THE National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), an agency of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture was established for the development and promotion of the best of the Living Arts and Cultures of Nigeria, using it as resources for national integration and unity as well as to serve as catalyst for sustainable growth and development of the nation.
The vision of the agency was to use Culture as a cornerstone in contributing to building a solid nation where the citizens shall see its cultural diversity as a source of strength while its core values emphasise Transparency, Promptness, Integrity, Excellence, Professionalism, Tactfulness and Resourcefulness
NCAC has had men at the helm of affairs as its Director-General since inception but stakeholders in the arts and culture sector applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the recent appointment of Otunba Olusegun Runsewe to direct and manage both human and material resources of the agency as the new Director-General. Their elation could not be divulged from the antecedents of total dedication to service which is one of the many attributes of the former Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC).
Part of innovation that he brought to NTDC was the biometric data registration of workers in the hospitality industry in a move to tackle growing crime in the industry, help redeem the country’s image in the Diaspora.
With the project which was the first of its kind in Africa, NTDC ‘can trace hotel workers with the biometrics project and ensure that hotel workers do not commit a crime in one hotel and go to another hotel and repeat the same crime. If a staff commits a crime, he/she will flash it immediately and it will be in NTDC’s database.’
Industry stakeholders believe that Otunba Runsewe is capable of turning around the fortune of the NCAC in line with the vision and mission of the agency by refocusing its programmes and projects towards positively changing the perception of culture and cultural activities, as serious business opportunities capable of job creation, economic empowerment as well as tools for promoting peace, social integration and national identity.
Otunba Runsewe’s coming into NCAC will certainly not be awkward as he had previously served the arts and cultural sector as the Head of Public Relations (Media) at the National Theatre where he indisputably performed excellently well.
His tenure at the NTDC was a watershed in the development of the tourism sector in Nigeria.
He is capable of turning the arts and cultural heritage into an economic cash cow, considering how his aggressive tourism marketing campaign, anchored on the catch-phrase “Tourism is Life” gave the Nigerian Tourism Industry unprecedented national and international visibility.
His tenure at the NTDC positioned Nigeria as one of the leading faces of tourism and a preferred destination in Africa. With consistent annual exhibitions at International Tourism Expositions like FITUR, Madrid Spain; ITB Berlin, Germany; Arabian Travel Market, Dubai; World Travel Market Orkland London, etc, Nigeria during Runsewe’s tenure, began to seriously contend for world’s attention as a destination of preference. He will be ready to develop and promote the Arts and Crafts Industry through specialised Exhibitions and Expos.
Having successfully placed the Nigerian tourism industry strategically on the global tourism map and earned UNESCO recognition for some tourist sites in the country, this shrewd professional can in no time make NCAC’s mandate of networking with Arts Councils of other countries of the world and other relevant international agencies such as International Federation of Art Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) and the World Crafts Council (WCC) etc, realizable.
About Otunba Olusegun Runsewe
Otunba Runsewe had an enviable public service record spanning over three decades and traversing the media, culture and tourism sectors. In the media, he was a General Manager at the New Nigerian Newspaper; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Sports Weekly, and was Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of National Network Newspapers; the Head of Public Relations (Media) National Theatre; and also the Media Coordinator, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013, Abuja, Nigeria. He was appointed as an Executive Director at the National Orientation Agency in 2000, a position he held until his appointed as the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) in August 2006.
The era witnessed the harvest of commendation letters by the Nigerian Tourism Corporation, including those from the World Travel Market, London and FITUR, Spain. Otunba Runsewe was also the pioneer Chairman of Abuja Carnival Planning Committee, the Carnival edition that has been adjudged by the international community to be the best organised since its inceptions. The Nigerian Tourism Village, which he put together during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, was rated as one of its kind at the event.
Otunba, as he is fondly called, is a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations; Chairman, Nigerian Sport Writers Association; Chairman, Board of Nigerian Institute of Journalism; Fellow of Institute of Management (FIM); Fellow, Association of Business Executives, (FABE), London.
He holds an MBA in Marketing from Edo State University; Higher National Diploma in Management Studies from London School for Executives. He also has a Diploma in Public Relations from the London School of Management Studies and a Professional Certificate in Estate and Property Management from Kaduna Polytechnic.
A detribalized Nigerian, he holds several titles from different parts of the country, including Danbura Kabi, Kebbi State and Obiagu one of Igbo Ukwu, Anambra State, amongst others.
Armed with these intimidating resume and considering his track record of experience and expertise, his appointment as Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture by President Muhammadu Buhari, no doubt, is considered as the best thing to happen to the sector in recent times and time will tell, the justification for his appointment.