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Middle: Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC)

LAGOS/Nigeria: Nigerians had been called to explore the, art, cultural and tourism potentials of Nigeria to reduce rate of crime amongst the youths.

The Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) Otumba Olusegun Runsewe stated this on Saturday, August 21, 2021, during a media roundtable held in Lagos.

He said that the various value chains of the sectors could be properly exploited to generate wealth, employment opportunities and more for the teeming youths.

He said that with the rich and diverse cultural resources of Nigeria and its abundant tourism resources, the nation needs to focus on arts, culture and tourism as key players in nation’s economic development.

According to him, when each state of the nation wakes up to its cultural and tourism potential, there will be huge employment opportunities provided for its youths.

He noted that the jobs could be in the areas of tour guide, travel agents, artistes, local musicians, craftsmen and more.

“In the wake of the current economic realities and with the breakdown of the COVID-19 pandemic globally, nations of the world are exploring various means of growing their economy

“We need to develop our festivals, music, film industry, arts, crafts, indigenous cuisines, eco-tourism potential, wildlife, beaches and our general coastal areas.

“The unemployed youths can latch on these potential, taking them away from the streets and engaging in frivolous activities,” he said.

Runsewe said that Nigeria could take some clues from Dubai’s progress story in terms of tourism and cultural growth over the years.

He said: “The story of the dramatic transformation of Dubai into the fastest growing city in the world is a clear indication that with proper planning, clear focus and commitment, nothing is impossible.

“Prior to its discovery of oil in the 1966, not much was known about Dubai but today the city which was a remote and obscure desert, has been transformed to a vibrant modern business city.

“This was done because they intentionally focused on promotion of tourism and culture, Nigeria can do this and we will achieve better than Dubai because we have the natural endowments which Dubai never had but created.

“The diversification option for Nigeria goes beyond the oil economy, our arts, culture and tourism are inexhaustible like oil.

“Oil is good but tourism is better because oil is exhaustible while tourism is sustainable and environment friendly.” he said.

The National Council for Arts and Culture also unveiled a magazine educating Nigerians on its enormous tourism and cultural potential.

The magazine ,  “Beyond the Oil Economy: The Diversification Option for Nigeria”,  reeled out the dangers of a mono product economy, potential in Nigeria tourism, tourism as a critical economic sub-sector, Dubai case study and more.

NCAC also produced some other souvenirs with inscriptions deliberately made to advertise Nigeria’s enormous tourism potential to the world.

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