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Indian community in Lagos celebrate Dussehra Festival




Indian community in Lagos celebrate Dussehra Festival

The Overseas Friends of Bharatiya Janata Party (OFBJP), Lagos Chapter, said the group had celebrated this year’s Dussehra Festival to promote goodwill, peaceful co-existence and harmony.

Mr Sanjay Srivastava, President of OFBJP, said in a statement that over 700 Indians participated in the cultural show in Lagos which featured yoga, recitations, music and dance festivals.

He said India’s Dusserha Festival was celebrated to commemorate the victory of ancient Lord Rama over the demon Ravana.

Srivastava said the 6th Dussehra Festival was also celebrated to develop team spirit, friendship, comittment to community services in economic development, health and education.

“The festival was attended by over 700 Indian adults and children who celebrated with great vigour and enthusiasm to familiarise ourselves with our ancestral practices, tradition and cultural.

“Children of various age groups performed various cultural activities including dance and drama.

“An epic play titled “Ramayana” was performed to depict the virtues of Lord Rama, who stood for truth,” he said.

Srivastava said that the Indians in Lagos also got themselves acqainted with “Bhagwat Gita” known as their holy book from India, while sponsors of the programme were given Indian traditional shawls.

“We are happy that the rich cultural heritage of India is being performed in a land very far from India, we are thankful for the friendly nature of our Nigerian brothers and government,” he said.

Srivastava disclosed that Deepawali, the festival of lights would be celebrated soon.

“We convey our best wishes to the all Nigerian citizens and the Indians in the diaspora for both festivals of Dussehra and Deepawali,” he said. (NAN)


Edited by Wale Ojetimi


2019 INAC: China, Bangladesh seek cultural exchange programmes with Nigeria



The Representatives of China and Bangladesh at the ongoing International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC) on Wednesday in Abuja said they were interested in some cultural exchange programmes with Nigeria and other countries present.

The expo held at the FCT Exhibition Pavilion with the theme: “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”.

The representatives of the countries told the Nigeria News Agency that the exchange programme envisaged would be on teaching Nigerians most of their arts and crafts while they learn the same from Nigerians.

According to them, this will further foster unity and harmony among the countries and that INAC was the best platform to perfect such mutual interest.

Mr Wang Guiping, First Secretary of Culture, Chinese Embassy, said the country would like to teach Nigerians and other countries at the fair most of the arts and crafts peculiar to their country.

He listed most of the arts as: Terracotta, Ceramics, Paintings, Martial Arts and more.

According to him, this will broaden the knowledge of individuals from the both countries on arts and crafts, urging interested individuals to visit the China stand.

“As many people that will be interested in this, they will be given audience even after the fair at the Chinese Embassy and special classes will be organised for them.

“We are also interested in people learning our language and culture,” he said.

Mr Ahmed Ullah, Director, Bangladesh Folk Arts and Crafts Foundation, said that the country was prepared to train Nigerians and other countries’ delegates on how to make local fabric peculiar to Bangladesh.

He said that the fabric was referred to as “Nakshi Kathe” which were processed through wooden looms to make bedsheet and duvet.

He noted that it would take three months for an individual to learn, adding that a woman had been stationed at the Bangladesh tent to train people after which arrangement would be made to continue after the expo.

“We are here to promote Nigerian arts and crafts, likewise ours, we want people to explore our arts and crafts, especially the making of our local fabric.

“We have come with the loom with which we can train interested persons in learning how to make the fabric.

“Nigerians can use this fabric because they are light and soothing to the body.

“We also have other home decorations locally made in the country which could be learnt by Nigerians and other countries,” he said.

(Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Peter Ejiofor (NAN))

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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

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Kaduna acting Governor urges more patronage of museums to broaden knowledge, identity



The Acting Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, on Tuesday urged parents to allow their children to patronize museums in order to broaden their knowledge about the history and cultures of the various entities in the country.

Balarabe made the call in Kaduna when she received a delegation from National Commission for Museums and Monuments, on a courtesy visit.

She said the state government cherishes art and culture, and was ready to support the Commission in mobilising children to develop the habit of visiting museums.

She noted that though the museum tells the story of where we came from, but that aspect of history is being lost.

“The history is now being lost, we need to wake up and place more emphasis on patronage of museums so that our people will appreciate each other.”

Balarabe appealed to the commission to come up with plans where people will come to museums for leadership training, saying it is the only place where people will find their identity.

According to her, the state is revising its curriculum to deepen knowledge about all aspects of life.

To encourage patronage, she advised that access to museums by students be made free.

She commended the commission for organising the NOK cultural festival, coming up soon, and pledged government support for a successful event.

In a remark, the Curator National Museum Kaduna, Gimba Abdul, said the visit  was to seek government support towards the upcoming NOK cultural festival slated for Nov. 29.

He also sought government support to encourage public schools in the state to patronize the Kaduna museum to broaden students perspective about the country.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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FTAN calls for national policy on ‘Cultural Tourism’ in Nigeria



Alhaji Rabo Saleh, National President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has called on the Federal Government to come up with a national policy on ‘Cultural Tourism’ to boost the sector.

Saleh said this on Tuesday at the 5th Edition of Nigeria Tourism Investors Forum and Exhibition (NTIFE) in Abuja, with the theme: “An Insight into the Legal Framework of Tourism in Nigeria”.

Saleh said that domestic and international tourism experts have concluded that cultural tourism was Nigeria’s most competitive tourist product, if properly harnessed.

“Nigeria is a promising African tourism destination, therefore, there should be no dichotomy between ‘culture’ and ‘tourism’.

