The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has said that the Abuja Carnival would be repositioned to serve as the nation's major tool for economic development.
He said this in Abuja yesterday at the ongoing eighth edition of the carnival with the theme: 'Carnival of Peace and Harmony.'
Duke, who described Nigerian culture as the best in Africa, noted that it had capacity to curb the country's problem of unemployment if it was given adequate attention.
"Tourism is rising to be the mainstay of the Nigerian economy. It is contributing toward making Nigeria the destination for African continent," he said.
He said this year's edition was geared toward moblising Nigerians for peaceful co-existence and harmonious living to create a peaceful society. "It is a brand that binds Nigerians together and promotes our beauty and strength in diversity," he said.
He said that the event provided a platform for all citizens to develop and showcase their creative ingenuities which could be tapped for economic transformation of the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in consonance with the theme of the 2012 carnival, there was a unique combination and participation of military and para-military bands, youth and women associations.
Cultural enthusiasts at the event said that featuring images of traditional practices, heritage, belief systems and lifestyles of the nation's different socio-political groups were of great value to the citizenry.
They maintained that these were adequately captured in the participants' display of songs and performances at the carnival.
The 2012 carnival continues with Durbar display, Children Fiesta, boat regatta and masquerade performances.
NAN also reports that 22 states and six countries participated in this year's edition.