Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, has described drumming as a good form of communication and a fantastic means of entertainment.
Mbanefo disclosed this during the Drums Festival 2016, organized by Ogun State Government, recently at M.K.O. Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta.
According to NTDC boss, the Yoruba have a lot to showcase to the world in terms of cultural heritage for tourism development.
“Africa has come to standstill today because of Ogun State. The state is the center of action with this well-packaged event. The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Eniitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, came with many African ambassadors to this event. That shows the importance of Yoruba heritage and culture in Nigeria.
“Most of the African Ambassadors are here today because of tourism. All the Ambassadors have closed their offices to support the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the people of Ogun and the Egbaland in particular. We want to unify from within: the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. And also, African countries at large.
“The success of the Drums Festival 2016 is a clear indication that if cultural tourism is well-developed and promoted in Nigeria, we will have labyrinth of tourists’ footfalls, which will greatly boost the nation’s economy, create huge employment and empowerment in the communities where the tourist sites and cultural festivals are located. It will interest you that the crowd-pulling carnivals in Nigeria are so much that you can’t finish writing about them.”
The NTDC boss also decried the adverse effects of civilization on the culture and heritage of the Nigeria people, saying “civilization has made us forget our culture and heritage. We must know that a country that forget its culture and heritage has lost its essence. Thus, we need to appreciate and be proud of our culture and heritage, and give a good attention to the promotion of our cultural heritage.
“I make the traditional rulers my first point of call wherever I go because they are the rightful custodian of our culture and heritage. To practically promote our cultural heritage, we must work together with the traditional rulers.
“We are happy to be here today. We are here to celebrate the unity of the Nigerian people,” Mbanefo said.
Earlier in his speech, the Ogun State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Muyiwa Oladipo, said culture and tourism make an invaluable contribution to the economic, social and environmental well-being of a society and its people, adding that in Nigeria, this sector is unique in its commercial and cultural significance and has the potential to contribute to every state’s economy while enabling Nigerians to explore their heritage, and celebrate their cultural diversity.