FG Will Leverage Creative Talent of Youths To Promote Attitudinal Change – Minister

FG Will Leverage Creative Talent of Youths To Promote Attitudinal Change – Minister

Chris Steven, Abuja
The Federal Government will leverage the creative ability and talent
of Nigerian youths to promote the campaign for attitudinal change and
national re-orientation, the Minister of Information and Culture,
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said.

A statement issued from his office in Abuja on Sunday said the
Minister announced the plan on Saturday in Kaduna, where he attended
the state’s first Annual Music Festival.

He said because of the large followership being enjoyed by the
nation’s artistes, they have the capacity to mobilize and influence
attitudinal change among Nigerians.

Alhaji Mohammed assured that the Federal Government would provide the
enabling environment for the creative industry to thrive in order to
harness the potentials of culture for national re-orientation and
economic growth.

He underscored the role of the creative sector in the economic growth
and development of the nation, while noting that Nigeria became the
biggest economy in Africa following the re-basing of its Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) mainly due to the boom in the creative
industry.

“We could have seen much more if only we are able to help them in
terms of giving long-term loans for the creative industry and also to
protect their intellectual property and that is the major bane of the
creative industry today. So what we are trying to do as the Federal
Government is that both the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of
Information and Culture are to provide this support for the creative
industry,” the Minister said.

He disclosed that the Ministry of Information and Culture would soon
partner with state governments to develop a National Cultural Calendar
in order to ensure an all-year-round cultural fiesta that would be
beneficial for the economy in terms of revenue earnings and also keep
many out of mischief, thus enhancing security.

“Today we have so many festivals in many parts of the country and one
of the suggestions that I put on the table in my ministry is that we
will liaise with states. One state will give us a list of 10 festivals
in ten cities and these ten cities in each state will give us 360
cities and then with the five local governments in Abuja, we will have
365 festivals. Then we can develop a calendar of festivals in Nigeria,
which means that every day in Nigeria there will be a festival and
this will help to attract tourists to the country. The problem we have
today is that nobody knows what festival is holding, where and when,”
he remarked.

For his part, Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State said the Music
Festival was organized to thank musicians and other artistes for the
role they played in promoting peace during the 2015 general elections.

“Many of them just sang for peaceful elections, they were not even
partisan. The challenges we faced and the postponement of the
elections and all that should have led to violence, but we believe
that they (artistes) played a very significant role in ensuring that
we had peaceful democratic change,” the Governor said.

According to him, the state will integrate the Annual Music Festival
into the Kaduna State Arts and Culture Festival to create a Festival
of Arts, Culture and Music that will attract more tourists to the
state.

He said the fact that over 87 percent of the state’s population are
below the age of 35 makes the state attractive to entertainment and
appreciative of culture as an opportunity to be productively employed.

Gov. el-Rufai explained that the Music Festival was wholly financed by
the private sector without any budgetary provision from the state.

The Music Festival was declared open by President Muhammadu Buhari and
attended by the Governors of Adamawa and Plateau States as well as
Minister of State for Labour James Ocholi, among other dignitaries.