By Joshua Olalekan, Lagos
The Federal Government has urged investors to consider the country’s creative sector in their investment plans, saying it is “a major low-hanging fruit, ready to be plucked’’.Making the call was the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed when he addressed a plenary at the ongoing 2016 Edinburgh International Festival Summit in Scotland.
The minister said that Nigeria’s creative sector “is the non-oil export alternative for economic growth and development.”
He said that Nigeria is endowed with abundant cultural heritage, with each of the 36 states boasting of at least three to five cultural industries ready to be harnessed for economic gains.
Mohammed said that the country was ready to work with its partners, including the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the British Council to build capacity and provide knowledge in the sector.
The minister said that the country planned to preserve its cultural heritage by reviving a number of its festivals that had not been held regularly over the years.
Some of them included the Argugun Fishing Festival and Durbar as well as the various age-long traditional games like ‘ayo’, ‘arin’ and traditional wrestling.
Mohammed told the summit that some of the key creative industries thriving in Nigeria were the home-grown Nollywood (Film) Industry and the music industry which were beginning to find their way into major international markets.
He listed traditional medicine, music, food, cosmetics, performing arts, science and technology, oral expressions, costumes and body adornment as some of the nation’s cultural resources waiting to be exploited.
The minister said that Nigeria was opening opportunities to boost tourism and the hospitality business through well-organised national and international carnivals and festivals.