Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state, on Monday urged Nigerians to fully harness the nation’s cultural potentials for national development.
Fayemi said this at the opening ceremony of the 34th edition of the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) held in Ekiti Parapo Pavilion in Ado-Ekiti.
He said that culture was one of the main pillars of development, adding that without culture, development would be greatly hindered.
The 34th NAFEST had the theme: “Celebrating National Unity in Diversity”. The weeklong festival will end on Saturday.
“I understand that culture is one of the main pillars of development, so without culture, it is certain that development will be greatly hindered.”
“The current state of the nation requires that efforts should be made to revive our diverse culture to enhance the potential in our arts and to ensure socio-political stability and viability of our economy,” he said.
Fayemi called on Nigerians to engage in innovative and creative solutions by investing in culture which would in turn impact on economic growth.
“As a country with diverse cultures, it is imperative for us to take advantage of the innate gains of our diversity; we are hospitable, generous and peace loving people.”
”I am happy as the host governor of the 34th NAFEST, my administration has invested in the development of culture, we have gone beyond the development of physical infrastructure to promote culture.”
“This has given us the strength to host such a festival as this.”
“Today’s event marks the fulfilment of our aspirations to draw attention to our culture, tourism and the creative industry,” he said.
Fayemi disclosed that the state had inculcated the state’s cultural value “Ekiti Kete” in the educational curriculum of primary and post primary schools.
“We have taken the development of culture to the realm of cultural re-orientation, attitudinal change and value re-orientation.”
“Am delighted to inform you that our cultural value as ‘Ekiti kete’ has been included in our educational curriculum to be taught in primary and post primary classes in the state.”
“This is to let you know how we believe in culture as an instrument of change, capable of transforming our society and changing our socio-political lives for the better.”
“As a responsible government, we are happy to host NAFEST because it is a symbol of unity for us as a nation.”
“Beyond your participation in NAFEST, visit our cultural and heritage sites, please feel free to see how well you can integrate yourself and feel at home with us,” he said.