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18 Dec 2017

What Nigerian government plans to do with Calabar carnival – Lai Mohammed reveals

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government has put plans in place to make the annual Calabar carnival a major foreign exchange earner for Nigeria.

He stated said this on Sunday in Calabar while flagging off the third dry run of the 2017 carnival which has the theme ‘Migration’.

According to him, it was time for people to start seeing the carnival beyond entertainment but see the seriousness and the message it conveys.

The Minister said that the carnival, which has united the people over the years and had attracted wider participation, was the longest street party in the world with 12 kilometre-long routes.

He added that festival had become a platform for youths to vent their creativity and a platform to turn Nigeria’s creative industry into a veritable creative economy.

Mohammed said: “We are pushing the Calabar carnival to be a major foreign exchange earner for the country.

“We have here today, 26 beauty queens from 26 African countries who are contesting for the 2017 Miss Africa pageant.

“That is a big statement because each of these young ladies is going to spend two weeks here and will go back to their countries as our own ambassadors.

“They will tell the story of what they have seen and the hospitality of Cross River and that is a big plus for the state and the country.

“What is happening here today is reverberating throughout the world because this dry run is unique in the sense that it gives the organisers and participants the opportunity to perfect their act.

“I also want to take this opportunity to appeal to the world to see this street party beyond dancing and beyond the costumes.

“I am delighted to know that everything being used in the carnival is manufactured locally by Nigerians.

“Calabar carnival does not only create an economy, but also unites the whole of Nigeria because it had enlightened the people of Nigeria and the world about Climate Change and Migration’’, he said.

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