The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Friday said arts and crafts can create jobs and economic prosperity.
The minister spoke during a visit to the ongoing African Arts and Craft Expo in Abuja, during which he inspected all the pavilions of the Exhibitors from across the country and many African nations.
The minister, who was with the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Madam Grace Isu Gekpe, used the occasion to restate the present administration’s commitment to exploiting the Creative Industry in its drive to diversify the economy.
“We have gone to pavilions, individual galleries and also (those belonging to the) states and countries. I think the whole idea is to let Nigerians know that this government believes in this diversification of its economy and that the Creative Industry in particular, films, arts and craft and the likes, is one area which is under-exploited and it can employ more people and create wealth.
“What you have seen today is just the skills and talents of Nigerians,” he said.
Mohammed stressed the contribution of the Creative Industry to Nigeria’s exit from recession and said it is one industry that grew by 11.7% even when other sub-sectors of the economy were experiencing contraction.
He commended the artistry, expertise and creativity of Nigerians, saying he is impressed that the industry is now attracting young people with talents and skills.
“To me, the most important aspect of it is that Nigerians are now getting more involved and they are now seeing the value of creativity.
They now see that the economy is not just about White Collar jobs or even Blue Collar jobs. Today’s economy is more of talent-based and knowledge-based,” the Minister said.
He advised the Exhibitors to always enveadour to improve the quality of the packaging of their products in order to be able to compete with other products.
Mohammed also implored them to use the Social Media and showcase their products to a global audience at minimal cost.
In her remarks, Mrs. Oyo-Ita expressed delight at the abundant talents in Nigeria, which she said are playing a critical role in reviving the nation’s culture and tradition.
“It’s very exciting to know that we have this level of arts work and talent in Nigeria. You can see a lot of traditional items that we thought have been phased out are being rejuvenated,” she said.
Mrs. Oyo-Ita commended the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture for showcasing the nation’s huge potentials in arts and craft.
The exhibition is being organised by the National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC).