By Sylvia Udegbunam, Enugu
The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) said that culture is the bedrock and roadmap to national development. He made this statement during a 2-day conference organised by NICO in Enugu with the theme, “Culture, Zonal Intervention Projects and National Development.”
According to him: “No nation can achieve meaningful development where its culture is not accorded priority attention in its development agenda. Experts have rightly observed that development efforts have failed because, the cultural dimension was ignored.
He advised that people should learn other people’s languages; noting that it would help a lot when someone find himself in a different environment. “Culture brings unity, culture makes you to be closer to other languages. Culture brings many things to humanity. It attract friendship, it help us to know each other well.”
He further commended the federal government and the national assembly for initiating and sustaining the zonal intervention fund, stressing that through this fund, many communities that were neglected have benefited from this commendable strategy.
The Enugu state commissioner for culture and tourism, Ugonna Ibe, representing the governor of Enugu state, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, said that Nigerian culture has potentials that we can combine to become a product that we can market to other countries.
He also stated: “Culture defines people’s identity, way of doing things and way of life, their foods and clothing. With this type of conference, I think it is targeted at re- awakening our cultural consciousness, which seems, to me, is fast eroding us. Nigeria is endowed with different cultures. This culture has potentials of building bridges among different ethnic nationalities that makes up Nigeria.
“Until we take ownership of what belongs to us and be proud of it and be able to project it, we will not make any headway. This is what this conference is all about. To draw the consciousness for people to know that these things exist,” he said.
Professor Emeka Nwabueze, in his speech, commended NICO for organising this conference and encouraged them to continue to do more. Others at the occasion were the royal fathers, Nigeria police force, FRSC, Civil Defence Corps and others, who also delivered their goodwill messages.