The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described as unique and spectacular the initiative of Ethan & Harriet, an indigenous educational toys provider, to make toys that teach Nigeria’s history through fun and games.
Alhaji Mohammed, who was represented by Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), at the products launch ceremony, which held on Thursday, 25th August, 2016, at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, commended the effort to use Nigerian themed educational toys to provide cultural awareness, which is an area that NICO is involved in.
The Minister eulogised the products for their potential to engage the family on cultural values and called on the producers to take more steps to introduce Nigeria, concluding that, the journey towards knowing Nigeria, has only begun with laudable initiatives, such as, the one that had been publicly launched.
The initiative to produce Nigerian themed children’s interactive educational toys and games in order to address learning problems in the country was also largely applauded by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the ceremony.
In his speech, as the Special Guest of Honour, Chief Obasanjo expressed delight at the high quality and value of the learning toys on display and remarked that puzzle toys, such as, Ethan & Harriet Map of Nigeria Puzzles, which teach knowledge through play, can fill the gaps in knowledge currently experienced by many – Nigerian kids and adults alike – that lack knowledge of Nigerian history.
Obasanjo further averred that poverty in Africa can only be eradicated with proper education, which begins with knowledge of one’s history, as ignorance of history leads to loss of memory, loss of identity and ultimately, loss of any sense of direction; and therefore recommended Ethan & Harriet Map of Nigeria Puzzles as a project and a product to be produced, promoted and distributed in order to educate our children and ourselves.
The brain behind the products of the day, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ethan & Harriet, Mrs. Bunmi Obasanjo-Williams, in her address, in presenting two of her company’s products: ‘Lift & Learn Magnetic Puzzle’, which makes geography fun to learn, and ‘Family Floor Nigeria Puzzle’, which explores places and the history of Nigeria in an engaging way, assured the gathering that the two products that nurture creativity, imagination and innovation, will play an important role in the education of children.
Earlier, former Cross River State Governor and visionary leader reputed for his remarkable contributions towards the success of the Calabar Carnival Festival and the Tinapa Free Trade Zone initiative, Mr. Donald Duke, had noted in his product review that pursuing education without learning about our history will lead us to nowhere, describing Ethan & Harriet products as a great step towards building the leaders of tomorrow, who will be focused because they will have understanding of their history.
The product and initiative launch of the Ethan & Harriet range of educational toys received the endorsement of many individuals and corporate bodies in Nigeria, including, Lagos State Government represented by Abiola Seriki Ayeni, Senior Special Assistant of Education, Lagos State; Mrs. Ronke Soyombo, Director, Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, Lagos State; and Dr. Femi Ogunsanya, President, Association of Private Educators in Nigeria (APEN), who also spoke glowingly in endorsement of the products.
Other distinguished personalities present at the launch include, former Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan; former Deputy Governor, Osun State and former Minister of State for Defence, Mrs. Erelu Olusola Obada; the Asiwaju of Remo Kingdom, Asiwaju S.K. Onafowokan; legal luminary, Chief Rotimi Williams (SAN);one time Commissioner in Lagos State, Chief Mrs. Teju Phillips; MD/Chief Relationship Officer, Agile Communications Limited, Lagos, Mr. Rufai Ladipo, and Dr. Seun Obasanjo, among others.
The Executive Secretary/CEO, National Institute for Cultural orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, who represented the Honourable Minister of Information & Culture, was accompanied by the Director, NICO Lagos Liaison Office, Mr. Louis Eriomala, Deputy Director/Special Assistant to the ES, Mr. Law Ikay Ezeh, and some officers of NICO Lagos Office.
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