Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has urged Nigerians to develop, promote and imbibe the culture of social integration.
Mohammed in his speech at an event to celebrate World International Day for Culture, yesterday in Abuja, said such integration would enable Nigerians live together in unity and peace irrespective of religious, ethnic and cultural differences
The minister was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Grace Gekpe.
“Social integration is the remedy in addressing the inequalities that exist among the different ethnic groups and cultures in the country.
“Therefore, building culture into our development process is a pivotal remedy to the present state of our nation as culture provides the necessary platform to create jobs, reduce poverty and enhance the socio-economic empowerment of the populace.
“Today’s event underscores our unique strength as a nation with diverse and rich cultural heritage, which can be harness in transforming the minds, attitudes and behaviours of our citizenry for national development.
“The absence of sustainable peace in any society is a threat to peaceful co-existence, growth, prosperity and national development; thus culture plays a significant role in promoting sustainable peace and social development.
“For any economy to develop and thrive, certain conditions must be met which include good governance, corrupt-free society, conducive business environment, promulgation and enforcement of laws.
“The present administration has taken steps in the right direction to re-orient our people with the `Change Begins with Me Campaign’ in 2016 and the Ease of Doing Business Policy to attract foreign investment, fight against corruption and others.
“I wish to call on all well-meaning Nigerians and stakeholders alike to consciously promote the culture of peace and cultural diplomacy to enhance national growth and development,’’ Mohammed said.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay said a diverse world was not only more peaceful but prosperous and equitable.
Azoulay, who was represented by Ms Adele Nibota, the Culture Advisor, UNESCO Regional Office, Abuja said today is an opportunity for all to celebrate the cultural diversity we cherished and strive to promote.
“The year 2019 has been declared the International Year of Indigenous Language by the General Assembly of the UN, an initiative to bring awareness to the importance of linguistic diversity.
“There are over 7, 000 languages spoken across the world; the majority of which are spoken by indigenous people.