The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said the Museum of West African Art, Edo when completed would create over 30,000 jobs for Nigerians.
The governor disclosed this when he inspected the ongoing construction of MOWAA, Edo project site along Ezoti Street in Benin City, on Wednesday.
Obaseki, who led members of the State Executive Council on a tour of the project, expressed satisfaction with the level of work done so far, noting that the project when completed would create over 30,000 jobs.
The governor said the pace of work was very impressive, expressing confidence that before the middle of next year, the project would be ready.
He noted that the project would reposition the state and help it diversify its economy.
He said, “We just finished our weekly Executive Council meeting and one of the items on the agenda in the meeting was the presentation of MOWAA by its Executive Director. The presentation was impressive and members of EXCO took a decision to see for themselves the pace of work going on here.
“The pace of work here is very impressive and from the presentation, we have every reason to believe that before the middle of next year, this project will be ready. The presentation was illuminating for EXCO members.”
According to the governor, “This project is to reposition Edo State and help diversify our economy so we can use art, culture, entertainment and the creative arts as a basis of diversifying our economy and creating jobs for young people in this country. We can’t rely on revenue from oil proceeds from Abuja but look inward and see what comparative advantage we have as a people and leverage it to create an economy that will help us grow our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“From the presentation we received this morning, in terms of direct employment of people in these facilities, there will be an excess of 625 people and in terms of indirect employment we are looking at almost 30,000 people that will be employed as a result of the infrastructure we are building.”
The governor further noted, “This infrastructure is a research, storage, and display facility that will help us collaborate with other institutions across the world to conserve artefacts and artworks as we can’t continue to rely on foreigners to tell us who we are, we have to undertake research ourselves and bring researchers here.
“We are currently collaborating with some of the best institutions in the world, the Oxford University, the British Museum and other institutions to bring in facilities to help us with materials, and conduct archaeological studies of our site before we do things so we have enough information on who we are and how we lived in the past and why the Kingdom was great as it was and have evidence to collaborate the stories we have.
“We need to make young Nigerians and Edo people understand where their creative instincts come from. This is part of a cultural district that would extend to the bronze and wood casting guild areas and some other areas as there will be a strong connection between the communities around here and these facilities.”