The Arts

August 22, 2022

How INAC brought 26 countries to Nigeria against all odds

How INAC brought 26 countries to Nigeria against all odds

Some of the ambassadors, commissioners and representatives of countries and states that participated in the 2022 INAC with Otunba Segun Runsewe.

…arts make us closer to one another – Spanish ambassador    

To bring 26 countries to the Sheraton Abuja Hotel, venue of the 2022 International Arts & Crafts (INAC) Expo which closed last Saturday, is a feat no one else but Otunba Segun Runsewe could have accomplished, given the prevailing atmosphere of insecurity in the country. Some of the countries that participated in this year’s expo were Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Venezuela, Syria, India, Philippines, China, Iran, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Malaysia, Benin Republic, Sudan, Lebanon, South Korea, Tanzania, etc. Even the United States and Bulgaria were represented by their cultural attachés.       

Speaking during the closing ceremony of the 3-day event, the host, Otunba Runsewe, Director-General of National Council for Arts and Culture, who recalled that the international expo was also organized to celebrate the diplomatic communities in the country, declared Nigeria as a truly a hospitable country that loves to receive people. 

Some ambassadors to Nigeria also made brief speeches during the closing ceremony. The Malaysian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gloria Corina Peter Tiwet said, “I am very happy to be here, and I want to inform you all that I am dressed in my traditional costume. I am from the ethnic group, Bidayuh tribe in Borneo Island, Malaysia. So, I am honoring this expo by using my traditional costume. It is my way of really appreciating all of you who are also adorned in your traditional costumes for us to see. I am really happy to be here. This is my 4th year in Nigeria and this is our 3rd year in participating in the expo.” 

Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Clara M. Pulido Escandell spoke about certain Cuban drums her country inherited from Nigeria. “We are very proud of our history and our common culture,” she said. “I want to say thank you, Mother Africa. Thank you, Nigeria, for all you have provided to us. We are Cubans. We are also Africans. I want to give a special recognition and say a special thank you to our dear friend, Otunba Runsewe. For me, you are not only a cultural ambassador. You are also a medical doctor. Medical personnel bring health to our body. But Otunba brings health to our minds. 

Appreciating Nigeria’s hospitality and cultural heritage, Juan Reus, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Spain, said: “I want to appreciate how welcoming Nigeria has been with me. I myself I was an artist. My heart is very close to arts and culture. It is in this regard that I want to appreciate the great cultural heritage that Nigeria has. The dances we have seen here today deserve a huge applause, and we all know how hard it is to be together to work out and to train every day. It is not an easy job. Moreover, Nigeria has plenty of diversity in its languages, cinema, and its arts and culture, and that’s something that Spain can relate to. Spain has also diversity in languages and culture, and that’s a quality that makes us stronger. Diversity goes hand in hand with unity.

Juan Reus said with its 36 states, unity can be accomplished in Nigeria. It is art, as human expression, that at the end of the day, transcends language and social differences. Arts make us closer to each other as human beings. So it is in this regard that the theme of this 15th Expo, “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World” is already a success, because I am not only sharing this evening with Nigeria but with more than 20 other countries.            

Prizes were awarded to countries, states, organisations and individuals for their outstanding performances at the expo. 

The Best Designed Pavilion Prize was awarded to Ogun State, while the Best Merchandizing Pavilion went to China, Burkina Faso and Katsina State.

Best Product Design, BPD, (leather works) went to Kaduna State, Yobe State, Katsina State and Bauchi State.  For BPD, textile, fabrics and fashion, India, Ogun, Lagos and Mali won the prizes. BPD, Metal & Brass Work went to Ogun, Anambra, Kogi. BPD, Woodworks was won by Akwa Ibom, Lagos and Venezuela. BPD, Calabash went to Bauchi. BPD, Pottery and ceramic was won by Iran, FCT and Bulgaria. BPD, Raffia works went to Akwa Ibom and Bauchi.

Gastronomy Prize was won by Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago and Malaysia, while BPD, Ornament, Beads & Jewelry went to Sudan, Benin Republic and Lagos.

The prizes for Special Day & States went to Kaduna and Ogun, while Best Handmade was won by Chinus Ltd. The Prize for New Inventions, Waste- to-wealth went to Lebanon and South Korea.

The Prize for Most Innovative Packaging was won by China, FCT and Lubcon Ltd. The Best Exhibitors in e-marketing went to Tanzania, Spain and Syria. Best Exhibitor in Networking Strategy were Philippines, Bangladesh and Lubcon Ltd, while the Most Enterprising Exhibitor at the expo was Ogun state.

The 3rd position, Overall Best Exhibitors were Katsina, Bauchi and FCT, while the 2nd position went to Lagos State.

Ogun State won the first position, Overall Best exhibitor!