Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 6 September 2017 | 1,527 times
Director General of the Nigerian Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, has enjoined the Nigeria government to make culture represent oil as the mainstay of the economy.
Runsewe disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the 10th edition of the African Arts and Craft Expo 2017 on Tuesday in Abuja, adding that the government of the day must do everything humanly possible to make the culture speak and allow the country to move forward.
Speaking further on the theme, ‘Nigerian Craft: The Untapped Treasure’, Runsewe pointed out: “It was not a day of speech-making but a day to recommend our culture as replacement for oil. This oil will finish one day. But the best to do is to make use of our culture so that we don’t get stranded.”
He commented on the achievements which the Expo has brought to fore, as part of community service to the people, saying: “As you can all see today, we have free medical check-ups, free eye tests and the rest. We are also giving out 200 glasses. So, the time has come for us to key into culture so that our country will not remain the same again.”
National Council for Arts and Culture is the biggest cultural Expo in Africa. It is the 10th edition of AFAC where people are celebrating the beauty of Arts and culture in Nigeria. Different people from African countries felt proud to gather at the event.
Acting Secretary to the Federal Government, Dr. Habibat Lawal, in her remarks, pointed out that this year’s Expo is a unique one to be proud of. She said: “We must allow Arts and Culture to take its pride of place in this country.”
Applauding Runsewe’s sterling achievements after three months in office, Lawal said: “He has been able to raise the profile of this agency. I have no doubt that AFAC, under him will soon be competing with international festivals all over the world.”
She added that “we must beam our searchlight on the culture appropriately and develop the interest of our youths in capacity that will make them employers of labour. There can be no better time than now.”
Representative of the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Philip Shuaibu, while congratulating Runsewe, said: “The next destination is culture.” He maintained that other countries survive on culture and tourism potentials and Nigeria also need to annex its tourist centres to earn foreign exchange through festivals.
“All our festivals, other countries must take advantage of them. We are gifted above oil. We just need to identify these potentials and harness them. The issue of unemployment will be a thing of the past if we can take this serious because that is what the government of the day is looking at,” Shuaibu added.
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