Youth empowerment: Artists urge FG to invest in arts

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Mr Muhammad Suleiman, President, Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) has urged the Federal Government to empower Nigerian youths to boost the country’s GDP through investment in arts. Suleiman made the call in an interview with the Newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said deliberate empowerment of youths through investment in art would enhance growth in the country’s GDP.

“If the government is out to invest, then, it must be an investment in the process of making art to survive, but this time it should be ‘Art for Survival’.

“Art for survival means that you are making things that people can use almost immediately. For example, tea cups, fans, creating interns for people to learn very fast and do many other things.

“The youths are the ones you will find in many places doing computer graphics, textile, binding and clothings.

“They are independently doing too many jobs for survival and are good at them, but it is disappointing that the government is not investing in these areas,” he said.

He said that the desire of every nation is to grow, but must put things in place like creating avenues for sponsors and companies to invest in the arts.According to him, growing means that you have been able to teach kids from a younger age the importance of art.

“Whether we like it or not, all the nations that you are seeing today that are advanced put arts before everything first,“he said.

Suleiman called for a better understanding of the importance of art works in the society, adding that the profession should not be seen as just drawing human faces.

He said art is far beyond that, “is what you used to develop societies, art is also like therapy for people that are traumatised, art is much more than what we hear or see from around.“