Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday appointed actress Joke Silver, actor Kunle Afolayan and others into the newly constituted Board of Arts and Culture.
The governor urged them to go all out and explore private sector support to nurture new talents and generate events for a sustainable development of the creative arts sector in the State.
The Governor, who spoke at the inauguration of the Board at the Banquet Hall, State House, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, said that though the State Government in the last 23 months had covered a lot of ground in terms of design and structure of the arts and entertainment sector, so much still needed to be done if it must realise its goal to become a global hub for music, theatre and film.
“The commitment of our administration to harness the huge creative talents that abound in the State in the fields of Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Sports has never been in doubt. The ultimate goal is to use all of these to drive tourism, create employment and increase the contribution of the non-oil sector to the State’s gross domestic product.
“The Council for Arts and Culture which we have just inaugurated has a huge responsibility to translate our vision in this regard to reality,” the Governor said.
Governor Ambode said the Board would among other things, be expected to ensure the sustainable management of arts and culture facilities and infrastructures in the State and create a sustainable framework for the sector.
While urging the Board to generate local and international events to showcase and promote the State’s diverse talents in the field of creative arts, music, entertainment and sports, he tasked them to promote and preserve the rich cultural heritage while being sensitive to the diverse cultures of the citizens of the State.
He said the State was currently leading the initiatives to transform the National Museum and the iconic National Arts Theatre into world class centres of history, tourism arts and entertainment, while construction work on the six arts theatres across the state has began in earnest.
Besides, Governor Ambode said that in recognition of the enormous responsibilities the Board would be saddled with, his administration ensured that only seasoned professionals, notable and respected personalities were chosen to serve on the council.
Members of Board include, arts enthusiast, Mrs. Polly Alakija as Chairman, with veteran thespian, Joke Silva, multiple award winning actor and movie producer, Kunle Afolayan, influential visual artist, Mr. Kolade Oshinowo and foremost artist and designer, Chief Mrs. Nike Okundaye as members.
Other members include, Mobee of Badagry, High Chief Patrick Yodenu Mobee, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Adesina Adeyemi and Director of Culture at the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, Mrs. Saidat Otulana.
He said the inauguration of the Board, coming on the heels of the 50-day event countdown of the State’s Golden Jubilee celebration, showed the total commitment of his administration to put the arts and culture sector in the right perspective.
“We will continue to provide a conducive environment for a private sector-led development as a strategy towards actualizing our vision. While we will intervene where and when necessary to support this development strategy, it will be the responsibility of this distinguished Council to seek and explore private sector support to nurture new talents and generate events for a sustainable development of the creative arts sector in the State,” he said.
Governor Ambode also thanked members of the Board for accepting to serve the State especially the Chairman, Mrs. Polly Alakija, whom according to him, is well revered for her commitment to the arts and selfless service to the society.
Speaking on behalf of the new appointees, Mrs. Polly Alakija thanked Governor Ambode for reposing confidence on her and other Board members, assuring that they would stop at nothing to make great impact in the lives of young people through arts, culture and creative sector.
She also assured of the commitment of the Board to explore all areas of possibilities to achieve the set out objectives to make the arts and entertainment sector evolve as a revenue generating mechanism for the State.