By Innocent Orok
Impressed with the doggedness, organisation, perseverance and innovations brought to bear on Nigeria’s Cultural economy despite the challenges of covid 19 pandemic, Plateau State governor Simon Bako Lalong has described Otunba Segun Runsewe Director General of the Nigeria Council for Arts and Culture ( NCAC) as the authentic Cultural ambassador of Nigeria.
Governor Lalong disclosed that Runsewe’s innovative spirit and determination to placed Culture in the front burner of national discourse, ensuring that NAFEST, Nigeria’s Cultural festival holds despite the pandemic.
” I can’t but salute the courage and perseverance of the DG of NCAC and President, World Craft Council Africa region and everyone of you for trying to help us to activate the new normal as the pandemic will be with us for a while” the governor stated
Speaking at opening ceremony of the stakeholders meeting on NAFEST, 2020 slated for Jos in November from 21 to 28, Governor Simon Lalong noted that Plateau State has put in place necessary machinery to ensure NAFEST, 2020 in Jos will be more than successful.
“We shall leave no stone unturned to guarantee the safety of the delegates and visitors, most importantly, at the end, share our dream of friendship, partnership and national unity with participants willing ambassadors of Plateau tourism and hospitality.” Governor Lalong explained
Represented by the Permanent Secretary , Pateau state Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Hospitality, Mrs Martha Joseph Azi, Governor Simon Lalong explained that Plateau hosted NAFEST 24 years ago, adding that the 2020 edition will help birth and show case the rich Cultural heritage the people and the giant stride of his administration to ensure the peaceful coexistence the Plateau nation and the enthronement of enabling environment for Cultural tourism businesses to thrive.
” We are aware that hosting events such as NAFEST can bring about improvement in the socio-economic engagement of our people, boost Cultural tourism which is the main component of our God given endowment” he further explained.
While urging participants to adhere strictly to the Covid 19 protocols, Lalong reiterated that Plateau State government will ensure that NAFEST 2020 celebrations in Jos will comply with all directives and advice the Presidential Task force on Covid19 and that of NCDC to guide the spread of the Covid19.
” We shall deploy all relevant health services providers, provide adequate health information to guide participants and visitors and the emplacement of necessary measures to ensure total compliance.”
The theme for the 33rd edition of NAFEST, Jos 2020 is ” Post Covid19 and Cultural Dynamism”. NAFEST hosting under the watch of Otunba Segun Runsewe, DG NCAC, is bidded for and rotated among the 36 States of the Federation.