BY: ATIM UKO
As part of her efforts to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the State, Akwa Ibom Council for Arts and Culture, AKSCAC, has set up modalities to relaunch her indigenous arts, crafts and the entire gamut of her cultural assets, to generate and broaden her revenue base as well as boost tourism.
The Director of the council, Dr Unwana Joshua dropped the hint shortly on arrival at the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo, on his return from an official visit to the Director General, National Council For Arts and Culture, (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe at Culture House, Abuja.
He said that Akwa Ibom has overtime not featured in national cultural events and expressed the belief that with the meeting, the state would regain its pride of place by participating in these events and bringing back laurels.
Doctor Joshua noted that there was serious need to diversify the nation’s economy from Crude oil and other minerals to arts, craft and culture which have the capacity to create sustainable livelihood for the teeming youths in the state.
“There is need to refocus the economy’s dependence on oil and gas to arts, craft and culture as this will promote the rich cultural heritage that Akwa Ibom is endowed with and the country at large, as well as generate employment for the youths, thereby discouraging the quest for white and blue collar jobs” he said.
Dr. Joshua congratulated the DG, NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe for the various cultural exhibitions across the globe and used the opportunity to solicit a visit to Akwa Ibom for cultural appraisal to relaunch the state to national and international cultural limelight.
He recalled that Akwa Ibom has always been in the forefront at national cultural exhibitions, winning laurels to the state and expressed the hope that the DG’s visit would reignite the zeal to do so once again.
The DG, NCAC, Otunba Runsewe thanked the Director, AKSCAC, Dr Unwana Joshua for the vision to partner the national body to showcase the rich cultural heritage prevalent in Akwa Ibom state.
He wondered why Akwa Ibom had been missing at national cultural events, and pledged to visit the state.
Otunba Runsewe expressed the hope that Akwa Ibom will be selected to host the next National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).
He further announced that 100 youths of Akwa Ibom origin would be selected for entrepreneurial training in China, sponsored by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for youths within the Niger Delta region.
“I will use the opportunity to inform state governments to select 100 each for an entrepreneurship training in China. This will help curb crime and alleviate unemployment in the state when the training is complete,and would boost the economy and make the youths self reliant”
He said the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno was expected to attend Federal Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) meeting in Abuja, where he will personally brief him of his intended visit to the state as well as the need to create a synergy for cultural exposition to the international community.
The council chapter Chairman, Radio , Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union Of Nigeria, RATTAWU , Comrade Nse Akpan was among staff that received the Director AKSCAC, Dr Unwana Joshua at the airport, and applauded his initiative to turn around the fortunes of the Council for Arts and Culture .
He pledged support of staff to the vision and prayed God for a manifestation of the good intentions of management of the council.
Dr Unwana Joshua was thrilled by a performance by culture troupe of the council.
On hand to receive the director were top management staff of the council, members of RATTAWU, among others.