I am indeed delighted to be at this auspicious occasion of the Quarterly Public Lecture of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO). NICO, as one of the parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, has the mandate of harnessing the nation’s rich culture for national development. The Quarterly Public Lecture Series, as conceptualized by the Institute, is in furtherance of its statutory objectives.

The 1st Quarter edition of the lecture was eloquently delivered by the Governor of Imo State, His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha, on Thursday, 2nd March 2017.

I therefore wish to commend the Executive Secretary and his Management team for the initiative, which has become a veritable platform for harvesting credible ideas in our quest to reposition the culture sector to contribute meaningfully toward the diversification of the economy.

The theme is not only apt but also in tandem with our vision and aspiration of harnessing our vast culture and tourism potentials for sustainable socio-economic development of our dear country.

Furthermore, the distinguished guest lecturer, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, Vice Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), is an erudite scholar of no mean repute. I believe we have learnt a lot from his brilliant presentation.

Your Excellencies, Royal Fathers, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, there is no gainsaying the fact that the culture and tourism sector, if given priority attention, can replace oil as the mainstay of our economy, as it is the case in several countries of the world.

In fact, culture has been identified as the missing link in the sustainable development of growing economies around the world. If our vision of job creation, poverty alleviation, diversified economy and becoming one of the leading global economies is to be achieved, we must make culture a major growth driver in conformity with contemporary global realities.

In this regard, I wish to reassure you that the Buhari administration is committed to the repositioning of the culture and tourism sector to make it serve as a catalyst for our economic growth.

This would be achieved through sensitization and mobilization of the relevant agencies and institutions as well as stakeholders and the general public to the potentials of our cultural industries in the nation’s economic development. The Federal Government’s policy of promoting Made-in-Nigeria goods is in furtherance of harnessing these cultural potentials. If we eat what we grow and use what we make, our nation’s economy will flourish.

It is therefore imperative for every Nigerian to be committed to actualizing our vision. The Federal Government needs the cooperation of all and sundry to achieve a greater Nigeria of our dream.

Finally, I wish to express my appreciation to you all for honouring the invitation. I believe you have enjoyed the very stimulating lecture from a very sound intellectual.

I thank you all for your kind attention.