Nigerian Cultural Policy and Heritage

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The Problem Statement

The National Cultural Policy since its inception has remained unchanged for 30years and even the attempt to review the policy in 2008, did not see the day of light. The Nigerian Cultural heritage is faced with many challenges which arise from Modernization, archaic value system, conflicts, ignorance, thefts and looting of museums, improper preservation and conservation, poor funding, non-collaborative research and improper documentation amongst others.

The Policy Solution

The National Cultural Policy was launched in 1988 is a document prescribing guidelines, procedures, methods and practice of culture in the country. The 1988 policy
is divided into three parts and is generally regarded as an instrument of promotion of national identity and Nigerian unity, as well as of communication and cooperation among different Nigerian or African cultures.

The policy objectives include:

  • To mobilize and motivate the people by disseminating and propagating ideas which promote national pride, solidarity and consciousness;
  • Evolution of national culture from our plurality or diversity;
  • Promotion of an educational system that motivates and stimulates creativity and draws largely on our traditional values;
  • Promotion of creativity in the fields of arts, science, technology and ensure continuity of traditional skills and sports and updating them to serve modern development;
  • Establishment of a code of behavior compatible with our tradition of humanism and disciplined moral society;
  • Sustenance of environmental and social conditions that enhance the quality of life, produce responsible citizenship and ordered society;
  • Enhancement of the efficient management of national resources through the transformation of indigenous technology and skills; and
  • National self-reliance and sufficiency and reflection of cultural heritage and national aspiration in the process of industrialization.

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NIGAC Constructive Position/Take

Culture refers to the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society. On the other hand, heritage refers to the aspects of culture which are inherited to the present and which will be preserved for the future.

National cultural policy is generally regarded as an instrument of promotion of national identity and Nigerian unity, as well as of communication and cooperation among different Nigerian or African cultures, while the federal states’ cultural policies stand for the affirmation and development of particular (ethnic) cultures.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has commenced the establishment of cultural industries in states of the federation; seven of such industries have been established.

Looking at history and current realities, it is very obvious that the Federal Government needs to do more to protect culture. Buildings, artworks and other items pertaining to Nigeria’s culture need to be protected and promoted.

It is important that culture is seen as a tool for enhancing good governance and social cohesion.

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