The Diplomatic Community on Thursday commended the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe for rebranding culture in Nigeria. The ambassadors representing 23 countries, gave the commendation at the opening of Arts and Craft Village market in Abuja.
According to news reporters, few years ago, NCAC under the leadership of Runsewe shut down the market when some people used its premises as hideout to perpetrate crimes. Mr Yanko Yordanov, Ambassador of Republic of Bulgaria to Nigeria, said the unveiling of the market was in the right direction noting that opening the market for cultural enthusiasts would give diplomats opportunity to experience more about Nigeria’s culture, tradition and arts.
According to him, this cultural market is going to be an exciting place for diplomats to visit anytime any day. He said that this was not the first time he was experiencing things about Nigerian culture, adding that he had such experience with Nigeria’s culture two years ago.
“There are a lot of similarity of culture and arts between Nigeria and Bulgaria, I see a lot of clarity of purpose, techniques between the two countries.
“I am sure if we deep down this cooperation, it will bring a lot of goodies between the two countries. Bulgarian embassy will do its best to make use of this place. By the end of my tenure, we will be celebrating a lot here,” he said.
In his remarks, Runsewe said that the opening of the Art and craft Village market was part of the Renewed Hope Agenda promised by President Bola Tinubu. He said that the opening of the market would further showcase Nigeria’s cultural heritage to the whole world, as well as attract more investment opportunities for the country.
“First and foremost, for some of you who have forgotten when I was struggling to get this market back to give it a befitting features, I promised Nigerians that I am going to give the best market in Africa,.
“What has happened here today is showcasing Nigerian culture to the whole world. For me, I am so excited, I am happy with over 23 countries present here this evening, how best can we sell our country more than this.
“This is the beginning of the Renew Hope Agenda by showcasing Nigeria to the world that we are ready, Nigeria is peaceful, a saved place for Investment and if not, you won’t have all these countries coming here.
“So for me, it is a connecting point of showcasing our strength as a people to the whole world,”NCAC chief said.
He said that the market had been in shamble for over five years, adding that the market harbored drug pushers, stolen cars, kidnapping people.
“And I promised every Nigerian that these must stop.
“No diplomat would have come here today but they came to see a new Nigeria with a strength of performance and capacity to showcase the strength of this country which is what we are doing today.
“For me, it is very excited, you had all the comments of all the ambassadors who spoke, who say they are very happy that they have a place to come to now.
“This place is a place that supposes to showcase our strength as a people, our cultural belief,” the director said.
According to him, culture is a very strong content for celebrating people. People without culture are not meant to be in existence. He said that arts, craft and culture were imperative to building a creative economy.
“These are what other countries have been using for their Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunity and Threat known as SWOT analysis.
“The time has come for Nigeria to also talk about its SWOT analysis, and that was why a lot of Nigerians were giving opportunities in the market to sell their cultural products.
“Every state is represented in the shops at the market. This is to encourage them to grow Nigerian craft business.