The Bank of Industry (BOI) has earmark N1.7 billion for the development of modern arts and crafts in Niger State, says Mr Emmanuel Zhiri, the Acting Executive Director, Council for Arts and Culture.
Zhiri told newsmen in Minna on Tuesday that the gesture was aimed at boosting tourism in the state.
“Our efforts in the development of arts and crafts in Niger State has attracted the BOI to collaborate with the state government.
“As I am speaking to you now, BOI has set aside N1.7 billion for the development of arts and crafts in Niger State.’’
Zhiri said that the development of the arts and crafts sector would be a collaborative effort among the BOI, state government and other private partners.
He explained that the fund would be used to establish arts and crafts industry for cotton, ceramics, brass and glass work and also to train the needed manpower.
Zhiri said that 25, 000 artisans would be trained under the programme, adding that 1,000 artisans would be selected from each of the 25 local government areas in the state.
According to him, 200 trainees would be sent to Kenya based on their performances for further training, adding that they would, in turn, train others on their return.
Zhiri said that some states had begun arrangements with the state council for arts and crafts to train their artisans.
“Some of them want us to train artisans in the making of ceramics.’’
He appealed to the government to renovate the arts theatre, to enable the council to revive live theatre performances for fun seekers and tourists.