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  • 2019-10-08 09:17:24

VARSITY DON CALLS FOR FUNDING OF ARTS AND CULTURE

A University don, Prof. Edde Iji of the Department of Theatre, Film and Carnival Studies, University of Calabar, has called on Public and Private Sectors of the economy, including Public- spirited individuals to fund arts and culture for effective regular productions and performances of valuable plays and other cultural activities. Prof. Iji made the call at the Institutions' International Conference Centre while delivering the 1st Valedictory lecture of the institution with the theme: “ Metamodern Commodification of Creative- Cultural Industries in Nigeria: Artistic- Aesthetic Contradictions" He said the nation's arts and culture is in dire need of funding hence the need for captains of industries, upstream and downstream sectors of our Petroleum industries, including banks, boards, parastatals, private companies and corporations to take up the challenges of providing adequate funds for arts and culture, as it is done in developed countries. According to the valedictory lecturer, adequate funding of arts and culture would help to create employments, reduce poverty and its tributaries of Socio- cultural imbalances. Prof Iji maintained that such endeavors would help to sustainably develop, reactivate, refine and consolidate towards building up or rebuilding Nigeria's heritage through arts and culture for posterity. The Varsity don said government support for arts and culture should be expanded to include other sectors of the economy, which he said, could help stem the ever-rising tide of youth restiveness caused mostly by unemployment. He said such support would also contribute in no small measure in curbing incidences of bank robberies, hired assassins, kidnappings, among other sociocultural ills that qualify Nigeria as the poverty capital of the World. Edde Iji, a Professor of Comparative Theatre and Media Arts stressed that the culture of funding, sponsorships and endowments could be legislated on, and be made tax-deductible in favor of the public or private sector. He said Nigeria's successive government's refusal to endow the arts and culture, as recommended by the World Decade for Cultural Development, since 1988 to date, is one of the most indelible indictments against all Nigeria's leaders. According to him, under the current administration of President Muhammad Buhari, endowment and funding for arts and culture can be considered as being on life support in Aso Rock, as being midwifed by Lai Muhammed and other custodians of arts and cultural sectors. He stressed that the Nigerian government, at local, State and federal levels, cannot continue to leave the tourism sector underdeveloped, any longer, adding that the tourism goldmines, lying underutilized, if resourcefully exploited, can make a lot of difference to the diversification of her doom-laden mono cultural industry, the crude oil. The Valedictory lecture opined that arts and culture are political and should flourish, even as he appealed to consumers across political divides to effect sustainable survival strategies through the instrumentality of commodification and maximization of which can be reached through digitalization process. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Zana Akpagu, in his remarks, congratulated the erudite scholar for making history by delivering the first ever valedictory lecture of the institution. Prof Akpagu who described the valedictory lecturer as a very senior academic said he holds him in high esteem, saying his wealth of knowledge is extraordinary. While thanking him for the 'sumptuous' intellectual menu, he commended him for his numerous contributions to the development of the institution.

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