Exhibition of Nigerian arts, crafts enhances job creation, poverty reduction – Awolowo

MR Olusegun Awolowo, former Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on Friday said exhibition of Nigerian arts and crafts would enhance job creation.

Awolowo also said it could help in poverty reduction as well as solve many of the nation’s economic problems.

He said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the 15th International Arts and Crafts (INAC) Exposition taking place in Abuja.

He said he was at the event to see what the country had been showcasing and promoting to the world.

“I’m here to see what Nigeria has been showcasing and promoting to the world. I used to run exportation in NEPC and I am very aware of the work the NCAC is doing.

“This is a very brilliant development, because we can solve many of our economic problems, and provide jobs through culture and arts.

“Most importantly, we can export many of our things,” he said.

He noted that going round the exhibitions, one could see all products the other countries brought to showcase and promote.

“Nigeria does not have only oil and that is the mistake we keep making. It is very good to see what can be promoted in what we have and to see more joy in culture and arts,” Awolowo said.

Meanwhile, training facilitators at the event have commended the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) for showcasing and promoting Nigerian arts and crafts in the country.

Mrs Wumi Adekunle, Managing Director, Wumi African Textile, appreciated the NCAC for giving her the opportunity to train some youths on indigenous weaving known as Aso Oke production.

Adekunle, who explained that she had been in the business in the last 20 years, said the training would go a long way in creating jobs and reducing poverty in the country.

“As you can see, every tribe or ethnic group uses Aso Oke. For instance, we do different design and colour for Idoma and Tiv in Benue.

“Even, during Independence Day Anniversary, Nigerians buy it to make Nigeria’s flags, caps, gele and wrapper. In fact, the business is lucrative to earn a living,” she said.

Similarly, Mrs Gloria Oduebo, Director, Glorious Crafts, said she was in the NCAC exposition to train students in bead making, facial makeup and general household services such as cooking local foods.

According to her, there are skills in every child. I’m here to help these students to discover the type of skills or talents in them.

“I started this training in 2012 and have so far trained more than 1,000 students. An idle mind is a devil workshop. There is need to keep our youths busy.

“With this skills acquisition, our youths can earn their living and feed themselves, even their families.

She, however, said government needed to empower them with take-off grants after the training and create market for their products through networking,” she said. (NAN)