By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Director-General,National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) and President, World Crafts Council (African Region), Otunba Runsewe said that arts and craft can reduce poverty in Africa.
Runsewe made this known at the weekend during the 13th International Arts & Craft (INAC) Expo 2020, held at the Sheraton Hotels, Abuja with the theme: Networking Nigerian Crafts to the world.
The event was the first-in-Africa drive-through exhibition of arts and crafts in Abuja.
He urged Nigerians to tap into the arts and crafts business as it had the potential of reducing poverty as a money spinner.
Speaking on the expo, he explained that INAC avails various opportunities for trade and investment in the economy, with the view of promoting greater integration and synergy between players in the sector,to boost economic and social development as well as provide platforms for entrepreneurs to showcase their goods and services. “Expos are good avenue for product launch.
“It also promotes, import and export business of arts and crafts from Nigeria to the international community.”
He said it was also designed to sensitise investors on the need to invest in the arts and crafts sector as a way of encouraging enterprise development and export-oriented production.
“Right at the exhibition stands, we have rich and diverse crafts, cuisines, fashion and cultural displays that provide great opportunities for effective and focused promotional and marketing incentives for would-be sponsors.
“We also have documentaries on display from the respective participating states and countries”Runsewe said.
Also speaking,the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Culture and Tourism, Hon.Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, urges the Federal Government to pay proper attention to the development of the culture and tourism subsector to improve the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Ogbeide-Ihama noted how essential focus on growth of Nigeria’s culture and tourism subsector could aid in job creation while applauding NCAC for successfully staging the exhibition.
According to the at this critical period, practitioners in the sector must begin to think out-of-the-box and explore other ways of marketing the industry.
Similarly, Kingsley Okafor, an arts practitioner said “A lot of money can be made from Nigerian arts and crafts; the Nigerian economy has waited too long for the all-important diversification.
“We must tap our creative talents, focus on our arts and crafts to generate the revenue we need in this country,’’.
Meanwhile,the exhibition was held as a drive-through to ensure that those in attendance comply with the safe distance protocol as demanded by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Also,viewers were seen in their parked cars watching cultural displays by various artistes.