By OUR CORRESPONDENT
The Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA), in partnership with Platinum X Art and Media Ltd, is set to organise Abuja iBelieve Carnival 2023.
The carnival is scheduled to kick off from December 11-15, 2023.
Convener and Managing Director, Platinum X Art and Media Ltd, Omoefe Tawiyah, during a press briefing in Abuja, said the carnival is not a one-time event but will be held annually, adding that it’s a deliberate attempt to “re-dignify and redefine the nation’s socio-cultural character.
“We want to showcase Nigeria’s diversity, raise national consciousness and instil pride and patriotism. Through the iBelieve carnival, we intend to also harness the enterprenueral, socio-economic and intellectual potential of our dynamic youths.
“The Abuja iBelieve Carnival is not just about entertainment, it is about creating a lasting legacy that will promote peace, reduce crime and provide employment opportunities.”
Tawiyah, while further giving highlights of the carnival, said there will be a carnival village that will feature arts and craft, gastronomy and cuisine, fashion, music, dancing and drumming, local technology, made-in-Nigeria goods, sitting and drinking areas, exhibitions and information centers for different states.
On his part, acting Director of the Social Development Secretariat, Department of Arts and Culture, FCTA, Kayode Aiyegbusi, said the carnival would boost economic activities in the FCT.
He said, “For us in the FCT, the well-being of the residents is a priority of the FCT Administration. To be specific about the expectation of this carnival, we wouldn’t partner if we didn’t see how it would benefit the residents.
“Apart from providing empowerment opportunities for the residents, the whole idea of the carnival is that the carnival will belong to the people and that is why all these efforts are being made to get everybody involved so that we all know that it is our carnival.
“All of us are expected to make something out of that carnival. Residents of Area 10 can start planning ahead to see how they will benefit from that carnival. If the carnival train is passing through Wuse, the people in Zone 1 should get together and think how they can get something out of it.”
According to Aiyegbusi, the carnival is going to be one of the items in the entertainment calendar of the FCT.
“In the next 10 years, with deliberate planning, Abuja and Nigeria as a whole will make money from tourism,” he added.
Also speaking, chairman of Advance Group Director, Ambassador Joseph Sotomey, emphasised the need to develop the tourism sector of the country in order to create business opportunities in the country.
“If you have been to Dubai, you can see the number of T-shirts, and flags that are sold at the airport. If you have been to Brazil, the number of Brazilian jerseys that are sold in a day is millions. So, imagine we bringing that to Nigeria,” he noted.