The Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otumba Olusegun Runsewe, says Nigeria has diverse cultural manifestations that offer opportunity for investment in tourism and other recreational services.
Runsewe said this at the end of the council’s weekly series, an online meeting with cultural stakeholders globally, to participate in touring Nigerian’s rich cultural heritage at the comfort of their homes.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja reports that the live streaming meeting was tagged: “Virtual Tour of Nigeria as Cultural Therapy”, with participants linking up across the globe.
The display for the cultural tour was centred on six states representing the geo-political zones of the federation, including Akwa-Ibom, Bauchi, Ekiti, Enugu, Kebbi and Niger as well as the 2019 International Arts and Culture Expo.
According to the director-general, the essence of the weekly virtual meeting is to keep stakeholders engaged and to also make the sector viable during the period of global health emergency.
He further stated that the cultural tour was held in order to give opportunity for participants worldwide to tour Nigeria from the comfort of their homes, adding that it is the end of first series of the council’s online meetings.
“Rather than keep the sector idle, the virtual meetings were developed to get the views and opinions of experts, members of the diplomatic community, industry players on emerging trends and how to reposition the sector to mitigate the effects of post COVID-19.
“Nigeria have rich diverse cultural manifestations which offer great opportunity for investment in tourism and other recreational services.
“COVID-19 is like rain fall and it gives us an opportunity to think outside the box, to also come up with this virtual cultural tour which serves as a therapy and a rain jacket for the pandemic.
“The online cultural tour is made up of two parts; the Executive Summary and an array of cultural manifestations across the states of the country.
“The executive summary showcases Ikot Abasi in Akwa-Ibom State, of South-South Nigeria; Tafawa Balewa Tomb in Bauchi, in North-East part; Ikogosi Warm Spring in Ekiti the South-Western of the country.
“Others are Leje Iron Smiting Kingdom in Enugu State in South-East; Kanta Museum in Kebbi State in the North-West and Military Cemetry Zungeru in Niger State in North-Central Nigeria,” he said.
Runsewe also said that the virtual cultural tour would be used as a template for the forthcoming National Festival of Arts and Culture, which is scheduled for October in Jos later this year.
He added that Plateau would be the first to experience NCAC’s Drive in Live Theater festival so as to maintain social distancing order of COVID-19.
NAN reports that participants on the online meeting applauded the director-general for setting up a platform that allowed them to see and connect to Nigeria in a short while.
They also noted that inclusion of fashion and entertainment industry was paramount in projecting the nation’s culture, saying showcasing its clothing, fabrics and movies will give an indepth narrative of the country’s rich cultural heritage.