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Nigeria, Belgium plan cultural exchange programme for 2020


Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture & President, World Craft Council (AR) and His Excellency Daniel Dergent, Ambassador of Belgium to Nigeria during a courtesy visit on the Council, recently. PHOTO: NCAC

• NASS Promises To Recover NCAC Property In National Interest
The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) and Belgium are planning a cultural exchange programme for the year. The Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr. Daniel Dorgent, categorically stated the need to come together and work on projects, which will be of mutual benefit to both nations via presentation of fashion exhibitions, music and dance, art and crafts, cultural festivals among other noble initiatives.

The envoy revealed this while on a visit to the NCAC soliciting collaboration from Director General of NCAC, Otunba Segun Runsewe, in this regard.

Dorgent said Nigeria was a country with great potentials adding, “we stand to benefit from some of these interesting potentials.”

He was also quick to state that the project could involve Nigerians and Africans in the diaspora.

On his part, Runsewe promised to provide the necessary logistics like venue, publicity and security to ensure a successful outing.

He observed that Nigeria and Belgium have a long relationship in sports while sharing mutually beneficial economic ties with no less than 40 Belgium companies doing extremely well in Nigeria.

According to the NCAC boss, “as far back as 1984, over eleven Nigerian professional footballers plied their trade in the Belgian league.”

He added, “as a body we have collaborated with Iran, Bangladesh and China. So for your exhibition, we will put in our best to ensure the program meets international standards.”

The meeting ended with the exchange of promotional materials between the two nations.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly has expressed commitment to help the Council take full control of its permanent site in order to maximise the site for the benefit of Nigerians.

This position was made known by members of the House Committee on unspent funds in Abuja recently.

Members of the Committee promised to look into the recent controversy surrounding the cultural village located near Sheraton Hotels in Abuja with a view to securing the premises for NCAC.

During the investigative hearing, Runsewe stressed the need to ward off intruders to the village so that the council could put infrastructure in place to empower Nigerians.

Runsewe reiterated that the site worth N9.8 billion belongs to Nigerians and must not be used for personal gains by unscrupulous individuals emphasising that if put to good use, it could generate billions in IGR for the government.

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