The National Institute for Culture Orientation (NICO), a parastatal agency of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture has admonished Nigerians to embrace culture for national development.
Mr. Ado Yahuza, Executive Secretary of NICO made the call at the opening of a two-day conference on culture, intervention projects and national development held on Thursday in Akure.
Yahuza, who was represented by Mr Ohi Ojo, an official of the institute said that the relevance of culture to national development could not be overemphasised.
“It has become imperative for all Nigerians to appreciate the critical importance of culture to national development.
“Research has shown that societies that have embraced culture and made it the cornerstone of their development efforts have made remarkable progress and advancements in all spheres of development.
“On the other hand, the neglect and non-recognition of culture as the roadmap and pillar of sustainable development has put many nations in dire straits.
“A deeper understanding of the place of culture to national development is therefore imperative in our quest for meaningful progress and sustainable socio-political and economic development,’’ he said.
Yahuza said that the introduction of a Zonal Intervention Fund should be appreciated and commended and explained that it had the potential to satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians for grassroots development.
“Our institute for instance has made significant impact in promoting culture consciousness and creativity in secondary schools nationwide.
“It has also sensitised people to take advantage of enormous potentials of the culture industry for employment generation,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Mr Yemi Olowolabi, Ondo State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, said the conference would go a long way to appreciate the importance of culture.
He called on traditional rulers to repackage culture in their domains for global and noble recognition.
“Some of our festivals are going into extinction except for those in which professionalism has been introduced and repackaged,’’ he said. (NAN)