Mr Ndubuisi Ahanonu, Executive Director, International Institute for Creative Development (IICD), said on Tuesday that culture could be harnessed to boost the revenue base of the country. Ahanonu also said cultural heritage could be used to project the country’s image positively, among other benefits. He made these remarks in Abuja while fielding questions from newsmen.
According to him, the country’s traditions were the way of life of the people. The executive director, therefore, stressed the need to adopt the positive sides of culture. He noted that adopting the country’s cultural heritage would promote national unity and understanding through fostering of cultural diversity. Ahanonu called on Nigerian youths to imbibe the tradition of our ancestors as a way of contributing to the cultural advancement of the country.
According to the director, the country is losing its tradition like the Ifa Divination System, Ijele Masquerade and the oral heritage of Gelede to modernisation. “I want to attribute this to modernisation; it is the reason why people forget the moral laws and cultural heritage which change people’s belief.“Our unique culture must not be forgotten and we need to promote arts and culture in Nigeria,’’ he said.
While urging Nigerians to look back at the trademarks of our forefathers, Ahanonu said that the idea of Nigerians getting westernised and forgetting the moral norms and values was not the best. He said that skills transfer and capacity building were also part of the intangible elements that must not be neglected. The executive director enjoined youths to be involved in preserving the country’s heritage because “it is a transfer of knowledge from one generation to another’’.
He, however, commended the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation toward promoting the activities of the institute.