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FG to replicate arts, crafts villages in 36 states

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FG to replicate arts, crafts villages in 36 states

The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) says plans are underway to replicate the Abuja Arts and Crafts Village in 36 states of the federation to tackle unemployment and boost the nation’s economy.

The Director-General of NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, disclosed this on Saturday when he led members of diplomatic community, state commissioners and the media on the inspection visit to the craft village in Abuja.

This was part of activities for the commemoration of the 16th International Arts and Craft Expo (INAC) ongoing in Abuja, with the theme “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”.

Runsewe said it was time to be practical about tackling the problem of unemployment confronting the nation.

He said with the craft village in the 36 states of the nation, the unemployed individuals will gain access to the platform to market and produce their wares.

“We are going to replicate this art and craft village in the 36 states of the federation to help the ordinary Nigerians make a living.

“This will reduce unemployment, crime rate and make the nation a better place.

“If the ordinary Nigerians can be provided with workshop to produce and a platform to market their crafts, they will have no time for frivolities.

“This is the sector that can liberate Nigeria from the shackles of unemployment and insecurity,” he said.

According to him, the craft village accommodates an amphitheatre where countries and states can stage their performances.

He said that 20 public toilets have been constructed, adding that others included events arena, business centres, photo shops, pharmacy, the diplomatic arena and a car park that can accommodate over 50 cars.

He noted that the craft village would be opened in two weeks.

“This place used to be hide-out for armed robbers before the the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seized it and I was able to recover it after lots of threat to my life.

“The building was owning electricity bill worth N5.6 million because there was no metre, now we have gotten metres for each building to allow for seamless operations for eventual occupants.

“You do not need to spend fortune to celebrate your birthday, with N30,000 you will be given access to the party arena.

“Also the shops will go for N200,000 each when plazas around the Federal Capital Territory go for N2 million. So, the entire package has been made affordable,” Runsewe said.

According to him, NCAC, has an arena for diplomatic communities to use especially when their countries celebrate National Day.

“Every nation has a cultural market, we must make ours better,” he said.

Speaking on sustainability, Runsewe noted that he had began training three members of staff of the organisation who would be able to maintain seamless operation of the village upon his exit from the organisation.

“Every financial transaction is done through government Treasury Single Account (TSA), payment for shops and all are through the TSA,” he said.

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I Still Get Attacked By People – Yakubu Aiyegbeni Reveals

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In a recent interview, former Nigerian football star Yakubu Aiyegbeni has revealed that he continues to receive messages and criticisms from fans, years after his infamous miss during the 2010 FIFA World Cup match against South Korea.

The moment, etched into football history, occurred during Nigeria’s crucial group stage game against South Korea. With the score tied at 2-2 and a spot in the knockout stages on the line, Aiyegbeni found himself with what seemed like an open goal opportunity. However, to the shock of fans worldwide, he missed the chance, leaving Nigeria unable to secure the much-needed victory.

Despite this moment happening over a decade ago, Aiyegbeni expressed his surprise at the ongoing messages he receives about the miss. “I still get messages from people, different messages,” he stated in the interview. “It’s surprising how that moment still sticks with people, even after all these years.”

The striker, who had a successful career playing for clubs like Everton and Portsmouth in the English Premier League, admitted that the miss was a tough moment in his career. “Of course, it was a big moment, and I wish it had gone differently. But in football, you have highs and lows,” he remarked.

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Job Losses, Factory Closures Loom As Unsold Goods Pile Up — MAN

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AGAINST the backdrop of sustained pressure in the foreign exchange market and high cost of production, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN has indicated that inventory of unsold goods is escalating to levels now threatening the existence of companies operating in the production sector of the economy with attendant job losses.

Findings show that as of the weekend the foreign exchange market had recorded over 254 per cent plunge in the value of the naira since flotation of the currency by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2023.

Recall that the naira traded for N471 per dollar in the official I&E market on June 13, 2023 before the floatation of the currency, but exchanged for N1,665.50 to a dollar as at February 23, 2024 on the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), indicating a depreciation of more than 253.6 per cent over the eight-month period. The forex crisis is also stoking inflation, and coupled with high energy costs, purchasing power has continued plummet, stifling demand for goods.

Speaking on the impact of this development on the manufacturing sector, Director General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said: “There are reports that across the board, many warehouses and plants of many manufacturing firms are stockpiled with unsold goods manufactured last year. “The development is as a result of the devastating effects of the exchange rate crisis, inflation, fake and sub-standard goods, smuggling and other macro-economics challenges.”

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