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Don seeks better deal for arts, culture industry

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Professor Edde Iji of the Department of Theatre, Film and Carnival Studies, University of Calabar (UNICAL) has pleaded with the public and private sectors as well as public-spirited individuals and organisations to fund arts and culture for improved output.

He made the appeal yesterday in Calabar, Cross River while delivering the valedictory lecture of the institution with the theme, “Metamodern Commodification of Creative – Cultural Industries In Nigeria: Artistic- Aesthetic Contradictions.”

Iji said that the nation’s arts and culture industry was in dire need of funding, hence the need for captains of industries, oil majors, banks, boards, parastatals, private companies, and corporations to take up the challenge of salvaging it as obtained in developed countries.

According to the valedictory lecturer, a better deal for the sub-sector would generate jobs, reduce poverty and address socio-cultural imbalances.

The don noted that such a move would be helpful to the rebuilding of Nigeria’s heritage for posterity.

He said government’s support for arts and culture should be extended to other sectors of the economy to stem the increasing youth restiveness caused mainly by unemployment.

Iji noted that the decision would also check robberies, killings, kidnappings and other social vices.

The 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 favour of the public or private sector.

He stated that the failure of successive administrations to endow arts and culture, as recommended by the World Decade for Cultural Development since 1988, was one of the indelible indictments against all Nigerian leaders.


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