Nigeria targets a million visitors for Abuja Carnival

Solomon Chung, Abuja

A scene from the Abuja carnival

As Nigeria’s crude oil earnings reduce, the Tourism and Culture sector has been strategically placed to play a key role in stimulating the country’s economy.

The country’s Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed said this in a speech to a meeting of stakeholders for the 2016 Abuja Carnival.

Mohammed, who was represented by Mr Goerge Ufot,a Director in-charge of International Cultural Relations said that Nigeria was endowed with a diverse cultural heritage and a thriving multi-sectorial creative industry which is a key contributor to economic growth as well as employment generation.

“Abuja Carnival brings together both indigenous and foreign tourists to enjoy the remarkable aesthetic creativity and culturaltourism that the carnival showcases and also provides a veritable springboard in harnessing our multi-cultural creative ingenuity locally and internationally for economic growth, productivity and development.”

The Minister then charged the stakeholders to apply their technical and professional expertise at the meeting to deliberate and contribute significantly to the success of the 2016 carnival.

On her part, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry ,Mrs Ayotunde Adesugba who was also represented by the Director of Entertainment, Ms. Grace Ekpe said the carnival is imperative to economic stimulation because it accommodates both skilled and unskilled citizens and as such has a multiplier effect on the value chain.

“Abuja carnival generates business opportunities for singers, song writers, choreographers, costume makers, designers, makeup artistes and musicians.It has also driven the growth and development of the micro, small and medium enterprises of the Nigerian economy”

Mr Abiodun Abe, the Artistic Director of the Abuja carnival said this year’s edition is targeting about one million visitors, both local and international.

According to him, the carnival brings more than the eye can see because of its long term positive implications.

“The carnival presents the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria drawn from the 36 states of the Federation. It also celebrates Nigeria as a warm and safe place to visit. Again the hospitality industry in the federal Capital Territory and environs will have some economic boost.”

The theme of the 2016  Abuja carnival is: ‘The Creative Industry; A Pivot To Economic Growth’ and is holding in the month of November in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.