In order to strengthen growth of the nation’s economy, efforts must be geared towards harnessing the enormous potential in the creative and cultural industry.
This is according to the President of Asa Day Worldwide, Mr.
Olaniyi Oyatoye who called on the Nigerian government to holistically explore the industry to boost the nation’s earnings.
Oyatoye gave this indication at a press conference to herald the forthcoming Lagos 2021 Asa Day celebration slated for November 21, 2021 and organised in partnership with Lagos State Government, with its theme, ‘Let’s use our cultural heritage to revive our economy.
The convener explained that Nigeria could scale the hurdle economic hurdles if adequate attention is paid to cultural tourism.
“There is the urgent need for a meaningful and sustainable financing of cultural development by the government and financial institutions, and multinational organisations in Nigeria.
“The arts, culture and tourism sector has been denied government attention and financial empowerment.
If properly funded, the creative and cultural industries would enhance and strengthen the growth of the economy as well as contribute to stem youth restiveness and criminality,” he said.
Oyatoye, also mentioned that a proper collaboration and cultural interchange with foreign countries could as well enhance the chances of Nigeria to sell its cultural potentials to the world.
According to him “If collaboration and partnership are cultivated between performing artists, museums and states that are blessed with natural and cultural endowments, the resultant cultural tourism synergy will be presented as exciting performances at vital tourist destinations across the country.
As a significant tourist destination, museums are the cultural central and memory bank of any nation, including Nigeria”.
As far back as 2015, according to Wikipedia (Free Encyclopedia), countries that made so much money from tourism in that year include: U.
20 billion; Spain, $65.
20 billion; China, $ 56.
90 billion; France, $55.
40 billion; Macau, $50.
80 billion; Italy, $45.
50 billion; United Kingdom, $45.
30 billion; Germany, $43.
30 billion; Australia $42.
20 billion; Hong Kong $41.
30 billion and Thailand $38.
“In Africa, South Africa grossed $35.
00 billion; Morocco $34.
00 billion; Namibia $33.
80 billion; Kenya $32.
00 billion; Tunisia $31.
80 billion while Nigeria trailed with a depressing $2.
79 million earning! Indeed, Nigeria ranks 131 out of 141 countries with a tourism competitiveness index in 2015.
We are still miles away from the countries that make the money from tourism development in terms of naira and dollars from 2015 to the present.
He however canvassed for a sustainable financing of cultural development by the government, financial institutions, and multinational organisations in Nigeria.
The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Tourism, Solomon Bonu tasked all cultural enthusiasts to key into the initiative and begin to innovate creative items that can be exported by tourists from other countries whenever they visit Lagos state.
‘’These cultural items should speak to our identity and be resilient as a state and should be targeted towards promoting our uniqueness as a state that places a premium on cultural renaissance and preservation,’’ he said.
He also added that the Ministry of Tourism Art and Culture, through the Council for Art and Culture has over the years organised periodic empowerment for the youth population on how to produce some of the State cultural items which can be purchased by tourists when they visit the State.
Group urges Nigeria to harness potentials in Cultural sector