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05th June, 2017.
R-L: OTUNBA OLUSEGUN RUNSEWE, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR ARTS AND CULTURE RUNSEWE PRESENTING A LOCALLY MADE BRANDED COMPUTER BAG TO MR. TADE ADEYEMI, NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE DEEJAYS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA WHILE ON COURTESY CALL TO THE CULTURE HEADQUARTERS RECENTLY IN ABUJA.

SNA LAUDS PRESIDENCY OVER APPOINTMENT OF NCAC BOSS

The Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture Otunba Segun Runsewe has pledged to redirect the course of cultural development in Nigeria to ensure the sector takes its rightful place thereby justifying his appointment.

This followed a commendation of President Muhammadu Buhari by Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) for appointing Runsewe as DG of the parastatal.

Speaking at the meeting, the chairman of the body, Mr. Okide M. Tochukwu congratulated the Director-General over his well deserved appointment saying the present government must be commended for putting a round peg in a round hole.

He intimated that mr. President fervent belief in Runsewe necessitated his posting to culture stressing the industry will now be repositioned following his impeccable track records at the tourism industry which was the place of his last national assignment.

During the meeting in his office in Abuja, the DG was resolute in assuring that all illegal steps taken regarding the allocation of arts and crafts village in the permanent site of the council to some artists without proper documentation and formalization will be corrected appropriately.

He decried a situation where the centre is being used for unwholesome activities saying this was grossly unacceptable.

"I have personally carried out a research of the place without anyone knowing and I have realized the place is being used for undesirable and ungodly activities especially at night", he revealed.

Runsewe said the forthcoming (AFAC) will be held at the arts and crafts village and as such everything will be done to sanitize the place with a view to reawakening the consciousness of people that our culture is our pride and strength stressing that he was already working on a programme to relay the message that traditional rulers are the custodians of our culture and our heritage.

The number one promoter of culture in Nigeria told his audience that the permanent site is presently not befitting to the aspirations and mission of the present management noting that drastic decisions which may be painful will have to be taken in addressing the anomaly.

According to him, a situation where the place is avoided in the day by some unscrupulous foreigners only to come around at night for unholy practices like smoking indian hemp will no longer be tolerated.

The NCAC helmsman further stated that, National council for Arts and culture should not be giving pavilions to any artist or group of artists permanently as the case may be instead it is supposed to build and allocate for a certain period of time while promising that everything concerning the arts and crafts centre will be managed to make sure the centre fulfills its statutory responsibilities.

On the issue of funding via a loan to be accessed from the Bank of Industry, Runsewe told the delegation that there is a three hundred million loan with single digit interest which will only be given to credible artists registered with formidable umbrella bodies. He said, "you will only need to open a window and we give endowment".

Runsewe further stressed that all artists are supposed to abide by the rules and regulations of the NCAC. He was emphatic when he told the delegation to inform their members who are not paying for making use of the centre to have a rethink as such practice will no longer be allowed.

In his words, "We will no longer accept a situation where we pay the civic defense for security, we take care of the toilets and do other critical logistics and the direct beneficiary will not pay anything. This can not go on". He advised the artists to co-operate with the NCAC in order to enjoy a cordial working relationship.

Saddled with the task of promoting culture, the Director- General assured the delegation of his total support, promising to increase the number of toilets at the centre from the present four to forty for proper sanitization and hygienic environment where cultural activities can thrive.

The leader of the SNA delegation said their body encompasses private individuals, the Army and more than three thousand active members affirming as the voice of artists in Nigeria, he came to see how a partnership with NCAC can be struck.

Speaking during the call, "We want to be carried along in your programme as we had a fantastic relationship with your predecessor." He also told the Culture helmsman that his group will like to benefit from the recent MOU between NCAC and BOI.

Mr. Okide finally concluded by conferring the Patron of Society of Nigeria Artists, Abuja chapter on Otunba Runsewe.

In another development, playing host to the Deejays Association of Nigeria (DJAN), the Director- General commended the association for coming together to form an association of great repute, integrity and honour. He was particularly happy for the role the association plays in the society saying, "I want to thank you for promoting our music and making Nigerians happy.

He promised to give full support to the body in any capacity promising the delegation that he will involve them in the forthcoming stakeholders meeting of the council to be held in Lagos at a later date.

On his part, the National President of the Deejays Association of Nigeria, Mr. Adeyemi thanked the DG for giving them audience, he told the culture helmsman the purpose of their coming which is seeking to partner with the council and its activities.

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