The director general of the National Council of Arts and Culture NCAC, has said that the 15th edition of its International Arts and Craft Expo set for August 18 to 20 will be a media affair.
The director general of the council, Mr Otunba Runsewe, announced the decision at the 2022 Pre-INAC Dinner organized by the council at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja.
At the dinner, which hosted about 43 embassies with over 29 ambassadors and diplomat representatives, the DG pledged the international community free passes and booths to promote their countries and culture to the world. He went further to pledge that the council will host every ambassador to a dinner post their tenure in the country noting that, ‘‘our duty is to ensure that they enjoy their stay in Nigeria, hence tonight’s event. I am glad that they appreciate this gesture.”
Modelled after the World Travel Market in London, UK, and ITV in Berlin, Germany, the expo will feature a media center from whence the Nigerian media can broadcast and market both Nigerian arts and craft, and that of the international community to the world.
The gesture according to Runsewe forms part of the council’s strategy to showcase Nigeria’s strengths and the opportunities therein to the world, contrary to popular opinions among the diplomatic community that Nigeria barely pulls its weight with regards to bilateral relations and cultural exchanges.
“If you don’t celebrate what you have, nobody will celebrate you. For me, this is a platform, that we have succeeded with in celebrating the strength of Nigeria not her weaknesses or threats, but her opportunities and strength.
“The ambassadors and diplomats who leave here tonight, do so with an impression. They have all expressed their satisfaction, and about 32 of them have indicated they will participate at INAC Expo set for August 18 to 20th at Sheraton.
“We are the international communities’ free space to showcase to give them the impression that it isn’t all about money, that we want to add value to what they have in our country.”
Addressing the council’s decision to move the Expo from the Exhibition to Sheraton Hotel, Runsewe said it was both a business and medical decision.
“By exhibiting in Sheraton Hotel, the hotel takes care of the food, as they have the additional benefit of a certification in quality food control unlike at the Pavilion here, where we would have to outsource the meals at the event. It is also a safer way to avoid the spread of a pandemic. Likewise, it is also a move establish the brand is not strictly a local but an international event,” said the DG.
Other activities scheduled for the expo include skills acquisition, a segment of the expo for children, free medical check-up among others.
Established in 2018, the Pre-INAC Dinner is an initiative of Runsewe’s administration developed as a means of enhancing international presence and awareness of the Nigerian arts, crafts and culture. At present, about 32 countries have stated an interest to participate with more expected to join.