The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has called on Nigerians to make use of our cultural diversity in building bridges to promote dialogue and foster peaceful coexistence. The Minister, said this at the program to mark the World Culture Day 2021 with the theme; “Cultural Diversity in the Covid-19 Era” organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and its Parastatals in collaboration with United Nations Educational Scientific and Culture Office (UNESCO) held at the National Press Centre, Radio House Abuja.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry; Dr. Adaora Ifeoma Anyanwutaku stated that it is important as a nation to focus on the role of culture in creating a veritable platform for dialogue geared towards improving human relations and engendering societal development, adding that culture is a people’s way of life that reflects in every aspects of the society. He noted that Nigeria has a multi- ethnic groups with diverse cultures which is rich and unique in cultural heritage with invaluable asset that has continued to serve as a springboard to portray the nation’s image and forged a path to stronger, unified and indivisible nation.
He further stated that since the Covid-19 pandemic has limited human physical activities, it is important for Nigerian to make use of technological channels and platforms to foster cultural diversity thereby using virtual platforms and digital technologies to break barriers and natural borders in showcasing and promoting the nation’s rich cultural products as well as conducting day-to day activities to meet social responsibilities.
The Minister lauded two of our entertainment artistes, popularly known as “Burna Boy and Wizkid” who won the prestigious Grammy Awards, noting that the entertainment Industry, has continuously helped in showcasing and promoting Nigeria’s culture to the entertainment world.
Speaking earlier at the occasion, the Permanent Secretary Dr. Adaora Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, who was represented by the Deputy Director Culture Heritage, Mrs. Rose Kwasen said that culture plays an important role in shaping and opening vistas of opportunities for people of different cultural backgrounds to interact and establish mutual understanding and that for a nation to thrive both politically and socioeconomically, stating there is a need to leverage on the salient role of culture in promoting social integration. She added that despite the Covid-19 pandemic which has taken a siege over our physical activities, there is still the need to take advantage of various technological platforms in showcasing and promoting our rich culture.
The Permanent Secretary further stated that the Federal Government is making efforts for Creative Industry to be a viable sector in generating both local and foreign earnings as well as create job opportunities for youths. She called on stakeholders and well meaningful Nigerian to join the Federal Government in making the Creative Industry a world class economic sector.
She appreciated the Organizing committee, the Ministry and its parastatals, the Chinese Embassy, the High Commission of India, relevant stakeholders as well as the Media for their Unflinching support in making the event a success.
The Resource Person, Professor Barth Oshionebo, in his presentation stated that Nigeria is a culture diverse nation, which has its strength in the myriad cultural, ethnic and religious differences, adding that the era of Covid-19 has helped the country to know it could be united in fighting the Virus. He stated that the Federal, State government and Individuals plays an important role to stem the negative impacts of the situation by uniting the country in a time of serious socio-economic challenge.
Present at the event were Panneer Selva Elvis, President India Cultural Association Abuja, Mr. Yogesh Singh, Second Secretary Culture, High Commission of India Abuja, Mr. Krishan Dust, High Commission India, Mr. Li Xuda, Chinese Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. Wang Guip, First Secretary of Chinese Embassy in Nigeria.
Highlight of the event were presentations from various schools in Abuja showcasing different Cultural Performances, Poetries, Dialogues, Question and Answers session and Presentation of Gifts to participating schools. The representative of the Honorable Minister of Information and Culture, Dr. Adaora Ifeoma Anyanwutaku later inspected the Exhibition Stands.