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Arts & Craft

Top 10 Indigenous Crafts Nigerian Government should Support Financially to Avoid Extinction

Top 10 indigenous crafts Nigerian Government should support financially to encourage growth and avoid extinction. For the purpose of alleviating poverty, improving societal standards of living and promoting economic growth, the Nigerian government needs to create incentives that support indigenous crafts.

Indigenous crafts are a viable source of creating wealth if only the government can fully explore them through industrialization to boost foreign reserve and create employment.

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The government needs to focus on supporting crafts and small medium enterprises to diversify the economy which is fast dwindling.

Apart of agricultural resources and oil, Nigeria is also blessed with lots of crafts and arts that are waiting to be fully explored.

Apart from the economic advantages, crafts offer relief from the monotony and uniformity of mass productions; they also serve as an occupational therapy for the handicapped and the sick.

Crafts are medium of wealth creation that the government can explore through industrialization to enhance growth and development.

A craft is a form of production in which the materials used is a vital to the entire creative process and plays an important part in practical function.

Crafts and arts are a means of communicating our emotions in a tangible form for the development of the society and betterment of lives.

There are different types of crafts:

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1). Utility Crafts are usually full time occupations which provide essential items or necessities such as clothing, utensils, farm tools, furniture and construction materials.

2). Arts Crafts are usually part time occupations that provide items that are not necessities example fancy leather ware, jewellery and wood carving.

3). Other skills known as cottage skills which is a small scale industry that includes the service sectors of repairs, maintenance of vehicles, production of tools.

Some of the crafts the government need to support in Nigeria are:


This encompasses different crafts from cloth making to hats, carpet, rugs, chairs, bags, basket, fans, mats and other items. Weaving can be done with different materials like wool, raffia, palm fronds, canes, twine and several others.

Clothes are mostly woven by women in northern and south west regions of Nigeria with cotton as one of the major materials used.

The finished clothes are used for dresses, window blinds, home furnishing amongst others. This is a core economic activity for them and has fetched them good returns.

Mats are made by plaiting fronds of raffia palm after which they are used as beddings or pieces of interior decoration. Fans, fishing baskets, shopping and waste paper baskets, cane chairs are also made from palm fronds and canes.


Predominantly practised in Nigeria, this craft needs massive government support to enlarge it and boost production of leather products and the exportation of leather as a raw material. Leather is gotten from livestock (goat, cattle, pigs and donkeys).

It is processed to produce bags, footwear, wallets, belts, football, clothes and furniture. The development of leather production in Nigeria will yield massive revenue through mass production of leather goods and its exportation to other countries.


Blacksmiths are commonly found in the eastern part of Nigeria. They provide farmers with tools like cutlasses and homes with utensils like kitchen knives and gates.

Apart from blacksmiths, we also have gold smiths who are responsible for making jewellery with beautiful stones, and trinkets.

If the government promotes this craft by creative incentives and making infrastructure available, the economic outcome will be overwhelming.


This involves hand moulding of objects with clay. These objects include utensils or any other desired shapes. Some of these objects can be finely decorated, glazed and fired for a perfect finishing.

This art is common in almost every part of Nigeria because clay is commonly found at the bank of streams.

The process of pottery is less cumbersome and raw materials (majorly clay) needed is easily accessible. Pottery has produced lots of beautiful local earthen ware in Nigeria, ranging from pots, calabashes, bowls, mugs, pipes etc


Carving is a craft that deals with making of patterns on wood, slabs of cement or clay and other surfaces.

Commonly in practised in the northern and southern Nigeria, carving produces objects like wooden trays, stools, chests, jewellery boxes, candle stands, walking sticks, panelled doors and jewellery.


This involves the use of dye and chemical to change the original colour of fibre or fabric to beautify it by achieving great designs. The process is fondly called tie and dye.

Nigerians exhibit their cultural dexterity through tie and dye. Osogbo in osun state is referred to as the town of dye because of its famous and plays a leading role in the art of dyeing.


This deals with the use of a base to apply paint or colour to a surface to express or communicate ideas. It is a common craft in Nigeria.

There many talented painters out there waiting to unveil their work but are restricted and limited to our inability to appreciate art because of the negligence by government/. Very few people actually understand the potentials and value of art in Nigeria


This is a writing related art; it deals with design and inscriptions of letters or numberings to pieces of beautiful or fine art.

It sells in form of wedding cards, all event invitation cards, religious arts, event announcements and is mostly f0r the purpose of advertisements and communication of ideas.


The local production of soap is another craft embraced by Nigerian youths that need incentives from the government to promote and aid in production and distribution.

Many have acquired the skill but lack start-up capital to kick off their own production.

10. SMES:

All other small medium enterprises not listed above deserve government support and attention to curb poverty, encourage self-employment and productivity, boost the economy and generally improve standard of living.

Support from government in form of capital allowances, tax holidays, import relief and tariff protection, steady power supply and a good distribution network of finished products, will check rural urban migration, reduce level of criminal activities, boost external earnings and reserves for the betterment of Nigerians.

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Lami Ogar

Lami is from cross river state and holds a B.sc in accounting from a Nigerian university. Writing for her is a form of detoxification, she has written several articles for Essence magazine and runs political commentary on twitter. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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