No fewer than 29 countries and states have arrived Abuja for the 16th edition of the International Arts and Craft Expo (INAC).
Chief Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), organizers of INAC, disclosed this on Thursday during the opening ceremony.
The theme for the expo is “Networking Nigerian Craft to the World”.
Runsewe said that the platform was deliberately created to market Nigerian arts and crafts to the world as well as unite individuals across cultural divide.
“INAC is a platform we consciously designed to market our crafts and arts to the world, as you can see the number of states and countries in attendance.
“We have 29 countries,16 states and 21 non-governmental organizations already at the opening. This is for everyone regardless of their country to network, collaborate and make fortune from the platform.
“For me, the sector is key to uniting Nigerians and the world, we must continue to put Nigeria together in all we do.
“The international communities are the biggest informants to the world, this platform tells the world that there is peace in Nigeria and it is a place for investment,” Runsewe said.
According to him, the expo is getting bigger and better as over 50 Nigerians have been helped to travel out of the country.
He said countries kept inviting Nigerians for different forms of business deals through contacts developed on the platform.
“For us, this is getting bigger every year.
“A cultural troupe that performed last year was invited by the Indian embassy to perform in New Delhi, similar opportunities abound.
The director-general said that the expo would be loaded with lots of entertainment as renowned artistes had been scheduled to thrill guests in the course of the expo.
He informed the audience that free skill acquisition programs were also ongoing, urging interested persons to take advantage of the opportunity.
Also speaking, Masudur Rahman, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria, identified Nigeria as the center of cultural gravity of Africa as the country is endowed with enormous tourism and cultural potential.
“It is a big opportunity for Bangladesh to partner with you since 2016 when we started our mission here.
“It is time to celebrate the strength of the world through Nigerian culture,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some of the countries in attendance were: Iran, Philippines, Bulgaria, Venezuela, Syria, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, China, Cuba, Indonesia, Columba, Korea, Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Mexico, Bangladesh, Iraq.
Also in attendance were states like Taraba, Lagos, Enugu, Borno, Katsina, Anambra, Rivers, Adamawa, Abia, Kaduna, Ogun, Yobe have mounted their exhibition booths.