Chief Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), on Wednesday called on culture and tourism players not to lose faith in view of the sudden spread of COVID-19 which had engulfed humanity.
Runsewe said in a statement that though the industry was highly affected, practitioners would survive the scourged if they adhered strictly to the preventive measures stated by health authorities.
“Our industry had survived many socio-economic and medical visitations in the past because we are very close to the people and we will be the first to experience negative impact of any local or global restiveness on all fronts.
“Yes, we have lost money from bookings for our various cultural tourism events, running our hotels on low occupancy and generally witnessed a lockdown never seen before.
“But am confident, once it is over, our industry will respond positively beyond expectation; so I urge all of us to be careful and prayerful,” he said.
Runsewe commended the leadership of all private sector players in culture and tourism industries for the proactive actions taken to educate customers and owners of leisure businesses on COVID-19 protocols.
“Apart from medical professionals, our industry practitioners are also in the frontline of falling victims to this homongous pestilence.
“I commend all levels of leadership in the sector for keeping all concerned well informed about the impact of the disease,” he said.
Runsewe noted that the closure of land borders and restrictions of air travels would mitigate the spread of the dreaded viral outbreak.
He praised the federal and state governments response to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
“This is not a period to fear and panic but to watch, pray and follow all sanctioned protocols.”
“It shall be with us and very soon if we take to regulations, our culture and tourism engagements will bounce back, better and bigger,” Runsewe said.