaching recommendations for the advancement of the culture sector in Nigeria.