Director-general of the National Council of Arts and Council NCAC, Otunba Runsewe, has said that while oil is a good source of revenue, arts and crafts is better.
The DG made this known at the NCAC’s event held to commemorate the World Handicraft Day in Abuja, yesterday.
Runsewe noted that while oil supply is limited, the arts and crafts industry grows more innovative and accommodates all peoples.
He said although Nigeria is in the process of harnessing the potentials of her arts and crafts, the nation’s development strategy platform indicates a 36 per cent growth. “That tells you we are winning more souls.”
The president of the World Craft Council, African Region, said through NCAC’s International Arts and Crafts Expo it has successfully generated partnership between Nigerian creatives and their foreign counterparts.
“How can an artist from Oyo, Bida or Enugu have link to 25 countries of the world? It will be difficult, but we did that with INAC. Two countries have come to Nigeria for Nigerian creatives to teach them how to dance because they said their people are moody. Two to three of those creative teams have left for that exchange programme.
“Today is about bringing together Nigerian youths, to realise that there is hope for them in the creative sector. It is the only sector where no one is a failure. Let’s face it, we cannot all be doctors or lawyers. Some people brains are wired to be creatives. We want to tell arts and craft practitioners that they are important and have a role to play in the nation’s GDP. Next year, we hope to make it even bigger,” said Runsewe.
Speaking at the event, director of Nsibidi Gallery, Abuja, and former director of the National Gallery of Arts NGA, Dr Cornel Agim, urged for the finetuning of the Nigerian arts and crafts sector for improved exports, and the reopening of the Abuja Arts & Crafts Village.
Agim who in his presentation Economic Importance of Nigerian Crafts described arts and crafts as therapeutic, generates employment; checks local-urban migration; and is the pivot of any development.
“There is so much to be done by government to encourage the arts and craft industry. We plead the indulgence of the DG to see to the finetuning of the arts to engender new knowledge, new techniques to make the sector durable and sustainable,” said Agim.
Designated by the non-profit, non-governmental WCC, the World Handicraft Day promotes fellowship, fosters economic development, as well as advice and encourage crafts person of the world.