Air chief tasks music professionals, educators on national development

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has urged music professionals and educators to promote professionalism and national development through music.

Abubakar made the call at the 19th Annual National Conference of the Society of Music Educators of Nigeria (SOMEN), hosted by the Directorate of Music, Nigeria Air Force, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The CAS was represented by the Chief of Administration (NAF), AVM Idi Sani, at the event.

The conference is with the theme, “Vision 2030 and The Musical Arts Education in Nigeria”.

He said the event aligned with one of the key enablers of his command philosophy which is, ‘Deliberate Training and Mission Oriented Force Development.

According to him, it is envisaged that this initiative will no doubt impact positively to further enrich the capacity of participants from various institutions and the military for efficient and effective service delivery.

Abubakar commended the society for noble ideas and key roles in setting standards in promoting music teachings and learning in schools with due considerations also for military and paramilitary training institutions.

He said the theme was apt in view of the usefulness of music as a valuable tool to achieving development.

“It is my conviction that the import of this conference will engender positive ideas that will make significant impact on the society at large.

“Let me therefore, enjoin all participants to deliberate on this forum to acquire more knowledge that will spout better approaches to effectively contribute the development of your various institutions and our dear nation.

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“Let me reassure you of our continued support toward ensuring that the capacity building initiatives for improved professionalism would be attained and effect on the development of education in Nigeria achieved with desired results,’’ he said.

The Minster of Education, Tahir Mamman, represented by Mrs Esther Obi, commended SOMEN for their effort in meeting the Vision 2030 concerning music education in Nigeria.

Mamman said that the vision 2030 encompassed prioritising the development of music education programmes, nurturing talents, and promoting cultural heritage through music.

This, he said, could involve initiatives such as curriculum enhancements, funding for musical schools, and creating opportunities for young musicians to showcase their talent internationally by nurturing musical art education.

According to him, within Vision 2030, the power of music to enrich society, preserve cultural identity, and contribute to economic growth is highlighted.

“We all know that music has the extraordinary power to transcend boundaries, unite communities, and inspire change.

“Through your dedication and passion for music education, you are not only shaping the next generation of musicians, but also nurturing a culture of creativity and expression.

“Let us also reaffirm our collective commitment to excellence, inclusivity, innovation, and continue to explore new horizons, break down barriers, and empower individuals of backgrounds to discover the transformative power of music,’’ he added.

The President of SOMEN, Dr Ikenna Onwuegbuna, said the conference stood as a beacon of knowledge, innovation, and collaboration, saying the global economies had shifted from commodity based to knowledge based.

Onwuegbuna said the workshops and panel discussions were designed to challenge their thoughts, extend knowledge, and inspire their spirits.

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He encouraged all participants to engage fully, ask questions, challenge the ideas presented, and seek to forge new relationships and collaborations.

According to him, it is through interactions that innovation is born and academic communities thrive.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SOMEN is an academic and professional body established in 1999 for the development of Music Education in Nigeria, at all levels. (NAN) (

Edited by Benson Iziama and Abiemwense Moru

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