Stakeholders call on govt to develop cultural markets in states

Posted on: December 13, 2023, by :

Stakeholders made up of state commissioners for culture and tourism, permanent secretaries, and directors in the culture and tourism ministries from the 36 states of the federation and Abuja have called on states government to build cultural markets in each state. They said such development would help create employments, wealth and preserve the rich culture of the Nigeria people.
The call was made in communique issued at the end of the 1st National Stakeholders’ Review Conference of National Festival of Arts and Culture organized by the National Council of Arts and Culture headed by Otunba Segun Runsewe.
According to the stakeholders, the cultural market in each state which will domicile at each state’s ministry of culture and tourism, will serve as one-stop shop for all cultural products.
Other recommendations made by the arts and culture stakeholders in the communiqué include recommending skills acquisition training programme for women, the youths and the physically challenged through structured processes of formal education, informal and traditional skill transfer, apprenticeship, etc. Accordingly to the communique, Nigerian cultural products should be carefully packaged and aggressively promoted through platforms such as digital marketing, creation of galleries and the participation in travel markets, etc.
The culture and arts decision makers also said in the communiqué: “The conference observed that the concentration of the states in the development of one unique product in which they have comparative advantage will enable the states package and market the iconic product, attract investors, increase internally generated revenue, enhance public – private – partnership and reduce unemployment. The conference therefore recommended that this strategic approach should be vigorously pursued by the states.

“ The conference noted that cultural exchange programmes can engender unity in diversity, promote international diplomacy for peace, enhance the cross-fertilization of ideas and promote international trade. In light of this, it was recommended that there should be structured international exchange programmes and synergy between local and international NGOs to facilitate this process. Funding for this could be sourced from government subventions, self-sponsorship, local and international donor agencies, among others.”
The conference also appreciated the efforts of the Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture Otunba Segun Runsewe for the proposed training of 370 youths from the 36 states and the FCT in China.
The issue of funding for the culture and arts sector was also deliberated upon. Communique also stated: “The conference identified sources of funding of the culture sector to include government, the private sector, multinational organizations, development partners, donor agencies, charity organizations and lamented that government has never taken a deliberate step to fund the culture sector. It was, therefore, recommended that these sources of funding should be explored by the states while stakeholders like NATOP, NANTA, RATTAWU, etc. should work with relevant cultural agencies of government to mount sustained advocacy in order to push for the implementation of the National Endowment Fund for Arts. To achieve this, industry players must work together, and embark on programmes that will not only make them relevant, but indispensable stakeholders in the task of nation building.
“ Noting that culture provides the content for the development of tourism, the conference stressed that culture and tourism are intricately interwoven and therefore inseparable. Accordingly, the conference recommended that culture and tourism should remain as one Ministry both at the Federal and State levels to complement each other and contribute meaningfully to the diversification efforts of government.”

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