There are no doubt the business of culture, arts and crafts in Nigeria now enjoy global and local attention more than over before. In its 12th edition and formerly known as African Arts and Craft exhibition, this exclusive culture engagement platform renamed International Arts and Crafts Expo by Otunba Segun Runsewe, has shored up in value, gained currency as a pivot of national economic development and a vehicle of national cum international cohesion showcasing cultural values, interpreting the connection between arts and crafts to tradition, history of peoples to their cuisines, fashion, dances and way of life.
INAC is a platform generating limitless and timeless content on discovering who we are and where we are going. It gives everybody desirous of learning great things about the diversity of Nigeria, our people, our culture to refreshing opportunity to reconnect. To the world, about 30 countries that joined us in this cultural reawakening efforts, huge lessons were learnt, certain similarities and gestures relating to this about to boom industry were highlighted and relationships enthroned and cemented.
The Theme, networking Nigerian Arts and Crafts to the world, brought forth the dedicated desire of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to transform our cultural endowments into prime business to business activity, and at same serving as verifiable tool to burst rural poverty and empower the weak.
Conservatively aggregated as a boom but undeveloped economy with trading values of about 2 trillion dollars in foreign exchange expectations, Nigerian Arts and Crafts is on an overdrive to replace oil as Nigeria’s biggest earner. Its potentials as unveiled in the past two years under Otunba Runsewe through National Council for Arts and Culture, undoubtedly captures the mechanism to empower thousands of employed and unskilled Nigerians, particularly our women who are first casualties in any economic down turn.
That significant content of INAC, the skill acquisition platform has not only restored hope to the hopeless economically and socially with over two thousand Nigerians certificated into new economic haven, craft entrepreneurs contributing to national development.
Pauline Tallen, Nigeria’s women Affairs minister who was very visible with grace and candour recognized this aspect of engagement and promised to support Segun Runsewe to further enlarge this coast for more unskilled women to become assets to families and nation.
Indeed, participating nations came on board with their experiences in networking their Arts and Crafts. India, Malaysia, Ethiopia, China, Holland, Mali, Cameroun and others took out time to connect their history of national socioeconomic development through Arts and Crafts, with resultant advancement of their culture to a world that was created with diverse colours, peoples and tongues.
While Senator Anayo Okorocha submitted that no nation can grow beyond its culture and tradition, Professor Jerry Buhari of the departments of Fine Arts, Ahmadu Bello University believes that INAC has brought fore the quest to find and locate the real Nigerian artistic soul. Both spoke at INAC and influenced some serious approach to redefining our artistic and craft endeavours, heaping praises upon praises on Olusegun Runsewe for the courage and determination to take Nigeria through Egypt into the promised land of cultural economic emancipation.
INAC is no longer a showpiece for mere dance and drumming, it is a cultural entrepreneurs melting point with global window, a place where the garb of the ignorantly ignorant were burnt on ashes of knowledge, where new methodologies in doing business were on practical display and the network for presence and place in the growing global market of cultural economy.
To our national cultural mobilizer, Otunba Runsewe, we salute courage and vision, a trait begging to be emulated by others so chosen from over 200 million Nigerians to restore hope and make Nigeria great again. Indeed, Runsewe is a record breaker, public officer and servant with tomorrow in view and captured in the history of Nigerian cultural emancipation. From Tourism to Culture, Runsewe served Nigeria first and we are sure President Buhari has found a willing soul mate in the quest to grow a new Nigeria through culture.