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FG: Economy Now Fully Diversified From Oil, Lauds Potential of Arise Fashion Show to Stimulate Creative Sector

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The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Maryam Katagum, has insisted that the Nigerian economy had now been fully diversified from oil and gas with remarkable advances into sectors including ICT, creative industry, services and agriculture under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The minister also commended the “highly successful Arise Fashion Show 2021,” as part of Dubai Expo’s Nigeria National Day events, which took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

She said the “show captivated the audience with the dynamic creativity and innovative styles of Nigerian fashion icons and pace setters” and demonstrated the potentials of the sector to contribute substantially to economic growth and job creation.

Speaking at the opening of the maiden Enjoy Nigeria Expo (ENEX) themed:”A Future Assured through Cultural Creativity” in Abuja, Katagum said the current administration is purposely committed to repositioning and building a more robust and resilient economy that is less dependent on the oil sector.

The minister said this drive could only be achieved by developing a more competitive non-oil sector, through the expansion of business growth and stimulating entrepreneurship and industrialisation and recognizing the role of the private sector as major contributors to national income and principal job creators and employers of labour.

She pointed out that as the exploits of Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry had shown, when Nigerians decide to pay attention to any particular sector, “we excel in it beyond our dreams. For example, the Nigerian fashion industry, which is now a pacesetter on the African continent. A few days ago, we had the highly successful Arise Fashion Show 2021, as part of Dubai Expo’s Nigeria National Day events, which took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The show captivated the audience with the dynamic creativity and innovative styles of Nigerian fashion icons and pace setters.”

Therefore, she said ENEX 2021 had been designed to draw the attention of stakeholders to nation’s creative, cultural, entertainment and tourism sectors, with emphasis on women and youth, and the potentials of the sectors they operate in.

Katagum said this is expected to assist the players to build capacity in their respective businesses, as well as show them the various ways that they could turn their simple arts and skills into high revenue earners as well as draw the attention of the world to the fact that Nigeria has a lot of untapped potentials where investments can be made with high returns.

She added that the exhibition further provides an opportunity to appreciate those who have in the past, persevered in the promotion of these sectors, without much encouragement, pointing out that some of these pacesetters will be recognized and appreciated during the entertainment events.

She said at the end of the one-week event, a platform will be launched to provide master classes in business development for interested stakeholders.

She said, ENEX 2021 was deliberately geared towards creating a support vehicle and platform for the promotion and marketing of Nigeria’s growing multi-billion–dollar Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the creative, cultural, entertainment and tourism businesses.

The minister said, “The future and prosperity of our nation are in our collective hands, as it is what we have in our hands that we will use to break the cycle of poverty into prosperity. We have no other country than Nigeria, and only Nigerians can truly build the nation of our dreams.

“This was why the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment was very eager to collaborate with the Welcome to Nigeria Project (W2NP) and several other actors in the public service, in shining the light on the business opportunities that abound in the Creative, Entertainment, Cultural and Tourism industries.”

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