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Brighter Future Beckons As Minister Expresses Commitment To Artists’ Village


Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has promised that Nigeria’s artists’ village has come to stay.

Mohammed said this Monday when he paid an unscheduled visit to the Village at the National Theatre Iganmu, Lagos.

Promising that the move was aimed at providing a conducive environment for Artists to thrive, the Federal Government Spokesperson stated: ”the Artists’ Village is here to stay” assuring that the Government would do everything to encourage the Arts.

“Within our little resources, we’ll make sure that arts thrive,” he said, while assuring that this will be a new era of better rapport between Artists and the Ministry of Information and Culture, as well as with the management of the National Theatre.

Alhaji Mohammed, who toured the village to see the damage done to the work of some of the Artists during the demolition exercise, promised to assist those affected as soon as he received their report detailing the losses they incurred during the demolition, and after studying the report he personally commissioned into the incident.

He said the village, which houses Arts and Dance Studios, among others, was under-developed and that the government would do more to develop and promote the village.

”We will build more on what we met here. Out of the ruins of this village will emerge a befitting Artists Village that will comprise standard studios, dance theatres and stands where artists can exhibit and even sell their works.

”Arts and Culture have placed Nigeria on the world map, perhaps second only to sports. Nigeria’s works of arts are being celebrated globally. It is the responsibility of the government to promote them,” he said.

FG image maker urged the Artists to take advantage of the 500-billion-Naira Intervention Fund which the government has set aside in the 2016 budget, with a view to accessing the funds they need to expand the scope of their work.

The Minister also met with Mr. Smart Owie, the artist who was allegedly shot in the leg during the demolition exercise, and secured the assurances of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to ensure that he is provided with the necessary police report to facilitate his treatment.

Alhaji Mohammed urged the artists to eschew bitterness and refrain from aggravating the situation, while the government awaits their report on the situation.

Monday’s visit was the second to the village by the Minister after the demolition incident.

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