FG signs MoU to revive dormant festivals, traditional games


Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the British Council on the revival of nation’s dormant festivals and traditional games.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed signed the MoU with the Chief Executive of the British Council, Sir Ciaran Devane in Edinburgh, Scotland.

In a statement issued onThursday by the Special Adviser to the Minister, Mr Segun Adeyemi, the agreement was signed on Wednesday on the sidelines of the ongoing 2016 Edinburgh International Festival Summit.

In the agreement, the government requested for a partnership to help train festival managers, revive the country’s major festivals and prevent its traditional games from dying.

The minister described the MoU as the height of the “spirit of cooperation that has taken us thus far”, adding “it must put more emphasis on substance rather than form’’.

“We need to have a work plan that will enable us to measure achievement year by year.

“A MoU that does not achieve visible results is not worth its while,’’ he said.

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Mohammed said that the challenge facing the sector was how to ensure that it transited from creative industry to creative economy.

He said that the country was interested in capacity building for festival managers with a view to changing its festivals from mere fun events to business.

“Nigeria is particularly keen to revive such grand festivals as the Durbar and Argungun, which have not been held for some years.

“We also want to prevent such traditional games like ‘ayo’ from dying, because of their importance in teaching sportsmanship and promoting tolerance,” he said.

In his comments, Devane expressed delight at the partnership and the hope that it would allow both parties to translate their intent into action.

“The British Council is delighted to assist in any way we can to take the partnership further,” he said.

The minister said that government also had the plan to sign a similar cooperation agreement with the Tony Elumelu Foundation.