The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, has called on the private sector to take advantage of the huge economic and employment potentials abundant in the creative industry and contribute its quota to the development of the sector, saying, government remains committed to providing the enabling environment for the sector to thrive.

 Dr. Jonathan made this call in Abuja on Tuesday, 25th November, 2014, while declaring open, this year’s edition of Abuja National Carnival, which has as theme, “Building an Enduring Creative Nation.”

Represented by Vice President, His Excellency, Arc. Mohammed Namadi Sambo, GCON, the President noted that, the Abuja National Carnival has, over the years, added impetus to the nation’s cultural sector, which has not only made Nigeria the cultural hub of the African sub region but a major player in the creative and entertainment industry.

Expressing satisfaction over his administration’s mainstreaming of the creative sector in the national economic development agenda, Jonathan said: “My joy is heightened to realise that in spite of our national challenges, the legacies of Abuja Carnival has continued to linger, showcasing our unity in diversity. It has indeed made an invaluable contribution to national cohesion; inter-cultural understanding and display of our creative potential as a people.” 

“The creative impetus has placed the nation as the leading economy in Africa in the recent rebased world economic report of Nigeria. Our music industry, Nollywood and fashion has broken all boundaries and are today to toast and bride of entertainment and creative industry,” the President added.

 He therefore commended the creative and tourism sectors for contributing immensely to the country’s rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stressing that, the sectors have in no small measure, provided economic development options, such as, poverty alleviation and wealth creation.

Meanwhile, the Honourable Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke had earlier in his welcome address, expressed regret at the lingering security challenges rocking the nation, noting that but for the listing of the Carnival in the international calender, it would have been suspended till next year.

 Duke, who commended the Federal Government for constantly preaching unity through its programmes, disclosed that the Carnival would be low key due to the mood of the nation, which does not require elaborate celebrations; hence, the resolve of the Ministry to mark this year’s Carnival in a low key.

 His words: “Today, we dance but we don’t dance out of celebration. Today, we are singing but we are not singing out of joy because across our land today, in fact, as recent as a few hours ago, once more, the agents of insurgency have dealt a telling blow on the Nigerian nation,” Duke lamented.

 This opening ceremony of this year’s edition of the Abuja Carnival only registered the participation of seven (7) states, namely, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Kano, Kogi,  Niger,   Zamfara,   and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), just as the Ijaw Cultural Troupe displayed their carnival float at the event without the participation of any foreign country.


Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja