A federal lawmaker, Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, on Thursday night called on the Federal Government to pay proper attention to the development of the culture and tourism subsector to improve the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Ogbeide-Ihama, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Culture and Tourism, made the call in Abuja at the 13th edition of the International Arts and Craft Expo (INAC) which held at the Sheraton Hotels.
He said that it had become imperative to focus on growing the nation’s culture and tourism subsector as it could assist in job creation.
He noted that at this critical period practitioners in the sector must begin to think out-of-the-box and explore other ways of marketing the industry.
Ogbeide-Ihama praised NCAC for successfully staging the exhibition.
”I want to seize this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to pay proper attention to this sector because it is yet untapped.
”I think it is this sector that can create jobs for our teaming youth, empower people, boost our economy and most importantly foster unity among us.
”For us in the National Assembly, we want to assure NCAC and other agencies under the culture and tourism sector that we will continue to support them in any way we can, in the area of funding to encourage everyone to keep growing the sector,” he said.
The lawmaker encouraged other sectors to emulate the innovative idea of the drive-in-exhibition, think-out-of-the-box to ensure the nation’s economy was improved upon even as COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the world.
“Extraordinary times require extraordinary actions,’’ he said.
Newsmen report that 14 Nigerian states and 10 other countries participated in the event in which crafts and arts were showcased in a drive-in-exhibition.
States including Ogun, Kaduna, Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna and Kwara were at the event.
Others were Nasarawa, Borno, Ekiti, Adamawa, Anambra and the Federal Capital Territory.
India, Ghana, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Venezuela, Kenya and Argentina were some of the countries that also took part in the event.
Newsmen report that guests watched cultural and art displays from the comfort of their vehicles, all to ensure compliance with COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols.
The theme of the cultural exhibition was “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”.