Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has commended the courage, doggedness and innovative measures being implemented by the Director General of the National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, towards the hosting of this year’s National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) scheduled for Jos, despite COVID- 19 shortcomings. The governor gave this commendation at the stakeholders meeting held during the week in Jos to further brainstorm on the festival, which has been scheduled to hold in Jos between November 21 and 28, with delegates from all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, expected to take part in the annual festival.
Lalong, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Plateau State Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Hospitality, Mrs. Martha Joseph Azi, said Runsewe’s innovative spirit and determination have placed culture in the front burner of national discourse by take extra – ordinary in ensuring that NAFEST holds despite the pandemic.
He said: “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,” said the governor.
“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 as willing ambassadors of Plateau tourism and hospitality.”
Lalong revealed that the state hosted the festival 24 years ago, adding that the 2020 edition will help birth and showcase the rich cultural heritage of the people and the stride made by his government in ensuring the peaceful coexistence of the people of the state and the enthronement of enabling environment for cultural tourism businesses to thrive.