By OSA AMADI
The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has awarded high marks to Nigerians for their creativity. The high marks came at the on-going African Arts & Craft exhibition on Friday, after the minister toured the AFAC pavilion in the company of Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, head of Service of the Federation; Mrs. Grace Isu-Igekpe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information & Culture, and other dignitaries.
Speaking to journalists at the pavilion, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said, “The whole idea is to let Nigerians know that this government believes in diversification of the economy. The creative industry, arts, crafts and culture are under-exploited. It can employ more people and create more jobs. And all the things you are looking at today are the skills and talents of Nigerians, and all of these are adding values to Nigeria’s economy.
“To me, the most important aspect of it is that Nigerians are now getting more and more involved; and they are now seeing the value of creativity. They are now seeing that economy is not just about white collar job, or even about blue collar job. Today’s economy is more knowledge-based and technology-based. I am really impressed by the artistry, expertise, and the creativity of our people. I am very happy that a lot of people are coming to patronize them. Of all the industries, the (creative industry) sub-sector of the economy is one area that has been experiencing growth, even when there was contraction. So it is a good thing for Nigeria.”
Speaking also, Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, head of Service of the Federation, said, “You can see a lot of traditional items we thought had been phased out being rejuvenated again, and that goes to show that we have our own local traditions that we should not allow to become extinct.”