The need to support the Nigerian arts and culture has been reemphasised.
Nigerian Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo stated this in Lagos during the Cultural and Arts Exhibition organised by the United Arab Emirates UAE Embassy in Nigeria.
According to Osinbajo, Nigeria is rich in diverse Arts and Culture that needs to be harnessed.
He says the relationship between UAE and Nigeria is deep, fruitful and growing at a very promising rate expressing optimism about more collaborations in the arts and creative sector.
The Vice President said the exhibition would help in promoting cultural and bilateral relationship which was already existing between the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria, creating opportunities for the exchange of information and ideas.
He called on the exhibitors to be keen supporters of the country’s art and cultural heritage in order to propagate the messages of tolerance, compassion, unity and hope which was the theme of the exhibition.
“Nigerians make up some of the most frequent visitors to Dubai, many of whom visit for the cause of tourism. I’m sure that in years to come, we will be visiting both countries for arts and culture in particular. The UAE has been very supportive of Nigeria collaboraing in creative industry especially as it regards movies. We are all familiar with the movie ‘Chief Daddy and Wedding party’ which were produced in Dubai. The successes of the movies were as a result of the partnership between both countries and we are excited that such collaborations had yielded not just money but other cultural links.
The line up we see today is an impeccable mix of Emirati and Nigerian artistes who use their works to tell stories about identity, language and contemporary contexts, so happy to celebrate the creative work of both country. There is so much innovation in the cultural and art display of the country. It’s no longer business as usual.
The event will open a dialogue between the two countries,” he stated.
On his part, the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Nigeria, Obaid Altaffaq said that the exhibition which showcases and reflects the long standing relationship between the UAE and Nigeria was aimed at promoting cultural ties between the two countries while creating opportunities for the exchange of information and ideas between artistes and the relevant stakeholders.
According to him, Nigeria is a very important country, vibrant with cultural diversity which they are willing to have a better knowledge of promising more investment opportunities.
“We want to develop a knowledge of Nigeria and also strengthen the relationship existing between us and I have the hope that this exhibition will attract more investment opportunities for the country,” he said.
A Nigerian business man, Tajudeen Dantata expressed the hope that the exhibition will foster more business relationship between the UAE and Nigeria.
According to him, Nigeria has the potential, land and the people while the Arab Emirates has the expertise and financial capability to come and invest in the country in different areas of businesses.
“This is a platform to showcase the creative sector of both UAE and Nigeria that enriches many lives. It is celebrating cultural diversities which helps in creating more understanding for both country’s diverse culture.
The diversity of culture that was displayed showed that every nation has its unique cultural heritage that seems to promote them internationally,” Dantata said.
One of the Nigerian exhibitors, Isaac Emokpae said creativity has become one of the primary Languages of the world which helps everyone to find a common ground.
According to him, Nigerians are very creative and can compete anywhere in the world if given opportunity.
He called for more conducive environment for the artists to thrive and impact the country’s economy.
“Nigeria is the most diverse country in the world, very creative and industrious. If the people can harness what is available in the country, they’ll be unbeatable anywhere in the world,” he said.
The exhibition was a display of music, film, colorful arts and dance featuring eight diverse established and emerging artists from the UAE and Nigeria.
It told the story of the UAE’s rich history, culture, and rapid development through paintings, sculptures, videos, photographs amongst other works of notable Emirati artists.
The exhibition did not only showcased Emirati artwork but also engaged Nigerians in discussions about the UAE and Nigeria bilateral relationship.