Mrs Bolanle Austen-Peters, the founder of Terra Kulture and a former Minister of State for Defence, Mr Demola Seriki , had called for more Private Public Partnership (PPP) involvement to develop the culture sector in the country.
Austen-Peters and Seriki spoke at a joint news briefing held in Lagos late on Friday.Austine-Peters, a movie producer and director, said that the sector could thrive and flourish, if the Federal Government seeks more PPP initiatives.
“The government cannot do it all alone; it requires private, public partnership initiative.“Government has been playing its part by organizing stakeholders’ meetings and some other means of seeking partnership, nevertheless, it needed to do more.
“The potential and resources in the sector are huge, therefore, government should call for more participation and involvement from the organized private sector to move the sector forward,” she said.
Austin-Peters said that her cultural firm had been contributing its quota to national development as it had directly employed no fewer than 200 Nigerians since its inception in 2003.
“We have also employed indirectly over 500 visual artists, movie producers, artists and other creativities over the years,” she said.
She added that her firm used to organise arts exhibition for artists, visual artists, movie producers and other creativities 12 times in a year.“It is a platform for the creative producers to exhibit their talents to the outside world and to display what they know how to do best.
“ My firm has helped many artists to be self employed, empowered them and also promoted them to the world, ” she said.She said that if such initiative could be replicated in all the states of federation, it would create more employment opportunities for many Nigerians and boost government revenue earnings.
Austine-Peters commended Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, for his efforts in the development of the sector.This would no doubt turn it to be a major money spinning/generating sector in the country with time, she said.
She urged the government to provide an enabling environment for up-and-coming artists so that they could grow and development the sector the more.She also commended Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State for his efforts in promoting and advancing tourism, arts and culture sector in the state.
“It is a laudable idea that the Lagos State Government (LASG) was planning to build theatre arts complex in the divisional areas of the state.“It is indeed a beautiful idea, it will help practitioners to improve on their professionalism,” she said.
Earlier, Mr Demola Seriki, a former Minister of State for Defence, had urged the government to look beyond the oil sector and invest more in agriculture and culture.Seriki said that several years back, Nigeria depended on Agriculture sector as its major source of revenue before diverting to the oil sector.
“The agriculture viability and potential are still there as it was in the past, the government just needed to pay more attention to it and harness it potentialities.“ Agriculture has a lot to offer than oil sector because it is a country’s major means of sustenance. Without food, there is no life.
“Food is the major thing, once that is guaranteed, other things will follow,” he said.Seriki also said that the potential in culture cannot be over-emphasised, so many advanced countries had made it through the development and exhibitions of their cultural heritage.He said that Nigeria could also make its huge revenue through culture, if the potential in the sector were properly utilised.