The African Arts and Craft Expo (AFAC), one of the flagship programs of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has officially been declared open.
Nigerians can now take full advantage of the event which was officially opened on 5th of September, 2017 and will be holding at the permanent site of the National Council for Arts and Culture, beside Sheraton Hotels, Abuja.
The exhibition site which doubles as the Arts and Crafts village of the NCAC was transformed preparatory to the event with resplendent pavilions modeled after Dubai international trade fares, an elaborate stage fitted with powerful musical hardware and a vast array of other components all aimed at accommodating and entertaining both local and international visitors.
Delivering his speech, Runsewe said this year’s AFAC will feature unique components like free medical checkup such as free optical and dental services, skill acquisition and training for Nigerians to build capacity amongst many other novel innovations.
He stressed that AFAC will signpost the beginning of a new dispensation in Nigeria where culture becomes the new oil in a bid to grow the local economy by harnessing the vast potentials inherent in the crafts and living arts of Nigeria.
Making his remarks, the Deputy Governor of Edo state commended the ingenuity of Otunba Runsewe and his management team for a well organized expo despite assuming office barely 3 months ago. He encouraged them to extend the promotion of culture to the 36 states of the federation.
On her part, the representative of the Hon. Minister recognized the economic challenges and constraints in organizing a program of this magnitude and re-echoed the government’s commitment to future endeavors of the NCAC.
Special guests at the opening ceremony include; Dr. (Mrs.) Habiba Lawal, Acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation who declared the Expo open; His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, Deputy Governor of Edo State was Special Guest of Honour; Royal Fathers of the day, HRM, Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa MFR (Emir of Abaji, Chairman, FCT Council of Traditional Rulers); HRM, Alhaji Isma’ila Mohammed (Emir of Karshi).
Others are, Mother of the Day: Her Excellency, Paulin Tallen (Former Deputy Governor of Plateau State); Chief Host: Alhaji Lai Mohammed (Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture)ably represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry while Otunba Olusegun Runsewe hosted the ceremony.
It will be recalled that this year’s edition as the 10th, already has participants and guests from over 25 countries with an unprecedented 150 exhibitors who have occupied their respective pavilions showcasing their unique arts and crafts products.
Runsewe expressed his optimism that this edition will surpass previous ones by far given the massive impetus in the organization and support from stakeholders along with a corresponding pledge from the mass media especially partners like the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and African Independent Television (AIT) who have hit the ground with a promise to give maximum reportage to the Expo as it runs its 20-day course.