From Idongesit Inyang
The minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, has said that in the near future, Calabar Carnival will become a global brand.
Other industries like Calachika, Cross River Noodles and others will also become an international brand to be known as Nigeria brand.
The minister, who was in the state for the 2022 World Tourism Day, made the remarks after visiting a couple of industries in the state.
Some of the industries visited by the minister included the noodles factory, chicken processing factory, Calapharm and the garment factory.
Speaking on the importance of these industries, the minister described them as the “future for Cross River State. I must commend Gov Ben Ayade for planting the seed for industrialization.”
He said, “The engine room of any economy in the world are the small and medium scale industries that will generate employment and encourage backward integrations.”
On the garment factory, he explained, “The garment factoryis very interesting to me because at the peak of the Covid-19, the garment factory came handy, producing face masks and became the solution to the Covid-19 pandemic challenge.”
It also changed the thinking of the world on the type of materials that can be used for face mask,” Mohammed also said, adding “For quite a while, there was a controversy on whether locally produced materials can be used.”
According to him, “Governor Ayade argued publicly untilWorld Health Organisation ruled that it is recommended for use and healthy.”
While projecting that the factory will become the cornerstone of the textile industry in the country, he disclosed that his ministry recently carried out a survey on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on some aspects of the economy and that the result was astonishing.
His words: “After Covid-19, the ministry commissioned a study on the effects of Covid-19 on the tourism industry. Amazingly, we found that even though Nigeria is known for film, music but the fashion industry yields the highest revenue.”
He added, “While music generates about N300 billion a year and film about N179 billion, the fashion industry has about N2 trillion revenue. So the market for this garment factory is unlimited. It is a huge investment.”
The minister urged other state governors to emulate the industrialisation policy of the Cross River State governor because these industries according to him generate both direct and indirect employment opportunities for the people.