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Plateau plans to host mother of all NAFEST in 2020

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Simon Lalong

Plateau State has begun preparations towards a successful hosting of the 2020 edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).

The North Central state has been designated the next host of NAFEST by the National Council for Arts and Culture, which is the government agency in charge of promoting culture and the living arts in Nigeria.

In almost 50 years of existence, Kaduna has hosted the event more than any city in the country. It was host in 1972, 1974, 1990, 2004, and 2017. Lagos, the first host, has been the venue on three occasions: 1970, 1974 and 1988. The same number as Abuja, which was host in 1992, 1997 and 1999. There had been years also that the festival did not hold such as 1974 to 1982, 1983 to 1988, 1990 to 1992, and so on. However, since 2002, the festival has held every year to date except in 2015. Due to a national tragedy in 2006, when the ADC flight 53, a Boeing 737 from Abuja crashed on October 29 of that year, the festival was suspended in Yenagoa. The state was to later host culture workers, aficionados and practitioners in 2013.

Rivers State emerged the overall winner of the 32nd National Festival of Arts and Culture, NAFEST 2019 held in Benin, the Edo state capital. The state also won the 2018 edition, which it hosted.

A delegation from the Plateau, led by the Hon. Commissioner of Tourism, Culture, and Hospitality, Tamwakat Weli, last week visited the Director-General of NCAC, Otunba Segun Runsewe in Abuja with the former expressing commitment towards hosting the best NAFEST ever.

Speaking during the courtesy call, the Hon. Commissioner said Plateau State is blessed with friendly weather, peaceful people and a scenic beauty urging Nigerians and foreigners to use the opportunity to savour the hospitality the state has to offer.

She assured the state government’s readiness to deploy resources in staging the event observing also that Jos has a cultural centre of international standard, which has a 6000 seating capacity amongst other impressive infrastructure the state boasts.

On his part, Otunba Runsewe commended the Governor of Plateau, Solomon Lalong observing that he is a culture-friendly person, who has the interest of his people at heart with his developmental initiatives aimed at building bridges of peace and harmony across the Plateau.

Runsewe said NCAC would work with the state to ensure a successful hosting of NAFEST next year, saying Plateau state meets all the criteria necessary to host the event.

He was positive that Plateau State, which hosted the 1996 edition, would stage the mother of all NAFEST this time around giving the interest of the state government together with the support of the federal government and other industry stakeholders.


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