Ahead of the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) scheduled for November in Jos, Plateau State, Members of the Technical Committee for the event have visited Governor Simon Bako Lalong at the Government House Little Rayfield to assure him that the whole country is being mobilised for the festivity.
Leading the delegation to the Government House, Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture Otunba Segun Runsewe praised Governor Lalong for approving the hosting of the event in the State.
He said NAFEST 2020 will be a historic event because Plateau State is the Home of Peace and Tourism and has a rich cultural history that has been at the centre of national development in many ways.
He said “Plateau State is an attraction to people within and outside Nigeria. By restoring peace to the State, you have increased the invitation for development and progress of the people. This is why tourism and culture can now be used as a tool for improving the economic fortunes of the people and showcasing the hospitality and beauty of Plateau. This we shall achieve by staging NAFEST”.
He commended the Governor for showing leadership particularly resolving the date for the event which he said was an initiatial challenge. This he said has motivated about 5 states to begin jostling for hosting rights for the next edition.
Governor Lalong while responding said the State was honoured to host NAFEST 2020 because it will further confirm the peace and tranquillity pervading the State which makes development possible.
He said “We have to promote our culture and heritage which is a great asset. If we do not market Nigeria, no one can market it for us. Our focus is to develop tourism and culture as another way of harnessing economic and social resources. This explains why it is difficult to leave Plateau when people come here”.
Lalong assured that the Government will expedite action on the completion of the Luka Bentu Indoor Theatre for the event while the airlines operating to Jos have been advised to make adequate arrangements for people attending the event.
The Governor also said that the State will ensure that everything is done in line with COVID-19 protocols even as the cases have dropped significantly in recent times due to the proactive approach adopted by the Government.