Don urges government to develop culture, tourism

Alhaji Lai Mohammed:: Information and culture Minister

A don, Prof. Krydz Ikwuemesi, on Wednesday urged governments at all levels to do more in developing culture and tourism to project indigenous arts and artifacts.

Ikwuemesi, who is with the Fine and Applied Art Department of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), made the call in Enugu while presenting a paper entitled, `The Need to Revive Indigenous Cultures, Arts and Artifacts’.

He made the presentation in an Exhibition titled; `Reviving the Lost Innovations and Technologies of Ndigbo’ organised by the Centre for Memories (Ncheta Ndigbo), according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

He noted that culture and tourism went beyond calling people or expatriates to come and eat and drink without ushering these visitors into the embodiment of the way of life, history, art and artifacts of the indigenous people.

“So, culture and tourism must be development by using traditional occasions and festivals as well as involving cultural exhibitions with sound curators to explain history and way of life of the people.

“In these gatherings, local arts and artifacts must be available for the visitors and foreigners to take back home and it will act as a lasting memories for that particular journey to Nigeria or Igbo land,’’ he said.

Later, in a panel discussion on “Economic Opportunities in the South-East’’, executive directors of the centre through various sectors proffered solutions to challenges of employment and empowerment in Igbo land.

Speaking on ‘Using Technology to Advance Empowerment’, Mr Nkem Nweke, who is also a Software Consulting Lead Microsoft Nigeria, called for the establishment of more technology hubs in the South-East.

Nweke noted that with improved presence of tech hubs, the economic activities in the area would improve to about 18 per cent within the next four years.

“As starters, you can leverage on techs especially internet technology to push your business to international level while reducing cost of space and administration as well,’’ he said.

Speaking on agro-allied business opportunities, Ndidi Nwuneli, who is also Managing Partner Sahel Consulting, noted that households spent 57 per cent of their household expenses on food and “we have about 190 million people in the country.

“Our people should leverage in going into export of cash crops such as cashews, honey, packed breadfruit and local vegetables.

“You can engage in fish farming or be a middleman using internet to linking local farmers with buyers in the cities,’’ she said.

On ‘Leveraging on Igbo Systems to Create Opportunities’, Mr Udo Ilo, who is the Country Officer of Open Society Initiative for West (OSIWA), urged Ndigbo to leverage on their culture of business apprenticeship (trading) and settlement at the end of few years.

“We can also use the `Umunna’ system or clan or village system to raise money to empower young people and then, those empowered will later empower other upcoming young people in the same clan or village,’’ Ilo said.