NAFEST 2020: NCAC prunes activities to comply with COVID-19 protocols



The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has cancelled some activities which usually featured during the annual National Festival of Arts and Culture ceremony.

Olusegun Runsewe, NCAC Director-General, in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos, said it was to ensure full compliance with the COVID-19 safety protocols in the 2020 edition.

Runsewe said the decision was reached after a zoom meeting to review the syllabus for the 33rd edition of the festival scheduled to hold in Jos, tagged “Plateau NAFEST 2020”.

He said that one of the major reasons for the technical zoom meeting was to discuss the template for staging NAFEST 2020 in line with all COVID-19 safety protocols.

He noted that some events that involved crowds would not be part of the year’s  NAFEST because of strict adherence to physical distancing.

” The advent of COVID-19 has made it imperative for everybody to think outside the box in order to invent new ways of making the arts and culture sector busy and relevant.

NCAC in May organised the first Drive-in-theatre in Nigeria to demonstrate that even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, entertainment is still possible.

” Within this pandemic period, NCAC produced and distributed personal protective equipment to journalists, frontline workers and other Nigerians to mitigate COVID-19 effects.

”It also help to keep the sector busy and reposition it for greater visibility and relevance,” the NCAC boss said.

He further said that arts and culture stakeholders, unanimously requested that the festival slated for December be moved to November due to the busy nature of December.

He appealed to Gov. Simon Lalong to reschedule the festival for November as December was usually loaded with activities.

In his welcome address, Lalong commended Runsewe for the dynamic, purposeful and visionary leadership provided for the arts and culture sector since his appointment in 2017.

He expressed appreciation to the NCAC management for initiating, facilitating and successfully organising the zoom meeting as an alternative to the physical meeting initially scheduled in Jos.

The governor said that he had followed with keen interest the series of online meetings the council held with stakeholders within the sectors.

Lalong noted that the meetings were testimonies to the fact that even in the midst of COVID-19 lockdown, the arts and culture has been kept alive and active.

He assured participants that 2020 NAFEST would not only be possible but would be made more spectacular in line with COVID-19 protocols.

The governor also assured participants that Plateau  was fully committed to hosting the 33rd edition of NAFEST.

He said that the state was working hard to put all necessary facilities in place for a successful hitch free festival later this year.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/ Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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