Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says if masquerades were well packaged, dressing and undressing of the masquerades could provide 1000 jobs for some young Nigerian men. According to TheCable, Lai said this while speaking at the sectoral debate of the Federal House of Representative in Abuja today May 3rd;
“Most states today have more than one festival a year, but the packaging and lack of capacity has not enabled them to make the most out of these festivals. There’s a particular masquerade in the south east, it takes 100 people to dress him, another 100 people to undress him. If this masquerade is well-packaged, it can provide employment in one week for more than 1000 young men.
These are some of the untapped potentials. I worked in the airport for 10 years, and I know that if you want your passport stamped as a foreigner, you slip $100 into your passport. No tourist would come back to a country where he has to bribe immigration to enter.
No tourist would come to a country where, when he leaves immigration, he enters a ‘one-chance’ taxi or ‘one-chance’ bus. It’s a holistic problem and these are all contained in the national tourism master plan, which I would make available to the house. We must make a difference between tourist sites and tourist attractions; what we have in Nigeria are tourist sites. They are not tourist attractions. You need infrastructure to convert a tourist site to a tourist attraction. If you don’t have infrastructure, it would always remain a tourist site, In Cross Rivers reserve park, Nigeria has the oldest forest in the whole world. It is the oldest in terms of biodiversity, and we have this very rare, white-mane gorilla in that area, but because my people in Cross River have decided to turn them to bush meat, they have now escaped.”he said