NIGERIA Diaspora Commission (Nidcom) chairperson Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa has praised the contribution of diasporan Nigerian artists stressing that they are operating in an industry that has been largely untapped and is a potential huge revenue source.
Speaking while receiving Mr Ebeten Ivara, the director-general of the National Gallery of Art (NGA) and her management team at her office in Abuja, Hon Dabiri-Erewa said a mutually beneficial collaboration with the gallery is needed. She added that this will not only help in appreciating the value for visual arts and artists in the diaspora but also assist in recognising that there is a huge revenue yet untapped in this field.
According to Hon Dabiri-Erewa, plans are underway to put an end to the lip service concerning the issue of data collection and mapping of Nigerians in the diaspora, especially those making great strides. She emphasised the amazing things Nigerians are doing in the visual arts in the diaspora by highlighting the feat of Anthony Ayodele Abayomi, the first Nigerian visual art winner in Switzerland.
Hon Dabiri-Erewa said: “We must hit the ground running in this relationship between Nidcom and NGA which has long been overdue.” She offered to link NGA with reputable Nigerians in the field of arts in the diaspora and promised to create a team of staff to work for hand in the globe to achieve desired results.
Ms Ivara acknowledged and commended Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa for her accomplishments over the years and congratulated her as the commission recently clocked two. According to Mr Ivara, the NGA’s mandate includes harnessing, harvesting and assembling all visual arts of Nigerians at home and in the diaspora as a repository of Nigeria’s socio-cultural and historical development.
He further informed Hon Dabiri-Erewa that NGA has designed an online form for capturing and registering Nigerian artists in the diaspora to get proper documentation. A six-member working committee between made up of Nidcom and NGA staff is to be constituted to fast track the process of diaspora demographic mapping.