Runsewe Calls for Reactivation of Nigeria’s Cultural Houses in Beijing, Nanjing

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Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture [NCAC], Otunba Olusegun Runsewe

Charles Ajunwa

Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, has called for the reactivation of Nigeria’s cultural houses in Beijing and Nanjing, saying this would enhance the cultural ties between Nigeria and China.

Runsewe, who is the President of World Crafts Council (Africa), received an award from the Head of Hauxing Art Troupe, Dr. Eric Ni, for his continued support to the Chinese community in Nigeria.

The NCAC boss, who made the call at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games Beijing and Chinese New Year celebration in Lekki, Lagos, said Nigeria’s collaboration with the Chinese government would enhance tourism and national development.

According to him, organising regular cultural troupe/performances and exhibitions among the two countries who share the same Independence Day among other things would enrich a win-win cooperation between the countries.

Nigeria and China bilateral diplomatic and cultural relationship which dates back to 1971, according to Runsewe, was rejuvenated by strategic partnership accord in 2005.

He said: “Even as recently as last year, China and Nigeria demonstrated their continued commitment to this robust, healthy, progressively dynamic and holistic relationship when they signed the governmental Memorandum of Understanding during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Summit.

“China remains one of Nigeria’s key allies, with key bilateral trade and strategic cooperation, as well as trading import and export partnerships. With 80 per cent of Nigeria’s population indicating a positive perception of Nigeria-China relations, according to the BBC, Nigeria is clearly one of the most pro-China nations in the world.

The underlying reason for this seamless relationship is not farfetched, as both countries share similarities with regards to their strategic positioning in their respective continents, their political and economic influence as well as population strength. This fosters a mutually beneficial and harmonious atmosphere full of opportunities for sharing, understanding and exchanging of cultural commonalities and diversities among the two countries.”

Stressing the importance of bilateral relationship between both countries, Runsewe said that Nigeria supported China with her crude oil when they needed it “to power its industrial machines, fast growing transport systems and other natural resources to feed Chinese’s expanding appetite for luxury and pharmaceutical products,” adding “China has provided technical and financial support to build and improve Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit, an anathema that has challenged Nigerians’ path to inclusive and sustainable development.”

“In the last decades, China has provided Nigeria with loans to build roads, railways, dams, hospitals and avenues for socio-cultural exchange. Developing partnership and cooperation are expanding into Information and Communication Technology (ICT, modern agro-business and techniques, security, banking, satellites and digital development and health,” he added.

The NCAC boss, who was excited by the recognition given him, thanked the entire Chinese community for their laudable contributions and commendable interventions especially those engagements and exchanges being implemented by the Chinese community which impact directly on the core mandate of his agency.

“We look forward to sustaining such programmes, activities and initiatives in the future. I also wish to specifically thank the organisers for the scholarships extended to schools and students. This will definitely enhance access to education and learning in Nigeria.”