Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
In its quest to showcase the social economic opportunities in the creative industry, the federal government has vowed to develop the culture and tourism sector as a response to the country’s present economic situation.
The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the 9th African Arts and Crafts (AFAC) Exhibition 2016, organised by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), with the theme, ‘African Arts and Craft: A Catalyst for Investment in the Nigerian Creative Industries.’
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ms. Ayotunde Adesuba noted that with the population of about 180 million, Nigeria is a fertile market for any qualitative product.
According to him, “the event which has attracted the relevant stakeholders, including several nations of the world has been put together to bring to the fore the economic opportunities that abound in the creative industries.”
Mohammed noted that its potentialities should therefore be properly harnessed as this would contribute towards arresting youth restiveness, rural-urban drift, reduce poverty, unemployment and other societal vices.
He noted: “one of the most remarkable indices of development since the middle of the 20th century has been mobilisation of culture and tourism as a preferred form of economic development at local, regional and national levels. Indeed, many governments of the world have integrated culture and tourism firmly into their economic development strategies in recognition of their potentials and as response to particular economic situations, such as ours.”
“It is against this background that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will be delighted to see this fair fully developed to exploit the innate capacity of our people, particularly those living in local areas, women and youth who are the major drivers of the cottage industries,” Mohammed added.
The minister stated that the federal government was determined to support the nation’s arts and crafts industry towards developing the capacity for undertaking the supply of large volume and high standard products which could effectively dominate domestic market while excelling in the global market.
Earlier, the Director General of NCAC, Mrs. Dayo Keshi said African arts and culture expo provide a platform where artistry, craftsmanship and entrepreneurial skills are discovered, developed, showcase and marketed with a view to unveiling the investment opportunities and economic potentials that abound in the sector.
She stated that “it is clear that if properly supported and developed, AFAC can be a catalyst that will not only drive the economic diversification efforts of the present administration but also contribute to fast-tracking the growth of our national economy.”
The DG therefore appealed to the government that investment in the creative industry should become cardinal point in the growth of the country’s economy.