Calabar carnival, an elaborate event celebrating Nigeria’s diverse culture, has become a unique global event and the Federal Government plans to make it a foreign exchange spinner.

This was the promise that Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, made on Sunday while flagging off the third dry run of the 2017 carnival.

It has the theme ‘Migration’ and Mohammed said time has come for people to start seeing the carnival beyond entertainment but see the seriousness and the message it conveys.

"We are pushing the Calabar carnival to be a major foreign exchange earner for the country," Mohammed stated.

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He said: "We have here today, 26 beauty queens from 26 African countries who are contesting for the 2017 Miss Africa pageant.

"That is a big statement because each of these young ladies are going to spend two weeks here and will go back to their countries as our own ambassadors.

"They will tell the story of what they have seen and the hospitality of Cross River and that is a big plus for the state and the country.

"What is happening here today is reverberating throughout the world because this dry run is unique in the sense that it gives the organisers and participants the opportunity to perfect their act".

He added that the festival had become a platform for youths to vent their creativity and a platform to turn Nigeria’s creative industry into a veritable creative economy.

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