Cultural wealth tops agenda as NCAC hosts Commonwealth delegates
The National Council For Arts and Culture (NCAC), last weekend, launched Nigerian culture to prominence as he played host to delegates to the 16th Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers Conference (African Region) that ended last week.
Although a visit to the Arts and Crafts Village of NCAC permanent site was not part of their itinerary, NCAC Director General, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, ensured they were at the centre, where they were not only exposed to unique Nigerian arts and crafts, but also made some purchases.
Before the tour of the crafts village, the ambassadors, representing several African countries, were hosted to cultural displays by NCAC’s troupe and subsequently entertained with Nigerian cuisines. Runsewe was quick to brief his guests about the uniqueness of Nigerian indigenous arts and crafts.
According to him, arts and culture will soon become the country’s largest source of revenue. He reassured that even when crude oil fails Nigeria, attention would be shifted to its arts and culture, with which it was well endowed in its six geo-political zones.
As he put it, “We are being sincere; we cannot run away from the fact. Crude oil may dry up but materials for arts and our culture will not dry up because we have them scattered all over the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. Nigeria being the bridge builder for African continent cannot be at the back seat in showcasing and development of the African arts and culture.”
Runsewe noted that the council had packaged the cultural display for the delegates because of the respect it had for lawmakers as the elected representatives of the people, adding, “Nigeria is the pride of Africa, culturally. We packaged this cultural display for you because of the respect we have for you as the representatives of the people. You are the last hope of your people. It is my conviction that you enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of the good people of Nigeria during your brief stay in Abuja. I also hope that you will find the rest of your stay very pleasant and pleasurable.”
He also used the occasion to invite the delegates and the rest of Africa to this year’s African Arts and Crafts Expo (AFAC 2017), holding later this month. AFAC is one of the council’s major events made its debut in 2008, as a regional market for arts and crafts. Since then, it has continued to gain wider acceptance. As his first major outing since assumption of office, Runsewe assured of several introductions to the programme as well as high level of both local and foreign participations.
According to him, plans have been concluded towards a successful hosting. At the end of the hosting, most of the delegates expressed deep appreciation to the people and government of Nigeria for their warmth reception. They also attested to the fact that Nigeria is rich in culture, having had a unique experience savouring some of it.