The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) on Saturday launched a virtual platform to showcase Nigerian rich and diverse cultural heritage.
NCAC’s Director-General, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, unveiled the link of the virtual platform culturalvirtualtour.ncac.gov.ng, during an online webinar organised by the council.
Runsewe said that Nigerians would henceforth be opportune to view the nation’s rich and diverse cultures, festivals, cuisines, relics and monuments at the comfort of their homes.
He said the agency put into consideration effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism to have come up with the virtual platform.
“The entire world had been on lockdown, so people’s travel appetite could be greased, keeping them abreast of nation’s culture.
“NCAC is happy to unveil this virtual platform for the world to see Nigeria’s heritage sites, culture and everything that makes us unique.
“We want people to know the efficacy of culture as a therapy for COVID-19 and also project Nigeria as the hub of tourism.
“COVID-19 has pushed us to think outside the box and it is a great development for the industry for people to watch diverse culture at their leisure now.
“The recent editions of the International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC) and the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) are also included on the virtual platform.
“We will still be unveiling the drive-in cultural festival, which will enable everyone to watch theatre performances from different parts of the country.
“This will enable viewers learn about other people’s cuisines,’’ he said.
Runsewe during the online webinar, showcased six heritage sites from six states, picking from each geo-political zone.
He explained the historical facts behind each site during presentations.
The DG highlighted the oldest iron smelting site in the world located in Nsuka, Enugu State; Kanta museum built in 1831 in Argungu in Kebbi State.
Runsewe said that the Kanta museum offered an insight into the turbulent history of Kebbi State.
“We have decided to showcase one state from each geo-political zone today, while other states can be seen on the link.
“The Zungeru military cemetery, where the first military officers were buried, is another interesting site, so also, is the Tafawa Balewa tomb in Bauchi State.
“I believe the labour of our heroes should not be in vain.
“We should remember them and continually keep them as part of our history.
“These heritage sites project our strength as a people and everything that makes us unique,’’ Runsewe said.
Earlier, Vidyanidhee Vanarase, Secretary-General, International Theatre Institute (ITI) from India commended the initiative.
Vanarase indicated interest to partner with some Nigerian artists on post-COVID-19 projects.