The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said
the revival of the nation’s cultural values is a panacea to some of
the problems confronting the country due to moral decadence.
The Minister made the remarks in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on
Thursday at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC)
Joint Venture (JV) Host Community Day.
“Yesterday in Abuja, a German Journalist who is visiting Nigeria asked
me what my vision of the nation’s Culture Sector is. I told him that
my vision is to see a cultural renaissance in the country because of
its ability to restore our moral values, which can in turn help in
solving many of the problems we, as a nation, face today, whether it
is in the area of insecurity, job creation or loss of moral values.
”It is in furtherance of this that I have always made sure to
participate in as many festivals and other cultural events as
possible, across the country, to give them more visibility and to
encourage the organizers,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said giving the people of the host communities the
opportunity to showcase their cultural heritage is a sure way to
reconnect them to their roots, and this in turn helps to restore their
moral values and self worth, which is a sure recipe for avoiding
anti-social activities and criminal tendencies.
“In this maiden edition, the focus is on cultural dance. Winners at
the preliminary stages in the four states are here today for the grand
finale. By hosting this event, the company is encouraging its host
Communities to harness and take advantage of this opportunity with
huge potentials for job creation/employment for their teeming youths.
I have no doubt that this event will stimulate cultural activities on
a commercial scale and assist in curbing youth restiveness, pipeline
vandalism, oil bunkering and other vices associated with the Oil & Gas
Industry in this region.
“It is also hoped that the event will strengthen inter-community
relationship as well as Company-Community relationship,” he said.
The Minister congratulated the NAOC JV partners for coming up with the
idea of the Host Community Day, which is a day set aside for the
people of the company’s host communities in Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and
River States to showcase their rich cultural heritage.
“Let me say that the decision by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company and its
Joint Venture partners to hold this Host Community Day, with the theme
‘Promoting Our Cultural Heritage’, could not have come at a better
time. This is because the Federal Government is also tapping into the
huge potentials in the Tourism and Culture Sector not just to promote
the nation’s cultural heritage, but to diversify the economy,
thus earning more revenue and creating more jobs,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed commended Nigerian Agip Oil Company for its community
development activities, especially its Green River Project initiative,
where over 38,000 farmers in the four states have been empowered
within the last 33 years and Socio-Economic Developmental projects
such as roads, water, cottage hospitals, electricity and human
capacity development programmes in the area of scholarships and
bursaries as well as agro skills training.
In his remarks, the General Manager, District, Nigerian AGIP Oil
Company, Alessandro Tiani, said the company recognized that
communities are unique by their culture, which holds the key to
identity, oneness, integration, growth and ultimately development,
hence the need for the Host Community Day.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed
(middle), in a group picture with the Ebelebele Dance Troupe from
Bayelsa, which won the cultural dance performance at the Host
Communities Day 2019 organized by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company and
its Joint Venture Partners in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on
Harcourt, Rivers State, on Thursday.