The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, has urged stakeholders to project the image of Nigeria and harness economic potentials of the Abuja carnival.
Maku was speaking during a courtesy visit by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, also stated that the Festival can drive a lot of industries, "Even if it's the development of costume alone, it is a multi-billion naira event." he stated.
The Minister observed that Nigeria remain the largest reservoir of African Cultures and hence, the need for the organizers of the Abuja Carnival to draw lessons from FESTAC 77 in order to promote and guard African cultures from extinction.
In his words, "Nigeria happens to be the largest reservoir of pristine African Culture. There is nowhere else you will go in the world and you are going to have the kind of cultures that this country presently hosts for the rest of the world on behalf of Africans. Both Africans in the diaspora and those in the continent look up to Nigeria now as the last bastion of the defence of African culture from total erosion", he said.
In his remarks, Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, stated that Abuja National Carnival has been transformed into an international event. He informed that this year's event would witness participation by countries such as, Egypt, India, Trinidad, South Africa, Ghana, China, Cameron, among others.
Chief Edem Duke also disclosed that the President has directed the ministry to transform the carnival from street parade and cultural performances by states into platform of expression of creativity among the youths that would ultimately translate into business enterprises.
"For the very first time apart from the 36 states, we are also expecting a large contingent of Nigerian women at this year's carnival. We are introducing for the first time participation and competition among schools within and outside Abuja. We will also be having for the first time participation by Military and Para-military bands", he said.
The Abuja National Carnival takes place between 24th and 27th November, 2012.