Ecobank Unearths Economic Potentials in Nigeria’s Creative Industry

Ecobank Unearths Economic Potentials in Nigeria’s Creative Industry

…As Minister describes sector as the highest potential for wealth creation

Raheem Akingbolu

With a deliberate commitment to promote made-in-Nigeria brands, thereby attracting dollars and other foreign currencies, Nigeria’s economy and her currencies will become stronger in the years ahead, the management of Ecobank Nigeria Plc, has stated.

The bank has also explained that its decision to support the nation’s creative industry, and partner Soto Gallery for this year’s +234Art Fair, was to enable the industry contribute its own quota to the growth and development of the nation’s economy.

Briefing the media on the, ten-day-fair recently unveiled, in Lagos, the Managing Director/Regional Executive, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Bolaji Lawal, stated that the present state of the nation’s economy makes it imperative for corporate organizations to support noble dreams and aspirations of Nigerians.

“So what we are doing with this exhibition is to look at young promising Nigerians, especially the ‘ungalleried’ artists, in the country, and provide them the platform to grow. It’s not about us, it’s about the country. It’s about the creative industry, because we believe that if the potential in the industry is well-harnessed, the industry could be a source of economic turn-around for the country,” he stated.

He therefore expressed the hope that some of the over 220 artists, participating at the fair, would turn out to be dollar-earning artists, and in consequence, be a source of foreign exchange earners for the country.

“We believe if we are able to bring out five to ten of these people, and take them to a higher level of financial freedom and independence, we must have achieved our goal of supporting the fair,” he stated.

In her remarks, the Founder Soto Gallery and Curator +234 Art Fair, Mrs. Tola Akerele explained that the ten-day fair, designed for young, ‘ungalleried’, and emerging artists, would feature Fine Art, Photography and Sculpture.

While expressing her delight on the partnership, she added that the Gallery decided to partner with Ecobank because the financial institution’s values align with those of the Gallery.

She stated further that the theme of the fair, ‘A New Heritage’, is designed to serve as a melting pot of artistic creativity from different strata of the society.

Some of the highlights of the fair, she stated, include: diverse art exhibits, Art-centric bookstore, Immersive children’s area, VIP lounge and engaging Masterclasses and Workshops, among others.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musa Musawa has disclosed that the Federal Government has developed a road map and strategic framework for the creative industry, as the sector with the highest potential for wealth creation, especially now that the country is determined to diversify from oil.

Musawa, who was a guest at the ongoing +234 art Fair holding at the Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC), stated that the government has a robust plan to support culture and economic expansion through the creative industry.

She said that government cannot do it alone and is therefore looking towards a public-private sector (PPP) arrangement to accomplish this goal. The ongoing +234Art is an international art exhibition curated by Soto Gallery, in partnership with Ecobank Nigeria Limited and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) for young ‘un-galleried’ emerging Nigerian Artists.

The 10-day exhibition showcasing over 200 artists from across the country runs from Friday March 22 through 31, 2024. The Minister, who visited the various exhibition stands at the fair, expressed satisfaction with the painting, photography and sculpture on display, assuring of massive support and exposure to the young artists to enable them contribute more to the growth of the economy

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