Harness Nigeria’s cultural resources to boost Naira — NCAC

The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has urged Nigerians to further harness the country’s cultural resources to contribute to the value of the Naira and promote sustainable economic growth.

Director-General, NCAC, Chief Olusegun Runsewe made the call during the National Stakeholders Conference on the review of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) in Abuja.

Runsewe, worrying about the consistent depreciation of the Naira against the dollar, spoke on the topic of “Culture as a Tool for Revamping the Economy: An Agenda Setting.”

He emphasised the importance of reassessing the cultural sector and implementing new strategies to align it with the agenda of President Tinubu-led administration.

According to Runsewe, the culture sector has immense potential to boost the economy if properly harnessed.

He suggested that states should prioritise skill acquisition training as part of their efforts to equip the population with the necessary skills and capacities to become productive members of society.

Runsewe urged states to work toward developing cultural markets within their respective regions.

He said that it would also accelerate cultural activities and enhance the visibility, relevance, and viability of the culture sector in Nigeria.

“I call on all stakeholders and key players in the arts and culture sector to begin to apply their creative energies toward optimising the huge potentials in our vast arts and culture sectors.

“It is my hope that if our cultural resources are carefully harnessed and productively channelled, it will open up our cultural economy and engender rapid socio-economic growth.

“It would also lead to the emergence of a strong and stable currency that will command the required purchasing power at the international market,” he said.

To further support the development of the sector, Runsewe mentioned plans to leverage the intervention of the Bank of Industry (BOI).

He noted that NCAC had entered into an agreement with the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria to provide technical skills training to Nigerians.

According to him, the training aims to benefit at least 3,700 youths in various fields.

These fields include hospitality, arts and crafts, elevator machine production and installation, mono-rail construction, branding, electric car repair, and more.

“I am also in consultation with Clevenard International Media and Marketing Company, a top Spanish e-marketing company, to give our content creators the necessary exposure on e-marketing strategies,” he said.

The director-general on the review of the past 35 editions of NAFEST inaugurated a committee to look into the review of the national festival.

He listed Mr Dotun Osunsanya, a culture consultant; Mr Victor Omoniyi, Director with NCAC; Mr Ado Yahuza, Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) and some delegates from Yobe and Rivers states to look into the review in the course of the four-day conference.

Also, delegates from Yobe, Katsina, Kano, Cross River, Lagos and Osun states were picked to review the skill acquisition aspect of NAFEST.

For the review of the funding of arts and Culture, delegates from Ekiti, Delta, Anambra, Plateau, Zamfara and Adamawa states were selected.

For e-marketing, Lagos, Edo, Ebonyi and Jigawa states as well as National President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies and National Association Nigeria Theatre Practitioners were picked.

Delegates were also selected to review aspects like: cultural exchange, synergy between tourism and culture, e-marketing and one state one product.

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