BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Carnivals constitute one of the main motivations in the choice of the tourist destinations worldwide. The empowerment of the “civilization” of “leisure” contributes to the development of this leisure tourism. Carnival events generate important flows of population, and constitute a vector of regional promotion. To this end, Carnival tourism then appears to be a key in the narrative of the area, since the lives and existences of its people revolve around the heritage of their varied civilizations. The Carnival diversity and collective heritage of the local people is firmly rooted in the core of tourism in Nigeria. This heritage, as opulent as it is diverse, is a fine agglomeration of the customs and Carnival practices of the various ethnicities making up Nigeria. To a considerable degree, this accounts for the natural enthusiasm for festivals, jamborees, guided tours and other similar physical engagements as the principal preferences of tourism in Nigeria, channeled through the cultures and customs of the people. Studies have shown that Carnival festivals confer a lot of socio-economic benefits on a people (Mmom, 2003). It has also been described as an engine and pivot for strengthening unity among a people. During Carnival festivities, community people tend to forget their differences; warring communities down their weapons and their attention is diverted from wars to fun. Through this process, unity is enhanced between and among communities in a region. Many festivals are organized to present different Carnival practices, sites and symbols of places. Other festivals have contributed to the birth of non-mainstream urban identities and have created a new feeling of “festival moments”, as one of the key important features of the modern “experience economy”, while some festivals play an important role in creating distraction for the people from the harsh reality of everyday life, a break away from work as a period of relaxation and occasionally upset the established social order (Kiwewa, 2012). Whatever the background or purpose, these festivals all had in common that they are powerful experiences, bringing together audiences and performers in a momentum of excitement and high quality content and excellence and had – even when not originally intended as such – a great impact on local economies (Sapsford, & Southern, (2007).They create a lot of jobs and involve many services: in addition to the core group of artists, directors, designers, composers, you find sound and lighting technicians, printers, publicists and media, cleaners, ushers, caterers, ushers, ticket sellers, drivers and hotel owners and many more that benefit in one way or the other from the platform created by this festival. There is boost in business during festivities; given that the influx of people into the area tends to boost the local economy. This is so because there is increasing demand for accommodation; increasing demand for food; increasing demand for transportation and other communication infrastructure. More money flows into the local economy due to increased patronage. Artistes/ artists, transporters and traders have reported increased patronage; high sales turnover to business and general rise in income. As the range of Carnival festivals and major Carnival events has grown over the years, various evaluations and more in-depth studies have found that large scale events have a variety of potential impacts, including economic, social, Carnival, political, physical and environmental ones.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Despite the numerous implications of carnivals in Nigeria, these impacts are not always necessarily positive, but can be negative as well, or have a positive effect on one dimension (e.g. economic) while having a negative effect majorly on the environment as the society as various crimes are recorded in these periods of carnivals. It is a truism that with the population influx into an area, there come with it increasing challenges such as increasing crime rates. For instance, increase in criminal activities was reported in Calabar, Cross River State during the Calabar carnival season. There were reported cases of rape and robberies; increase in unwanted pregnancies is usually fallout of such festivities (Inah, 2003). However, irrespective of the above ill associated with Carnival festivities, theft, robberies as well as pockets of quarrels and fighting, the importance and contributions of Carnival festivities on the socio-economic life of a region cannot be over emphasized.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the economic benefits of carnivals in Nigeria. Other objectives of the study include;
H0: There is no significant relationship between carnivals and economic development in Nigeria.
H1: There is no significant relationship between carnivals and economic development in Nigeria.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study would greatly benefit the Nigerian government and all related stakeholders as it would highlight the economic benefits of carnivals in Nigeria. This study would also be of immense importance to students, researchers or scholars who are interested in developing a further study on the subject matter.
SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is restricted to the economic benefits of carnivals in Nigeria using the Abuja carnival as a case study.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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