Modern innovation makes arts attractive for youth employment
A gallery operator, Mr Etete Ineme says Nigerian arts and crafts need urgent modern innovation to attract youths to venture into to reduce the high rate of unemployment in the country.
Ineme, who is the Managing Director of TNY Gallery, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
He implored government to look inward to appreciate the country’s arts and crafts in order to improve on them and make it a worthwhile venture for beginners.
According to him, with the necessary encouragement, the youths will remove their focus from white collar jobs.
“Nigeria has very good crafts that can be turned into a booming business with some little innovations.
“Raffia art is doing well, especially around Ikot-Ekpene for the youths to learn raffia arts skills in the Skills Acquisition Centre that is almost 70 per cent completed.
“It will have research unit which will continuously research a better way of producing raw materials and design because design concept is very important in the development of a product.
“So we would now replicate and produce better quality of arts and crafts materials for exports not just for local consumption, as it will also help to increase the nation`s foreign exchange earnings from those exported overseas.
“The old craftsmen were recruited with some young ones for innovation and technology for large and quality production.
“ Our ancient craftsmen who used to produce these things are dying away, nobody to carry on with this culture and crafts, if we are not careful, our heritage will go into extinction,’’ Ineme said.
Ineme stressed that the country should develop a way to keep its arts, culture and heritage alive, teach the young generation, new ways of developing better qualitative products than “our fathers’’.
Ineme said that the country could earn huge revenues by investing in its diverse locally made goods such as crafts, local fabrics, beads and agricultural products.
“Many foreigners admire African and Nigerian cultures, fashion designs and lifestyles because they are very unique.
“Creating enabling environment for local manufacturers will also ensure the sustainability of the Made-in-Nigeria goods and promote employment for many unemployed.
Ineme is a former House of Representative member 2007 to 2011 and facilitator for arts and crafts exhibitions across the country
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