President Muhammadu Buhari has decried the low perception of arts and culture in the country promising that his administration would change the trend.
The President made this known in Abuja while declaring open a photographic exhibition organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
The exhibition with the theme, “Political Development of Nigeria 1960-Date: The Change Mantra’’, showcased the historical and political development of the country.
The President who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said that for the arts and culture to take its rightful position, the orientation of the people must be changed towards the potentials in the sector.
“When we organised the 2016 National Summit on Culture and Tourism, we discovered that there was issue of low perception of arts and culture which has to change.
“Any country that forgets its history is bound not to make any progress.
“All we are doing here is to show that the country, over the years, has produced great people and the essence is to inspire Nigerians,’’ he said.
The president underscored the importance of collective efforts of the people in developing any sector.
“There was no Minister of Agriculture in the first Republic, but the collective efforts of Nigerians led to agricultural revolution of the period.
“The success of the groundnut pyramid in the North, the cocoa in the West, coal in the East, rubber and timber in other parts of the country was a collective effort of all Nigerians.
“ It was the character of the leaders and commitment of the people that made all these achievable.
“The committed and focused leadership of this administration will surely take the country out of depression and the current challenges that are confronting us,’’ he said.
The president who described the exhibited works as “creative arts in their finest’’ commended the organiser and exhibitors for a good work.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Ayotunde Adesugba, appreciated the president and the minister for their dynamic and purposeful leadership.
She said the ministry was committed to making arts, craft and tourism attractive like the oil industry.
Adesugba also appreciated the collective efforts of National Gallery of Arts, National Council for Arts and Culture, National Commission for Museum and Monument for their contributions to the exhibition.
She said that the exhibition would remain open to the public till May 30.
The event was attended by the Chief Justice of the Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed the Acting Managing Director of NAN, Mr Jones Afolabi and the Director-General (D-G) of National Council for Art and Culture, Mrs Dayo Kashi.
Also at the event were the D-Gs of National Commission for Museum and Monument, Alhaji Abdallah Usman; Centre for Black and African Art and Civilisation, Mr Ferdinand Anikwe; and National Gallery of Arts, Alhaji Abdullahi Muku.