NCAC celebrates indigenous arts, crafts
It was a celebration of Nigeria’s creative ingenuity at this year’s World’s Handicrafts Day organised by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC).
Aside from the huge stock of crafts exhibited by the host agency, the day afforded industry operators opportunity to showcase their crafts.
There were local fabrics, souvenirs, fashion accessories, local beads and interior decorators. As expected, the occasion attracted brisk businesses and networking between crafts producers and prospective customers in line with the founding principles of World’s Crafts Council.
The council was founded in 1964 to promote fellowship in the areas of arts and crafts, foster economic development through income generating craft related activities and organise exchange programmes, workshops, seminars and exhibitions.
The council was founded to offer encouragement, necessary helps and advice to the crafts persons of the world. As the President of the World Craft Council, African Region, the Director General, NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, has devoted efforts towards meeting the goals of the council.
Runsewe said at the ceremony that since his assumption of office as the President of the Council in the African Region about three years ago, he has continued to work tirelessly towards integrating key players in the arts and crafts sector to promote the best of African’s arts and craft products and popularising them all over the world.
He said: “Apart from robust and strategic engagement with foreign missions in Nigeria to create the required synergy beneficial to all, we have also led advocacy campaigns in South Africa, Ghana, Botswana, Burkina Faso and so on.”
He also reiterated the need for government to increase funding to the arts and crafts sector, as, according to him, practitioners require little capital for business takeoff.
In his paper titled, Economic Importance of Crafts, the keynote speaker and former lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Dr. Cornel Agim, listed the economic value of arts and crafts. These, he said, include job creation, creation of new skills, building and amplifying the economic harmony through cultural exchanges as well as playing a major role in generating and sustaining a globally engaged economy.
Other resource persons at the event believed that Nigeria is blessed with abundant cultural tourism products, sites and destinations. They consequently emphasised the need to promote local tourism in the country.
Participants at the events were drawn from select secondary schools within the Federal Capital Territory and environs with the aim of inculcating the sense of creativity in them.
Other participants are stakeholders in the industry, media practitioners and members of the diplomatic community. The council is organised into five regions including, Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America, North America and Africa.