The Honourable Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described as unique and spectacular the initiative of Ethan & Harriet, an indigenous educational toys provider, to make toys that teach Nigeria’s history through fun and games. The products launch ceremony which held on Thursday August 25, 2016 inside the luxurious Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos was witnessed by many illustrious Nigerians.
The Minister, who was represented by Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), commended the effort to use Nigerian themed educational toys to provide cultural awareness; an area which is vigorously covered by NICO.
The Minister eulogised the products for their potential to engage the family on cultural values and called on the producers to take more steps to introduce Nigeria. The journey towards knowing Nigeria, he concluded, has only begun with laudable initiatives such as the one witnessed today.
The initiative to produce Nigerian themed children’s interactive educational toys and games in order to address learning problems in the country was also largely applauded by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, two-time president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and retired Nigerian Army General during the ceremony.
In his speech during the occasion as the Special Guest of Honour, General Obasanjo expressed delight at the high quality and value of the learning toys on display and remarked that puzzle toys such as Ethan & Harriet Map of Nigeria puzzles, which teach knowledge through play, can fill the gaps in knowledge currently experienced by many - Nigerian kids and adults alike – that lack knowledge of Nigerian history.
General Obasanjo further espoused that poverty in Africa can only be eradicated with proper education which begins with knowledge of one’s history as ignorance of history leads to loss of memory; loss of identity and ultimately, loss of any sense of direction.
He therefore recommended Ethan & Harriet Map of Nigeria puzzles as a project and a product to be produced, promoted and distributed in order to educate our children and ourselves.
The heroine behind the products of the day, founder and chief executive officer of Ethan & Harriet, Mrs. Bunmi Obasanjo-Williams, spoke elegantly during her product presentation of two of the company’s products: ‘Lift n Learn Magnetic Puzzle’ which makes geography fun to learn and, ‘Family Floor Nigeria Puzzle’ which explores places and history of Nigeria in an engaging way. She assured her audience that these two products that nurture creativity, imagination and innovation will play an important role in the education of our children.
Mrs. Bunmi Obasanjo-Williams, well-educated and articulate CEO and founder of Ethan & Harriet is one of the daughters of Nigeria’s former president, General Olusegun Obasanjo.
Earlier on, Chief Donald Duke, former Cross Rivers State Governor and visionary leader reputed for his remarkable contributions towards the success of Calabar Carnival Festival/Tinapa Free Trade Zone initiative had noted in his product review during the occasion that pursuing education without learning about our history will lead us to nowhere. He described Ethan & Harriet products as a great step towards building the leaders of tomorrow who are focused because they have understanding of their history.
The product and initiative launch of Ethan & Harriet range of educational toys received the endorsement of many individual and corporate Nigerians amongst who is Lagos State Government represented by Abiola Seriki Ayeni, Senior Special Assistant of Education, Lagos State. Mrs. Ronke Soyombo, Director-General, Office of Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, and Dr. Femi Ogunsanya, President, Association of Private Educators in Nigeria (APEN) who also spoke glowingly in endorsement of the products.
Other distinguished personalities present for the Launch include Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan, former Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Mrs Erelu Olusola Obada, former Deputy-Governor and erstwhile Minister of State for Defence, Chief Mrs. Teju Phillips, one time commissioner in Lagos State, Dr. Seun Obasanjo, and Mr. Rufai Ladipo, MD/Chief Relationship Officer, Agile Communications Limited, Lagos.
Apart from its Executive Secretary/CEO who represented the Minister of Information & Culture during the event, the Director, Lagos Liaison Office of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mr. Louis Eriomala and Mr. Law Ezeh, Deputy Director and Special Assistant to NICO’s Executive Secretary also graced the occasion.
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