September 26, 2021

The Start of a festival: “Plateau has shown willingness to receive visitors” – DG, National Council of Arts

Mr. Olusegun Oronsonye

The 2020 National Festival of Arts and Culture on Sunday kick-started in Jos, the capital of Plateau State, with a colorful gala night.

Federal and State Officials at the event were excited about the choice of Jos, for the event.

Mr. Olusegun Oronsonye, the Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture told Journalists that the peaceful and serene nature of the State makes it most suitable for the event.

“The peaceful atmosphere, the beautiful weather, the warmth and reception by the people makes us feel at home,” he said.

According to him, by the level of preparedness and turnout of local participants, the State has shown “willingness” to receive visitors.

The Arts Official believes the event will receive unity and development for Nigeria, as people from different parts of the country meet at the venue.

More than revenue

Plateau State Commissioner of Information, Dan Manjang told Journalists that the State was happy to receive visitors because it stands to gain more than just revenue.

“Many people will be selling their merchandise and that will lead to savings and tax payment. The hospitality industry in particular will earn and pay tax and that will increase IGR. But beyond that, there will be skills acquisition training, new investment opportunities for us and above all, a new image of Plateau as people come and experience the peace we are enjoying beyond what they probably read in the papers,” said Manjang.

The event officially opening Monday to the 28th of November will have in attendance, Senator Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Chairman, Senate Committee on Tourism and Culture, Mai Mala Buni, the National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, and a host of others.

Holding at Langfield Leisure park Rayfield Jos, the event will feature traditional board game, Archery, Indigenous Fabrics competition, children’s Essay Competition and cultural Quiz competition, Officials say.

Other events are choral music competition, traditional cuisine, children’s indigenous instrumental competition, children’s craft and command performance.

The State had banned all festivals at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, even after approving of low traffic public gatherings. It has yet to officially lift the ban on such ceremonies when it announced the event. However, it has set strong measures, according to officials, to ensure compliance to safety protocols.