Runsewe Lauds Gov Abiodun’s Cultural Tourism Driven Economy

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The Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Olusegun Runsewe, has commended Governor Dapo Abiodun for his determination and passion to create a cultural tourism economy for Ogun State.

Runsewe, who gave the commendation at this year’s International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC) in Abuja, said Governor Abiodun had created jobs through the local Adire fabric including promoting the culinary of the state through Ofada Rice which he said was healthy and good for export.

“What we saw at the Ogun State night is a clear reflection of a governor, a leader who is determined to leave the state better than he met it. And through the local Adire fabric economy, jobs are created, and an industry sustained. Governor Abiodun has even brought in the culinary offerings, a perfect hold for the Ogun people, noted for its unique Ofada Rice variant, very healthy and good for export,” Runsewe explained.

The NCAC boss who doubles as President, Africa Region, World Craft Council (WCC), reiterated the urgent need for all state governors to wake up to the reality of the power of culture in transforming dormant economies, adding that oil business was no longer in vogue but the networking and marketing of culture and to which the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, have in abundant diversity, not excluding gastronomic offerings.

He commended the 12 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which despite COVID-19 impact on the economy braced all odds to showcase their cultural tourism endowments to the world.

The Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Olusegun Olaotan, took to the expo podium to recast the diversity of the state’s rich cultural tourism endowments, from Ankara fabrics, natural resources, rich flora and fauna ecosystem and culinary offerings.

In what appeared as strategic policy effort to enthrone a sustainable cultural tourism economy by Abiodun-led government in Ogun State, a food court clearly set out for practical outreach to gain the endorsement and buy in of the participants, was on showcase with enough delicious culinary offerings, particularly cooked Ofada Rice garnished with pepper stew served free to participants who thronged the Sheraton Hotel Abuja, venue of the expo.

The state’s contingent also put up a dazzling cultural show of force, Thursday night, showcasing its rich Ankara and Batik fabric economy, spiced with gastronomical outing of the famed Ofada Rice to the delight of participants and invited dignitaries.

The 14th edition of INAC has the theme: ‘Networking Nigerian Arts and Crafts to the World.

Meanwhile, Runsewe has said that the three-day cultural exhibition for the 61st Independence anniversary celebration organised by the National Council for Arts and Culture at the Presidential Villa was to enable the invited primary and secondary children to not only have a tour of the stand but to also have a feel of the seat of the federal government called the Presidential Villa or the State House.

According to him, the essence of the exhibition as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari was to catch the Nigerian school children young in nationalism, patriotism and cultural orientation.

Runsewe assured the children that they are the future leaders of tomorrow and that they should start early to develop the right frame of mind to enable them achieve great feats in life.

He said the children that among them are future leaders of tomorrow as Presidents, Vice Presidents, Governors, deputy governors, ministers, senate presidents, judges, senators, speakers of the federal and state assemblies, commissioners, adding that nobody is a failure as there is room for everybody to excel in the creative world of arts and craft since the sector offers great opportunities for everybody to showcase his or her God-given talents.

Runsewe while decorating the children as future ambassadors of this great nation told them that they should start now to prepare their minds to take over the affairs of this country when the time is ripe.

He admonished them to get to know each other, build bridges and relationships that will cut across zones, ethnic and religious boundaries and above all put their country and nation building first in all their endeavours so that their patriotism to their fatherland will not be questionable.

Children from Tudun Wada Government Secondary School and Olumayu Secondary School were hosted to a tour of the exhibition stand on the first day, children from the Hilltop and Government Secondary School Gariki were hosted on the second day while school children from EmmaTony International School Kurudu and Glisten International Academy Jahi were hosted on the second and third day respectively.