The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has convened representatives from across the nation in Abuja for the review of the past 35 editions of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).
“This industry is not about dancing and beating drums only, it is an industry capable of upscaling the Gross Domestic Products of our dear nation, Nigeria.
“Uganda, Gambia, Ghana, Senegal and a few other African nations depend on tourism and culture in boosting their GDP.
“Our industry is a lot more bigger than what we are deriving from it. It is time to educate our people,” he said.
Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, the Director-General of NCAC, announced this during a cocktail evening heralding the inaugural national stakeholders’ conference for the comprehensive evaluation of NAFEST.
Speaking to representatives from states such as Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Ogun, Gombe, and others have who arrived Abuja on Tuesday for the conference, Runsewe emphasized the necessity of reviewing the 35 editions of NAFEST to allow for improvements in subsequent editions. NAFEST is an annual festival organized by NCAC, aims to showcase diverse cultural heritage, talents, and the spirit of national identity, fostering peaceful coexistence
The conference serves a dual purpose – facilitating the review of NAFEST and providing an opportunity to expose industry practitioners to various benefits such as grants and loans. Runsewe highlighted the broader potential of the tourism and culture industry beyond traditional perceptions, emphasizing its capacity to boost Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) substantially.
“This is a turning point in the history of our nation, we have been hosting NAFEST, we have never taken out time to review the festival.
“Many state officials overseeing tourism and culture sectors do not understand it well enough to maximise the potential therein. This conference is also to change the wrong perception many people have of the industry.
He stressed the need for periodic reviews in the tourism and culture sectors, drawing parallels with successful industries such as Aviation, Insurance, and Finance, underscoring the importance of educating people about the industry’s multifaceted contributions to national development. The four day conference aims to document valuable contributions and insights for future reference.