Diplomats express excitement over Nigeria’s art and crafts at INAC




Some members of the diplomatic corps have expressed desire to collaborate with Nigeria on the promotion of art and craft industry in the country.

The diplomats spoke with the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Abuja during a Cocktail Dinner welcoming participants to the 2019 International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC).

The theme of 2019 INAC, organised by National Council for Arts and Crafts (NCAC),  is “Networking Nigerian Craft to the World”.

Mr Sayyed Mahmoud-Azimi Cultural Consular, Iran Embassy, said his country would be showcasing crafts and arts such as Iranian carpets, wood designs and clothes.

He said that Iran would collaborate with Nigerian artistes in order to improve on the nation’s film festivals.

“Nigeria is beautiful with beautiful arts; also, we are here to collaborate with Nigerians in different forms of arts and most especially to improve our annual festival of films,” he said.

Mr Yogesh Singh, Second Secretary for Culture at Indian High Commission, expressed excitement being in Nigeria which he described as the home of creativity.

He said that India would be exhibiting its culture, arts and crafts, while its cultural troupe would also be performing to entertain visitors during the expo.

According to the Indian envoy, the country would use the INAC platform to revive cultural exchange programmes which had existed between India and Nigeria.

” We have been active participant in this expo for years now but this year, we want to revive cultural exchange programmes among Nigerians and Indians,” he said.

Mr Carlos Sosa, Ambassador of Cuba to Nigeria, said the country was looking forward to improving its economic relationship with Africa through cultural exchange programmes with Nigerians.

He said this would be possible when artists and craftsmen mingle and exchange contacts in the course of the expo.

“Nigeria is doing beautifully well in promoting cultures of its sister countries which had assisted us to remain united.

” This year, we should be able to explore our culture to translate to wealth for us as individual countries and Africa,” he said.

Mr Marcelino Ansorena, Ambassador of Spain to Nigeria, said his country wished to learn more of Nigerian culture in order to help market it to the world.

According to the Spanish envoy, Nigeria is well endowed with beautiful arts and crafts and Spain would also be learning from variety of Nigeria’s crafts in the course of the expo.

Earlier, Mr Olusegun Runsewe, Director General, NCAC, said that the 2019 edition of the fair promised to be eventful as more countries were participating compared to last year.

He thanked the participating countries and assured them of an eventful fair.

” Nigerians are hospitable, we love you, we look forward to continue giving you the best of our hospitality.

” This year we have more countries participating in the expo, last year we had 23 countries but this year we have received 30 countries already.

” This will attest to the fact that we can actually network to the whole world using what we have to sell the nation, which is our culture,” he said.

NAN reports that some of the participating countries are Hungary, Cuba, Venezuela, Austra, India, Spain, Syria, Czech Republic, Namibia, Palestine, Tanzania, Mexico and Guinea.
Others are Lebanon, Iran, Cameroon, Malaysia, Sudan, Kuwait, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Bangladesh and Israel.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi


Practitioner stresses professionalism in hospitality industry



A practitioner in hospitality sector, Mr Ibrahim Baba, has called on those dreaming making career in the industry to acquire skills that would make them professionals in order to move it forward.

Buba, who is Head of Hospitality, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said on such persons could leverage on the opportunity of the institute to leverage of the various courses being run by institute to acquire the requisite knowledge to perform better and grow the industry.

NIHOTOUR runs various courses ranging from post graduate diploma in hospitality management to innovative diplomas and various certificates in hospitality.

The idea is to see how we can effectively bridge the gap between those that belong and those that do no to belong.

Research has shown that there are people whose specialisation is not really hospitality, but they find themselves working in the industry.

They can professionalise in the hospitality industry by enrolling in the post graduate programme in NIHOTOUR.

At the end of their programme, they must have acquired enough skills to fit into the industry,’’ he said.

He said that the innovative diploma was designed to impact practical knowledge on the students.

“We understand that players in the industry require technical skills and the curriculum is focused more on practical.

Edited by: Dada Ahmed

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FG to establish community museums to boost tourism – Lai Mohammed



The Federal Government has announced plans to establish community museums as part of efforts to ensure that local communities benefit from tourism.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the plan on Thursday at the ongoing 4th World World Conference on Tourism and Culture in Kyoto, Japan.

A statement on the event was made available to newsmen in Abuja by Mr. Segun Adeyemi,

Special Assistant to the President (Media) Office of the Minister of Information and Culture

”In Nigeria, we observed that tourists stay in the big cities when they visit.

‘They visit the museums in the cities where objects gotten from different parts, including the rural areas, are displayed but they hardly go to the rural areas.

”To encourage tourists to visit the rural areas where money spent is quickly reflected in the local economy, we are trying to establish community museums,” the minister said.

According to Mohammed, the government will, in particular, encourage the establishment of palace museums.

”Parts of ancient residencies of traditional rulers and important chiefs are being turned to museums.

‘Thus, we are not limiting museums to the big cities. Money spent by tourists while visiting these rustic places stay longer in these areas.

Lamido Adamawa now has the Fombina Palace museum, just like the Emir of Potiskum has palace museum,” he said.

The Minister said the government, through high-level representation, training of festival managers and the provision of enabling environment, is supporting and promoting festivals and cultural tourism all over the country.

He said the programme would ultimately ensure that local communities benefitted.

The minister said that a national calendar of festivals would soon be unveiled to assist tourists who are coming to Nigeria in planning their visits.

