Address by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Grace Isu Gekpe at the 9th Meeting of the National Council on Tourism, Culture and National Orientation held in Dutse, Jigawa State



It is a great honour to welcome you all to the 9th Meeting of the National Council on Culture, Tourism and National Orientation (NCTC&NO), which is the apex policy making organ of the Sector in Nigeria. The Council is an established platform where the sector’s administrative and professional matters are deliberated upon to reach concrete and strategic resolutions towards harnessing our diverse cultural heritage and tourism potentials for better performance and sustainable growth and development.

The theme of this auspicious meeting, “TOURISM AND CULTURE AS PANACEA FOR NIGERIAN ECONOMIC RECOVERY” is timely and germane at this critical period that our country is in dire need of alternative source of non-oil revenue that requires every stakeholder’s input to revamp the economy. In view of the challenges facing our dear nation and the concerted efforts of the current administration to diversify the economy, it behooves on the policy makers and other key players in the sector to rise up to the occasion, as the task of repositioning the sector in a diversified economy is our collective responsibility.

The Creative Industry is a veritable tangible and intangible platform with limitless opportunities and huge socio-economic endowment that are capable of creating wealth and employment opportunities for our people. In achieving this, the best creative innovations geared towards sustainable economic cultural entrepreneurship guided by the promotion of positive cultural ethics, values and norms should be projected by the sector.

On this note, cultural entrepreneurs who are cultural change agents are therefore, called upon to intensify efforts in generating revenue for the development of the Creative Industry in order to translate it to a creative economy through effective mobilization of our human, natural, social, economic and financial capital.

It is pertinent to note that tourism is a reliable source of foreign exchange earning that broadens the national economic base, creates employment opportunities and fosters greater interaction, social integration and understanding for national and international unity, peace and prosperity. With myriad of benefits the sector holds, we all must unequivocally embrace and give it the desired attention towards harnessing the sector’s abundant resources.

It is worthy to note that there is need for strategic transformation of the sector through the reinvigoration of awareness campaigns on our cultural and tourism endowments. It is therefore our duty to re-orientate the public   of the potentials of the Culture and Tourism Sector as a major driving force for socio-economic development.

As policy makers, technocrats, professionals and stakeholders with wealth of experience and expertise in the Culture and Tourism Sector, I urge us to explore the privilege provided by this forum to critically examine all the reports as well as memoranda of this meeting to ensure that all hands are on deck for effective implementation of the resolutions that will be reached in the course of this meeting.

At this juncture, I wish to appreciate the Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for his understanding and ingenuity in considering this event as a priority. In the same vein, I wish to also express the Ministry’s profound gratitude to the Executive Governor of Jigawa State, His Excellency, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, for his kind gesture in hosting this historic event.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to thank you all for responding to our invitation to attend this august event at a very short notice. Also, I wish you a very memorable stay in Dutse, Jigawa throughout the duration of this meeting.  Against this backdrop, I wish us a successful deliberation.

Thank you.

“Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.