Spurred by the increased momentum in the Lagos State tourism sector last year, thanks to the unrelenting efforts the minister of Tourism and Culture, Steve Ayorinde, with full support of the state government, the Director-General National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe has singled out the state and expressed his readiness to tour the centre of excellence as a form of encouragement for creating a window for organised local and international visits across Nigeria in 2018.
Other states equally penned down for such honour by the NCAC DG are Rivers, Cross-River, Kaduna, Plateau and Edo States.
Runsewe whose office organised some of the most notable cultural festivals in Nigeria last year such as National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) and International Arts and Crafts Exposition (INAC), noted that the upbeats in culture activities from all states in the country would help to sustain an all year and season holiday culture in Nigeria and also anchors certified cultural festivals as tourism products to help local and international tour operators in marketing Nigeria to the world.
According to Nigeria’s chief cultural officer and President, World Crafts Council, Africa region, what took place around the country last year is a revolution which would place Nigeria in its rightful place in global tourism community.
The NCAC DG noted that the 50 billion naira spending by holiday makers in Lagos is a huge eye opener to what can tickle down to operators of businesses and the service industry, adding that what is needed now is to see that the industry is well organized and turned up to create jobs for Nigerians. He said Lagos state government is doing well in tourism and prays that the state will continue to provide the leadership in strategic tourism activities more than ever before.
To Cross-River, Runsewe commended the governor for making carnival Calabar to take new shape last year through an authentic African Theme which calls for top mind awareness and revival of African culture to help open the continent to visits and collaboration. Indeed, the 26 foreign nations that visited and actually participated in the Calabar carnival, Runsewe observed, has taken the cultural carnival to another level.
As Nigeria’s chief marketing officer, Runsewe explained that the cultural intervention in Rivers state during NAFEST, presented Nigeria culture to the world in an uncommon way and adding that he would remain grateful to Governor Nyeson Wike of River State.
The Durbar in Kaduna and the refocused attention to rewrite and reposition tourism in Plateau by Governor El-Rufai and Simon Lalong respectively added up to give Nigeria the desired rebound that the world is expecting from Africa’s biggest black nations, Runsewe noted.
Not left out in Runsewe’s ranking is also Edo State which came to town last year with its Edo Fest, targeting Edo people and their friends outside Nigeria. The strategic attention, to which that festival gave the repatriation of Edo relics and Artifacts in foreign museums, marks it out as a holiday event to watch in Nigeria. Significantly, Edo is the host ground for NAFEST 2019, thereby expected to be in the forefront cultural discussion throughout the year, NCAC DG further explained.