Director-general of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, said the international community has expressed interest in supporting the development of Nigeria’s creative industry.
Runsewe who is also the president of the World Craft Council (WCC) made this known in a chat with the media after the closing ceremony of the 16th edition of the NCAC’s International Arts & Crafts Expo, held in Abuja at the weekend.
He said this opportunity for leveling up on the arts and crafts expo, is part of the vision of networking Nigeria’s crafts to the world, and was only made possible through INAC.
“Four countries, Bulgaria, India, China and Bangladesh, want to take Nigeria to their country now, free of all expenses, for vocational training and skills acquisition, not university degrees, I am not involved in the latter. Rather what we need is to develop Nigerians to be practical. We want to unleash the creativity in every Nigerian.
“This offer is a win-win situation for all parties involved. It is only for Nigeria to go to the next level after this. It is left to us to open our doors and bring in more investors to our country, and I am sure that in the next couple of years, our story will change.”
As part of the expo activities, over 200 Nigerians, both young and old, were trained in several vocational skills as soap making, gele tying, hair styling, bead work among others during the festival. The best of the trainees was awarded starter packs with a little funding to help kickstart their own businesses.
“With this, we are reducing unemployment, crimes, and building a better nation for our youths to inherit,” he said.
Runsewe further observed an impact of the festival, which is, the growing efforts at better branding and packaging of arts and crafts pieces by Nigerian exhibitors. An outcome, he claims, is the result of presenting many awards to exhibitors.
“The prizes are to awaken them, to let them know that we are taking note of the things they are doing. The prizes varied from Best Branding to Best e-Marketing, Best in Skills Acquisition to Best Leatherwork, Best Commercial Exhibitors to Best Pavilion etc.”
He urged private stakeholders to help support the harnessing and exporting of Nigeria’s creative industry, as a means to moving the nation forward.
The 2023 edition of the International Arts & Crafts Expo held September 7 – 9th at the Abuja Continental Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria, witnessed over 38 exhibiting and non-exhibiting countries, 18 Nigerian states and about 29 non-governmental organisations in attendance.