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    Thursday, June 29, 2023

    Igbo Festival to Attract 5,000 Participants in U.S

    In a bid to promote Nigeria’s culture, no fewer than 5,000 persons are expected to participate in an Igbo festival in the United States of America.

    Approximately 5,000 Igbo indigenes in Nigeria and diaspora, as well as their friends and well-wishers, are expected to participate in a two-day Igbo Cultural Festival scheduled to hold in Minnesota, United States, on August 10th and 11th, 2023.

    The event is expected to provide opportunities to market the culture, food, language, music and other uniqueness of the Igbo people who are predominantly in South East Nigeria but with significant and impressive spread and presence across Nigeria and beyond.

    Cultural Ambassador and promoter of the event, Peter Egbudom, told journalists at a press conference, in Abuja, that the target of the festival is the celebrate the rich culture of the Igbo people, and also let the world know about it and ways it can redefine life and living in the world.

    He said: “It’s unfortunate that Nigeria is not taping well into the tourism industry which has the potential to contribute significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. This has to change. We need to play in this league deeply and favourably because we have enough to offer the world in terms of tourism to earn their trust, and revenue and entertain the world.

    “We have good and rich foods, music and other cultural endowment. We should be able to export it and let the world know about it. For instance, China and several other countries have exported their food and culture to other parts of the world including Nigeria. We now have Chinese Restaurants in several locations in Nigeria. So, it is in some other countries of the world.

    “Undoubtedly, Nigeria is facing the biggest economic challenges arising from diminishing internal revenues and inadequate foreign investments. The matter was compounded by excruciating debt burdens that have affected other sectors of the country.

    “The oil and gas sector is also facing severe dislocations as it is on record that Nigeria is unable to meet its OPEC’s quota. This disturbing trend was compounded by the unprecedented stealing of our crude oil on a massive scale.

    “The oil theft in Nigeria is so rampant to the extent that big vessels are being brought to Nigeria to siphon our crude oil from the high seas. With this frightening scenario, Nigeria is in dire need of legitimate foreign investment through tourism potential.

    “Our diverse cultural heritage has been left untapped for so many years. This rich cultural heritage can be harnessed to bring investment to Nigeria. Foreigners are usually excited about our cultural heritage, costumes and food. Our rich cultural heritage is an area where the federal, state, and local governments and private entities can come in and earn foreign revenues through tourism.

    “With the forthcoming Igbo Festival in Minnesota, United States, we now have the opportunity to showcase our rich and diverse cultural heritage that will definitely promote tourism potential.”

    Egbudom stated that the Federal Government was not involved in the planning of the Festival, advising the federal and state governments to set up a tourism board and give it adequate support in order to boost cultural tourism in the country.

    “Government needs to put more money into our tourism sites and provide security to attract foreign investment. They can also send Nigerians to other countries that are doing well in tourism to learn and develop ours in return.”

    Egbudom, who hails from Isuofia in Aguata LGA of Anambra State, said he has reached out to Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo, and is about to do the same to other South East Governors, with the aim of securing their support and possible participation in the festival.

    “This will enable them the opportunity to showcase the investment potentials of their states to Nigerians and other countries in the diaspora and earn revenues from tourism.

    “We are also making necessary plans to reach out to the Chairman of Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, to have synergy with the Federal Government on tourism potential.”

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