The Honourable Commissioner, Culture and Tourism, Ondo State, Alhaji Ismaila Olurimisi, has said that celebrating our culture is not a return to ‘Heathenism’ but rather an appreciation of the resources of the past and how they can contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of our communities in the contemporary world.

He made this statement while delivering a speech on the occasion of the World Culture Day celebration, organized by the Ondo State Ministry of Culture and Tourism in collaboration with the South West Zonal Office of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), on Monday 21 May, 2018, at the Ondo State Cultural Centre Complex, Akure.

He affirmed that culture is recognized globally as a viable economic option in the areas of wealth creation, job creation and economic diversification, noting that culture can be looked into as a means of shedding the weight on the black gold,   especially at a time when the nation’s economy has been solely dependent on oil. “There is no gainsaying the fact that our cultural resources are capable of launching the states and the nation at large into a tourism heaven”, he said.

Alhaji Ismaila added that cultural promotion induces development of rural crafts with its attendant technologies, promotes small scale industries, translates to community development , unbundles people from mental slavery and above all transforms our rural communities.

The Commissioner however decries the incessant social vices, viz: corruption, militancy, bombing, herdsmen attacks, armed banditry, drug peddling, religious intolerance to mention a few of them, that have been bedeviling the nation, stressing that all these are as a result of failure to uphold our traditional values, disregarding the collective interest and welfare of our larger society and our experience under the colonial imperialist. He therefore called on all stakeholders to recreate a new Nigeria based on our cultural ideals and values.

Speaking earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Culture and Tourism, Ondo State, Mrs. Taiwo Kolawole, affirmed that cultural celebration provides a platform for projecting one’s culture to the world, stressing that the responsibility of showcasing our culture lies with the custodian of such culture.

While thanking God for the grace to celebrate this year’s Cultural Day, after a long time of not celebrating it due to paucity of funds, she appreciated the invited guests for taking time to felicitate with them and enjoined them to always remain good ambassadors of their culture anywhere they find themselves.

Giving his remarks, the Zonal Coordinator, NICO South West Zonal Office, Akure, Mr. James Imohiosen, appreciated the Ondo State Ministry of Culture and Tourism for the hand of fellowship it extended to them. He said this made the collaboration possible and subsequently, the success of this year’s World Culture Day celebration.

He added that there is no meaningful development without culture and stressed the need to promote our culture as this is the main thrust for which NICO was established. Mr. James recounted the activities of the Institute and used the opportunity provided by the occasion to invite the audience to be part of our programmes.

FloatHighlights of the occasion were, cultural Float (street Parade) through major roads in the state capital and thereafter, participants gathered at the events centre, Ondo state ministry of culture and tourism for other events such as commissioning of art and crafts shop at the ministry’s complex, drama and dance presentations by the Ondo State cultural troupe.

Those in attendance were, the Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, Ondo State, Alh. Ismaila Olurimisi; the Permanent Secretary, Culture and Tourism, Mrs. Taiwo Kolawole; Director of Culture in the ministry, Mr. Lawrence Amimi; the Zonal Coordinator, NICO South West Akure, Mr. James Imohiosen; Staff of NICO and others dignitaries.

Ehis Kingsley

Corporate Affairs unit