The Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe has urged culture and tourism players not to lose faith about the sudden uncertainty that has engulfed humanity because of Covid-19. Though the industry has been highly affected and bleeding, the NCAC boss believes the industry and practitioners will survive the scourge if medical and hygiene culture protocol is strictly adhered to by all and sundry.
“Our industry at times like this, had survived many socio-economic and medical visitations in the past because we were and are very close to people and will be the first to experience negative impact of any local or global restiveness on all fronts,” he stated. Adding, “this experience must count now. Yes, we have lost money from bookings for our various cultural tourism events, running our hotels on low occupancy and generally witnessed a lockdown never seen before but I’m confident, once it is over, our industry will bounce back beyond expectation. So, I urge all of us to be careful and prayerful.” The director general who just came back last week from Jos, Plateau State capital after visiting the government and people of the state in preparation towards hosting Nigeria’s biggest cultural festival, the National Festival of Arts and Culture(NAFEST), later in the year, commended the leadership of all private sector players in culture and tourism for the proactive steps taken to educate customers and owners of leisure businesses on Covid-19 protocols. Apart from medical professionals, our industry practitioners are also in the frontline of falling victims to this humongous pestilence, hence the commendation of all levels of leadership in the sector for keeping everyone well informed about the impact of the disease, Runsewe further explained. He noted that the closure of our land borders and restrictions on air travel, will mitigate the spread of the dreaded infirmity, praising federal and state governments response to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Nigeria. “This is not a period to fear and panic but to watch, pray and follow all sanctioned protocols. It will come to pass very soon and if we take to regulations, our culture tourism engagements will bounce back, better and bigger.”