By Ene Osang
The federal government has assured of its commitment to utililise Nigeria’s Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) as tool for socio-economic empowerment through the non-oil sector.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the assurance at the final stakeholders meeting on the implementation of the 2003 convention on ICH held in Abuja, Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Deaconess Grace Isu Gekpe, Mohammed maintained that living heritage is a mainspring of cultural diversity, adding that human creativity is instrumental to sustainable development of the country through the effective implementation of the 2003 convention for safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage.
He noted that Nigeria had secured international assistance from UNESCO Japanese Fund in Trust to the tune of $300, 000.00 to implement the 2003 convention for safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in Nigeria.
“Three communities of Oyo, Bida and Calabar were engaged as pilot communities towards the project implementation and they have developed an inventory and mechanism tailored to the needs of Nigeria,” he said.
The minister charged them to promote better visibility of intangible cultural heritage and project its function in the society, while commending their active participation in translating the training they received to practical fieldwork.
The Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke, who was represented by the First Secretary in the Embassy, Hideki Sakamoto, tasked Nigeria on the preservation of her cultural heritage for the future generation.
He expressed happiness over Nigeria’s show of commitment towards the actualisation of the project, urging it to ensure that the project is replicated in other areas.
Earlier the UNESCO regional Director, Ydo Yao commended the government for creating an enabling environment for the implementation of the project.