FUNKE OSAE-BROWN, ABUJA
Professor of Fine Art, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Jerry Buhari has called on Nigeria to harness the commercial value of her arts and culture.
Buhari said this on Thursday while giving the keynote address at the Investment Forum at the ongoing International Arts and Crafts (INAC) Expo taking place at the International Conference Center, Abuja.
He argued that historically Nigerian arts and crafts have commercial value as foreigners have plundered them in the past.
“If they do not have value, they will not be objects of theft to date. The critical question that we may wish to advance at this point is how can we make our products commercially viable? To address this question requires a well articulates marketing strategy that is driven by a complete reorientation of both we the people as it said in the preamble declaration of our constitution.”
He further said packaging and presentation play a critical role in how the arts and crafts are received and consumed by people. He observed that Nigeria had left the functionality, finishing and packaging and presentation of his arts to neighbouring countries like Ghana, Cameroon and Benin Republic.
“I observe that we are rather clumsy and take things for granted when it comes to the finishing, packaging and presentation of our arts and craft. The art of packaging has become very elaborate, professional and sophisticated. We cannot continue to package our arts and craft in the same way we used to in the 1970s.”