Nigeria has been advised to harness the vast potential in its arts, culture and tourism heritage to create employment and boost it’s economy.
The Founder and President of Asa Day Worldwide, Mr. Olaniyi Oyatoye who gave the advice in Lagos during a news briefing ahead of this year’s “Asa Day” noted that the Country stands a greater chance of surviving the current economic challenges, if it could focus more on Cultural Tourism and empower the youths.
“If collaboration and partnership are cultivated between performing artists, museums and states that are blessed with natural and cultural endowments, the resultant cultural tourism synergy will be presented as exciting performances at vital tourist destinations across the country. As a significant tourist destination, museums are the cultural central and memory bank of any nation, including Nigeria,” he said.
Mr Olatoye advocated the development of a cultural tourism calendar of events across the country to guide both local and international tourists.
He explained that this year’s Asa Day with the theme: “Let’s Use Our Cultural Heritage To Revive Our Economy” which will be held in partnership with the Lagos State Government on the 21st of this month in Agidingbi Ikeja, would be a three in one event including empowerment of youths and restoration of cultural items.
Popularly known as Baba Asa in Canada where he is based, Mr Oyatoye who said
Asa Day, which has been observed in Canada in the past five years, was aimed at promoting the Nigeria culture especially the Yoruba language and culture from going into extinction.
Appalled by the decline in the use of mother tongues among Nigerians living within the country, Mr Oyatoye called on parents to speak native languages to their children because it embody Culture, noting that if the languages die, the culture will also die a natural death.
“We are trying to encourage every Nigerian, not just Yoruba alone, to go back to the roots, the English language is just a means of communication, it is not our identity, our culture and traditional must not die and whatever we need to do to ensure this, we must do it” Oyatoye emphasised.
In his remarks, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Solomon Bonu, who commended Mr Olaniyi Oyatoye for promoting his culture and heritage pointed out that the concept of Asa Day was in line with the present administration’s objective to use art and culture to boost the state’s economy.
Mr Bonus called on other Nigerian youths, both within and outside the Country to key into the creative industry for employment
“I will urge all our youths to key into the creative industry and bring out something unique, and just like Lagos State is supporting Mr Oyatoye, we will also support you” he said.