“Culture and Tourism departments in government ministries should work as a team to sell Nigeria to inbound tourists.

“Other countries, like Turkey and China have recently been investing in cultural tourist products with enviable success,” he said.

The FTAN president urged Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and other stakeholders to utilise the opportunities to put Nigeria on the global tourism map.

He added that this could be achieved by the diversification of the economy through cultural tourism products that would attract inbound forex spending tourists, also by promotion of domestic tourism to create business.

“State governments are the natural custodians of most tourist sites because the sites are all local.

“Mapping out tourism development zone at the Local Government level, provision of tourist facilities such as access roads, facilitating land acquisition for tourism investors should be put into consideration,” he said.

He called on the government, both federal and state to analytically look at the Nigeria’s tourism map and build up a motor-able road that would lead to and fro tourist destinations in Nigeria.

Also speaking, Mr Samuel Alabi, Chairman, FTAN Board of Trustees, appealed to the FG to allocate land to FTAN for tourism to flourish.

Alabi, also a former president of FTAN,  added that allocating land to the association would help tourism development in Nigeria.

The event attracted personalities from the Federal Ministry of Information, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, National Orientation Agency as well as stakeholders in the tourism sector, among others.

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Ifeyinwa Omowole

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Nigeria Travel Week partners Cabo Verde Airline, SKAL, Upbeat for tourism growth



Nigeria Travel Week said it had collaborated with Cabo Verde Airline, Upbeat Recreational Centre, Skyview Communications and SKAL International for proper marketing of the nation’s tourism sites.

The Organiser, Efetobo Awhana, told journalists at the ongoing 3rd Nigeria Travel Week that collaborations were inevitable in order to achieve remarkable growth in the tourism industry.

“The Nigeria Travel Week has decided to collaborate with these stakeholders in order to use various channels to showcase nation’s tourism endowments and to encourage Nigerians to travel within the country and Africa.

“The Skyview Communications would be giving people the virtual reality platform whereby people can be enlightened about tourism potential in the country.

“These virtual reality gadgets will be available for all to explore in the course of the programme; we are also partnering with SKAL as the strongest association in the world with over 15,000 members.

“Nigeria Travel Week is concerned with the promotion of inbound tourism and travel within Africa.

“We have also collaborated with Cabo Verde Airline, being an African Airline, which we believe we can use to achieve our objective of encouraging seamless travels across African countries,” he said.

Awhana said Nigeria travel week had also partnered with the South African Airways, Nigerian Army, Bristol Palace Hotel, Kano and more.

Mrs Ofure Obidike, President of SKAL International, pledged to support Nigeria Travel Week in promoting inbound tourism through the over 15,000 members the association had globally.

She said different forms of assistance would be rendered in terms of publicity and other technical issues.

According to her, SKAL is open for everyone in the tourism business value chain as it was a professional organisation that promote global tourism and friendship, uniting all sectors of the travel and tourism industry.

“SKAL has existed for 60 years now and we will be helping the Nigeria Travel Week to achieve its goals in promoting nation’s tourism destinations,” she said.

Also Mrs Moyo Ogunseinde, Director, Upbeat Recreational Centre, said that the amenities at the centre would be at people’s disposal during the programme.

She said the facility was opened for all for Christmas carnivals, family camp as there were regular live band, gymnastics, cafe, restaurant for people’s pleasure.

Chloe Grant, West and Central Africa Market Director, Cabo Verde Airline, said that the airline would do everything possible to encourage seamless travels between Cabo Verde and Nigeria to help the Nigeria Travel Week achieve its goals.

Grant said this would also rub off on the neigbouring countries to Cape Verde and Nigeria.

She said more of the outcome of the collaboration would be evident when the airline began operation from December 9, 2019.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi

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Imo state government condemns invasion of zoo by host community



Imo State Ministry of Environment has condemned the recent invasion of the state Zoological Garden and Wildlife Park by the host Nekede community in Owerri West council area of the state.

Mr Gilbert Nnah, Permanent Secretary, who is also the acting Commissioner Ministry of Environment, made the disclosure in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Owerri.

Nnah said that the invaders destroyed some facilities in the zoo adding that the perpetrators would face the wrath of the law because the area was a government conservative area.

NAN recalled that members of the community invaded Imo Zoological Garden and Wildlife Park on Saturday and laid claim to a forest in the facility.

The Perm Sec condemned the earlier claim by the community that the Attorney General of the state had ceded the forest to the community adding that the land still belonged to government.

According to him, no judgment can undermine the Land Use Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the legal protection status of the zoo as contained in the Eastern Nigeria No. 1350 Forest Law (Cap 55) of the 1966 section 7, sub section 2.

“This law set aside all wildlife and forest facilities as protected areas by law,” he said.

He said the invaders vandalised the zoo facilities which included the canteen, animal water supplying pipes, borehole and the facility fence.

Mr Kemmas Nkemakolam, Community Spokesman told NAN that state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice had ceded the forest to them for expansion, which he said warranted their action.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ndukwu Nnawuchi (SAN), in a telephone interview with NAN, denied issuing any authority to the community.

He said, “I did not issue any authority for any community to invade government property, but all I can say is that the community has an understanding with government over the land”.

The General Manager of the zoo, Mr Francis Abioye said there was no evidence of court judgment or authority given to the community to take over the zoo forest.

NAN however, gathered that the action of the community is generating wide criticism from stakeholders in Imo and lovers of nature.

Edited by Hawa Lawal/Maureen Atuonwu

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