The chairman of the 11th International Arts and Crafts (INAC) Expo and chairman LEADERSHIP Group Limited, Mr Sam Nda-Isaiah has said that Nigerian arts and crafts are the country’s best kept secret.
Nda-Isaiah stated this at the opening ceremony of INAC organised by National Council For Arts And Culture yesterday in Abuja.
He said that, “Our people are super creative and resourceful and we can see that from the quality of our crafts. It the same spirit that has made Nollywood, Kannywood and our indigenous music global successes”.
According to Nda-Isaiah, the few expatriates in the arts and crafts business who know this have kept the knowledge to themselves, sneaking into the country from time to time and trading in these priceless goods and subsequently smiling to their banks.
He reiterated that governments at all levels should know that this is a sector that can set the country afire if well organised, burnished and harnessed. He applauded the current government of President Muhammadu Buhari for succeeding in agricultural sector and the mining sector, which is picking up. He pleaded that the Nigerian arts and crafts sector should be developed along those lines. He again advised the director general (NCAC) to collaborate with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor and look into the possibility of creating an intervention fund for the sector.
Similarly, the director general, NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, reaffirmed that the 11th edition of the International Arts and Crafts Expo is a dream fulfilled. He noted that the flagship programme of the council was conceived in 2008 as a platform for craft men and women all over Africa and beyond to make contacts, interact, showcase their arts and crafts products, exchange ideas and skills and network for investment partners.
The NCAC boss said, “The theme of this year’s edition which is ‘Networking Nigerian Arts To The World’ is no longer a continental affair but a global meeting place for critical stakeholders in the culture and arts sector. The fact that we have over 20 countries participating in this edition is an eloquent testimony to its global status. This exposition has lived up to its expectation of bringing about regional integration, continental unity as well as unveiling the economic opportunities in the Arts and Crafts sector”.
Meanwhile, new components were introduced into this exposition in order to make it richer and more responsive to the needs of the people. These include free medical screening, body mass index, and skills acquisition amongst others.