Nigerian Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, His Excellency, Ambassador Patrick Onadipe has said the speedy development of China is informed by the importance the country attaches to culture, which has now become a veritable foreign policy instrument in the country.
Amb. Onadipe disclosed this in his office in Beijing on Thursday, 11th June, 2015 when the Nigerian delegation to the ongoing Seminar on Chinese Culture and Economy for Government Officials from Developing Countries paid him a courtesy visit.
According to him, China was fortunate to have a visionary leader, who at a point in history, decided to shift the attention of the country to look inward in line with their culture for development, a step that is working for them today.
His words” "I have been to so many countries in career history but of all the countries I have served, there is no country as serious as China. But how did they do it? They had visionary leaders. As far as I am concerned, all of us can become communists in this world. If this is what communism is all about, why not embrace it?" he asked.
He further disclosed that for him, China is one country presently in the world where one can see practical development and constructions going on everywhere which is an evidence of a working economy.
Speaking earlier, leader of the Nigerian delegation and Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs Department at the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mr. Alex Omijie, said it was indeed evident that China has tried to make culture central to their development agenda.
He maintained that unlike many African countries, everything about China's development revolves around their culture as they are people who believe in themselves, their foods and even clothing, which makes them look serious and very organized.
"Unlike in Africa, China's cultural monuments have their infrastructure built around it so that it can be attractive to the outside world. Today, global international figures have shown that culture and tourism are contributing enormously to the economy of many countries but we are not doing that back home.
"If you go to all the places we have visited, you will see that they have really made sure that the infrastructure are up to date and in such a way that will be a delight to anyone visiting and I know they are reaping so much from it."
He therefore called for the need for Nigeria to also build infrastructure around major culture and tourism events to see how the sector can also contribute to the development of our economy.
Others present were the Coordinator, NICO Minna State Office, Mrs. Olufunke Ndukwe; Media Assistant to ES-NICO, Mr. Caleb Nor; as well as Mr. Tiamiju Morufu Adisa and Mrs. Sani Safiya from Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), respectively.
Corporate Affairs Unit
(Reporting from Beijing, China)