The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has commended the Nigerian Dress Culture campaign of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), saying the initiative was in accordance with the policy of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is unwavering and resolute to urgently diversification of the Nigerian economy.

Lai Mohammed stated this at the opening ceremony of a 2-day National Workshop on Nigerian Dress Culture and Sustainable National Development organised by NICO at the Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre, Minna, Niger State, on the 6th of June 2017.

AdewaleThe Minister, who was represented by the Director, Special Duties, National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC), Dr. Gerald Adewole, commended the Institute for its impressive campaign on promoting Nigerian dress culture, especially through the promotion of Dress Nigerian Days, which is currently being given serious attention by the Federal Government.

According to him, “promotion of Nigerian Dress Culture would engender enormous socio-political and economic benefits to the nation”; adding that, the culture sector, which is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global economy, has the capacity to generate employment, create wealth and alleviate poverty; and that this can only be achieved if Nigerians patronize Made-in-Nigeria dresses as opposed to foreign ones.

Lai Mohammed averred that this will help in resuscitating the comatose textile companies that had hitherto diversified to the degree that they provided employment for footballers through football clubs they founded and funded, emphasizing that the Federal Government is fully committed to creating the enabling environment for our cultural and creative industries to flourish, including the textile manufacturing companies.

In his speech, the Chairman, House Committee on Culture and Tourism, Honourable Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, who chaired the occasion, represented by Honourable Mohammed Mahmud, also a Member of the Committee, advocated for proper funding of the culture sector so that the country can to reap the benefits of its cultural diversity, promising to give speedy legislative backing to any bill aimed at repositioning the culture and tourism sector.

Nico’s Executive Secretary, Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, who was the chief host, reiterated the need for Nigerians to value our indigenous dresses; and that. NICO conceptualized the Promoting Nigerian Dress Culture Workshop series to rekindle interest and pride in our indigenous dress patterns.

He disclosed that the workshop was also to promote patriotism in Nigerians through dress culture; showcase the beauty in diversity of the dress culture of various geo-political zones of the country; encourage unity among the different ethnic groups through integrated dress culture; enhance economic growth of our local textile industries as well as stimulate job and wealth creation in the industry.

Declaring the workshop open, the Executive Governor of Niger State, represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Information, Hon. Jonathan Tsado Vatsa, stated that the state is working assiduously on an Institute to preserve, protect and promote the dress culture of the state as well as partnering with NICO on how to entrench Dress Nigeria to the grassroots.

The event, which was well attended, featured cultural dances and Nigerian dress parade by students from various secondary schools in Niger State, just as NICO Cultural Troupe presented a drama sketch to capture the theme of the workshop and a dance to spice the opening ceremony.

(c) NICO Minna Office