By DAYO ADESULU
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Professor Joseph Ajienka has stated that for Nigeria to actualise her Vision 20 – 2020, the government must invest massively in the creative industry saying, it is the fastest way to generate income.
”The fastest way for this country to realise the strategic goal of Vision 20 – 2020, is through the art. It is not through science and engineering.”
He made this assertion during the official launch of the African Film and TV Academy (AFTA) – a joint venture between Trend Media City and Whistling Woods International, India held at Victoria Island, Lagos.
Ajienka who is a petrochemical engineer said that the creative industry is the richest which cannot be compared to the oil and gas industry. “Though I am a petrochemical engineer myself, but my soul is in the art because that is where the future lies,” he said.
According to him; “The talent to make wealth is in the creative people such that they don’t need to go to the laboratory before they create wealth. They are already producing, but it’s just to improve in the quality of what they are producing. But in science and technology, we need the laboratory and technology which will take some time to acquire.
He, however, explained that for the art and creative industry to thrive, you need the right practitioners, well trained personnel and for the product to get into the market immediately.
Ajienka pointed out that in creative art, no one can do it all alone adding; “working with industry is very crucial because for you to be acceptable to industry, your work must be acceptable.”
The vice-chancellor, however urged institutions to work on the people right from the curriculum development stage and course delivery to project supervision. He said; “that was the way we developed the Institute of Petroleum Studies at UNIPORT and that is the way the film industry will be developed in this country.
“At UNIPORT, we have the art village, photography, film, video, drama and dances. But the emphasis is education for sustainable development. That philosophy which was advocated by UNESCO means that you need to understand the challenges of a society at the local, regional, national, continental and international levels.
”To bring about sustainable development in the environmental, sociocultural and other sectors, everybody will be well informed and prepared so that by the time the graduate comes out, he now thinks sustainable development.”