The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ms. Mariam Katagum, has said that the United Arab Emirates ( UAE) provided Nigeria with a pavillion worth $2 million dollars, to showcase its products at the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020.
Katagum, who disclosed this in a chat with the media on the Dubai Expo 2020, on Thursday, in Abuja, said the collaboration and participation of Nigeria at the expo would be beneficial to the country, as well as avail it the opportunity to showcase its products.
She said Nigeria would showcase the abundant natural and human resources available in the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT, explaining that critical sectors of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing and the creative industry would be the nation’s central focus at the expo.
According to her, culture and the youthful generation will also be showcased to the world, to tap into the abundant opportunities available and also to benefit from the Expo.
She stated that the expo was aimed at connecting and inspiring millions of people globally to create a better future, as the world showcases innovation, achievements and aspirations along the Expo’s three sub-themes: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
Katagum further said that Nigeria’s participation in the Expo would be anchored on the theme: “Harnessing opportunity, Creating the future”.
“It should be noted that, Nigeria’s pavilion is located at the “Opportunity Zone” of the Dubai Expo 2020, in line with Nigeria’s theme statement.
“The Nigerian Pavilion tagged the “Opportunity City” is a rich showcase of life in Nigeria, the culture and people, through unique narratives and the media spotlighting five avenues: Resilience, Enterprising, Respectful, Hardworking, Tech and Sports.
“Each of the avenues depicts the uniqueness of Nigeria. For instance, the Resilience of the Giant of Africa is illustrated through its enduring industry and passion for work to make a better life.
“The Hardworking nature of Nigerians is illustrated through the manufacturing sector, where people create and take advantage of opportunities in the sector.
“Nigerians are Enterprising people and this could be seen in the creative industry, such as Nollywood films, Fashion and Afro-beat music, which continue to enjoy global box-office success and prestigious awards.
“We are known for rich cultural heritage and value systems which command global respect. The Tech and Sport avenue highlights the truly Nigerian cutting edge technology, transforming lives and providing solutions to many industry challenges.
“It is also a known fact, that Nigerians are sports lovers with abundant talents in various sports,” she said.
Katagum disclosed that Nigeria had completed its content curation process, procurement of exhibits and commercial retail items, and shipping of artefacts to Dubai with internal installations still ongoing.
She also said that Nigeria had scheduled 23 customized events to include, a Trade and Investment Forum, Musical Concert, Women in Laughter, Football Friendly, Adire fashion show, Women-in-film, Art of recycling, Cultural performances, Dance shows and Find Your Place in the Food Chain.
The minister also disclosed that the nation had also confirmed her participation in the nine thematic business forums initiated by the Expo organisers and the important date, 6th November, 2021 earmarked as Nigeria’s National Day.
She commended Mohammed Rimi, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the UAE, and the Commissioner-General of the Dubai Expo 2020, for their support.
Earlier, Dr Fahad Al Taffaq, UAE’s ambassador to Nigeria, said the expo was an opportunity to bring the world together to promote unity, pointing out that each participating country would have its own pavillion to showcase their cultural heritage , technology and innovation, among others.
The event had registered more than 46, 000 participants and organisations from 180 countries to do business, while 1.5 billion dollars worth of contract had been awarded to small and medium enterprises ( SMEs), he said.
He added that the contract accounted for 54 per cent of businesses registered with the expo and 55 per cent of the expo contracts awarded to SMEs.
Dubai Expo 2020 began in 2013, when the Bureau of International Exhibitions (BIE) awarded the hosting right to the city of Dubai, UAE, initially billed for 2020, but was rescheduled to October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The six-month long Expo has as its theme: “Connecting minds, Creating the world ”