COVID-19: Runsewe Urges Industry Players to Be Strong
By Justina Okpanku
Nigeria culture chief and the Director General, the National Council for Arts and Culture ( NCAC) Otunba Segun Runsewe has called on culture and tourism players not lose faith about the sudden uncertainty that engulfed humanity because of COVID-19. He said even though the the industry is highly affected and bleeding, the practitioners will survive the scourge if the medical and hygiene culture protocol is strictly adhered to by all and sundry.
Runsewe, who noted that the closure of our land borders and restrictions of air travel will mitigate the spread the dreaded infirmity, praised the federal and states governments response to curb the spread of coronavirus in Nigeria.
” This is not a period to fear and panic but to watch, pray and follow all sanctioned protocols. It shall be with us and very soon if we take to regulations, our culture tourism engagements will bounce back, better and bigger,” he said.
Accordfing to him, “Our industry at times like this, had survived many socio-economic and medical visitations in the past because we are very close to the people and will be the first to experience negative impact of any local or global restiveness on all fronts.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 lock down never seen before but I am confident, once it is over, our industry will respond positively beyond expectation. So I urge all of us to be careful and prayerful.”
The DG who just came back last week from Jos, Plateau State capital to visit the government and people of the state in preparation and activation of various activities towards hosting Nigeria’s biggest cultural festival, the National Festival of Art and Culture (NAFEST) later in the year, commended the leadership of all private sector players in culture and tourism for the proactive actions 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 homongous pestilence, hence the commendation of all levels of leadership in the sector for keeping all concerned well informed about the impact of the disease,” Runsewe said.