Abuja – Sen. Shehu Sani has called on the three tiers of government and the citizens to invest in the country’s culture and arts to protect the cultural heritage to boost revenue generation.
Sani made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday at a seminar organised by the National Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) in Abuja.
According to him, arts and culture are the soul of the society, adding that if given due attention and adequate funding, will be a source of revenue for the nation and the practitioners themselves.
Sani, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debt, said that Nigeria had come a long way in terms of rich in culture and arts.
He, however, expressed concern that the country had failed to harness the culture and arts potential for its socio-economic and political advancement.
“I believe that in this era of change, the relevance of culture and arts is to key to the new order and spirit, and the focus of the country is to contribute toward socio economic and political advancement
“In this era of change we are desirous of the use of any tool that will advance the nation’s socio-economic and political aspirations, which the nation’s arts and culture becomes vital.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
“Nigeria is very rich in arts and has clearly dominated the music scene in Africa and the black world as a whole.
“Our films and movies are in all parts of the world today. We have seen our culture and arts demolishing many cultures in the world.
“The government and private sector can appreciate our culture and arts by ensuring that the sector gets adequate funding and support for the artists and artworks in the country,’’ he said.
Sani, who is also an author and a human rights activist, called on government to also give priority to the arts and culture sector, instead of focusing on oil.
“The era of oil is going; there is the need for our government and those of us in position of authority to help to sustain the country and its economy.
“For this to happen, then, our attention has to move also to the arts and culture sector.“
Sani, an APC representing Kaduna Central, however, commended the entertainment industry for its tremendous contributions to the promotion and projection of the nation’s arts and culture across the world.
“Fifteen years ago, we only had Congo music, Cameroonian music, occupying the air waves, but now Nigeria is everywhere across the globe with its cultural and artistic works.
“It is dominating and making waves in different places.
NAN reports that the seminar had the theme, “Development and Growth of the Culture and Arts Sector under the EU-ECOWAS Economic Partnership Agreement’’, focused on job creation for the citizens.
The theme was also aimed at building strong components of development to pave the way for sustainable economic growth in West Africa. (NAN)