He said that Nigeria has continued to leverage on the areas in which it enjoys comparative advantage, citing music, movies and fashion as some of such areas.

Mohammed served as one of the panellists at the Ministerial Segment of the conference, dedicated to discussing and exchanging policies and government models impacting the future of cultural tourism.

Edited by: Felix Ajide

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Expert harps on improving tourism sector



Mr Edwin Enenta, a tourism expert, has urged the Federal government to show more commitment to improve the tourism sector in order to tap inherent benefits from it.

Enenta, Head of Travel and Tourism Department, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Abuja who gave the advice in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja described tourism as a goldmine waiting to be tapped.

Tourism is a multifaceted and multidimensional activity. It is not just about fun; it is business and government should look at it as business.

It makes more money than most other industries.

Saudi Arabia has more oil than Nigeria, but what Saudi gets from “religious tourism“ is unquantifiable.

I want us to join hands to sell tourism because oil is finishing, and even where there is oil, there is usually crisis,’’ he said.

According to him, Nigeria is rich in tourist destination that can yield good return on investment.

Every local government area you go in Nigeria, there is an investible tourist potential and tourism is consumed at source.

Those sites, like beaches cannot be moved to other location, So, the local communities will always benefit.

It is the only viable alternative to oil and government should place more priority on tourism.

“ Countries like Kenya, Gambia are earning immense benefits from tourism, but Nigeria is even more endowed than these countries.’’

Ementa said that the mandate of NIHOTOUR was to raise manpower for the industry and make it more attractive.

The mandate of the institute is to raise manpower in the hospitality and tourism industry, to fill the gap.

The bane of the industry is lack of adequate manpower. In many hotels, you do not find career professionals. People usually start up with family and friends.

The burden is on us to sell tourism. Tourism, now, is the biggest employer of labour going by UN statistics,’’ he said.

He said that tourism might not be very quick on investment but overtime, it would overtake other businesses.

“ Nigeria is so endowed in tourism, looking at the cultural diversity and the natural environment.’’

Edited by: Dada Ahmed

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Artist explores animal kingdom setting to sensitise Nigerians on imbibing good morals



A Nigerian artist, Phillip Nzekwe, on Wednesday said that he used animals as figurative expressions in his art exhibition to sensitise viewers on imbibing good morals.


Nzekwe spoke to the Nigeria News Agency at the ongoing weeklong exhibition which started on Dec. 7 and would end on Dec. 14 in Lagos.


NAN reports that the exhibition divided into two series titled: `The Lazy Dog; Windows of the Soul and Curious Mind’ has `Raw Intuition’ as its theme.


The artist said that the work was as a result of his fascination for nature, animals, plants, architecture and colours.


He said that the dog figures were used to convey messages that would help people abide by laws and order, develop courage to face life challenges and avoid insecurity.


He said that another segment of the exhibition was to sensitise parents to discover the potential of their children early through close examination.


I use art to highlight issues that affect my daily life as an African. I know that artworks are to draw attention of the public to societal problems.


My works investigate the complex of human behavioural pattern emanating from the need to express their identities with the world.


Dogs and children are a case study for my intuitive study presented from my state of mind,” he said.


Nzekwe said that his artworks are made from concrete, wood fibre and other natural materials which would fascinate viewers.


He said that one of his works titled: “Two Captains in a Boat” expressed the insecurity faced by people in authority by the emergence of others.


The artist advised people to face challenges of life regardless of what it threw at them.


He urged parents to create adequate time for their children, read their feelings and discover their talents early in life in order to raise a complete child.


He called on Nigerians to visit the museum, get entertained and be educated about the exhibition and various works of art deposited there by several artists.


Edited by: Chinyere Bassey/Peter Dada



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Winner of Best Nigerian Tour Guide advises on research, development



The winner of Best Nigerian Tour Guide, Mr Anago Osho, on Tuesday urged tour guides in the country to

embrace  research and development to be able to relay unique stories of the nation to tourists.

Osho gave this advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos.

According to him, Nigerian tour guides should be committed to research, and  develop themselves to carry out their duties well.

He also urged governments  to train tour guides, who he described as ambassadors because of their  vital roles in attracting tourists.

“I will advise my colleagues to engage in constant research for their personal development to be able to relay history as it is.

“ Government at all levels should also look into training of tour guides on the history of their localities and ethics.

“This will enable them to woo more tourists into the country,” he said.

Osho, also President, West African Tour Guide Association, Nigeria Chapter, said that he would ensure exposure of more Nigerian tour guides to international trainings.

He said this would  help to ensure that Nigerian tour guides were equipped with detailed information as regards tour guiding.

According to him, the training is highly needed now that  Nigeria is exploring more means of income generation through the tourism industry.

“I will be making  impacts in ensuring that more Nigerian tour guides are exposed to International trainings to further equip them with necessary information they need to excel and place Nigeria on the tourism global map.

“I have received several commendations locally and Internationally but the award has only come to motivate me more to work harder in ensuring that the tourism industry is improved on,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Osho was awarded the best Nigerian tour guide by the Nigerian Travel Week Balearica awards (Nigeria Tourism Awards) on Nov, 22.

Osho, who had authored three books, `Lekeleke’, `How the Slave Trade Began’ and `The History of Seriki Williams Abass of Badagry’ said his fourth book will come out in 2020.

Edited by: Chidinma Agu/Ijeoma Popoola

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