The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has enjoined culture stakeholders and enthusiasts to cooperate with him to make the culture sector the bedrock of the nation's economy, saying by the grace of God and with the cooperation of all, the Ministry is going to be the bedrock of the nation's economy.
The Minister made this call while delivering his welcome address at the Gala Night of a 3-day National Summit on Culture and Tourism, with the theme, “Repositioning Culture and Tourism in a Diversified Economy," holding at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton, Maitama, Abuja-FCT, from 27th-29th April, 2016.
He stated categorically that the main objective of the Summit is to make the Ministry as significant, attractive and as economically viable as the Petroleum Ministry, saying, "Our objective is that by the time we finish the various reforms, the Ministry will be the envy of all other ministries."
Similarly speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba, maintained that undoubtedly, culture and tourism is increasingly playing a dominant role in the socio-economic sphere of major countries around the world and Nigeria must take advantage of the vast culture and tourism opportunities that the country is endowed with to develop home-grown strategies for the promotion, rebranding and repackaging of the sector in order to expand and reposition the nation’s economy.
She maintained that the Summit is a veritable platform, where critical prospects of culture and tourism, the benefits of the sector to the economy, the significant investment/job creation opportunities it has to offer, its contribution to infrastructure development, as well as strategies for repackaging the sector for expansion and improvement of the national economy will be highlighted.
Her words: “The Summit will, among others, chart ways to harness the immense value chain potentials of culture and tourism as well as strategies on how the sector is expected to drive good governance and development by positively impacting other sectors, such as, construction, agriculture, transport and manufacturing.”
She further expressed confidence that the Summit will indeed mark a watershed in the culture and tourism sector of the economy considering the line up of erudite scholars, government functionaries and practitioners, who are expected to critically explore the sector in order to effectively tap its potentials and utilize it as a strong platform for economic growth and prosperity.
The dignitaries present at the Gala Night were former Governor Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke; Senate Committee on Culture & Tourism, Senator Mathew Orhoghide; the ‘Common Sense Senator’, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce; Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige; former Honourable Ministers of Culture: Col. Tunde Akogun, Dr. Franklin N. Ogbuewu, Dr. Idi Hong, and Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq; Honourable Commissioner of Diaspora Affairs, Culture and Tourism, Anambra State, Hon. Stella Onuora; pioneer Director of Culture and foremost cultural administrator, Mr. Frank Aig-Imoukhuede; former Executive Director of National Council for Arts & Culture, Professor Sule Bello; President of Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists, Professor Sunday Ododo; former Artistic Director of National Troupe and Abuja Carnival, Professor Ahmed Yerima, among others.
Caleb Nor & Njideka Dimgba
Corporate Affairs Unit