Jos, April 22, 2019 The Ngas Development Association (NDA), has called on the Plateau Government to establish a cultural calendar so as to effectively harness the tourism potential of the North-Central State.
President of the group, Mr Gonen Gofwen, made the call on Monday in Jos, at a media briefing to herald this year’ `Pusdung’, the Ngas annual cultural festival.
“We want to appeal to the relevant state tourism authorities to provide a calendar for the celebration of these rich cultures and traditions of the people of the state.
Gofwen said that the Pusdung cultural festival has, over the years, added colour and character to the state’s quest to rise above the slogan of Home of Peace and Tourism’ to a truly tourist destination.
He said that the cultural festival had been a purveyor of all Plateau needed to actualise its tourism dream, urging the state government to go beyond declaring a state of emergency on the sector and invest massively in it.
He expressed optimism that the Ngas people, as well as other tribes, could help stimulate the drive if the state was willing to step up the tempo of the cultural extravaganza.
“Over the years, there has been an increase in the quantum of human traffic to Pankshin for the purpose of the festival.
“We are aware that businesses benefit massively from this human flow.”
Gofwen said that this year’s festival would focus on educational growth in Ngas land, saying that the theme was apt, “considering the declining standards of education in Ngas land”.
“As a people, they have seen the best and the worst of fortunes of education in the society.
“It is on record that several of our sons and daughters were educated up to various levels and returned to be pioneers in the State.
“One of such persons is the late Police Commissioner Joseph Gomwalk, who set a record and was awarded a first class degree in zoology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s pioneer univesity.
“There are many other examples that space and time may not permit us to recall.
“However, over time, we seem to have lost that enviable and lofty position to several factors.
“As an association committed to the future of our people, we cannot just sit and watch as things deteriorate to a level we cannot reverse,” he said.
According to him, in an effort to restore those glorious days and moments that made them proud people, an Education Endowment Fund has been established to raise funds that will be used to assist indigent students.
Gofwen said that the fund would help those whose future would be affected if there was no one to help them with tuition fees and more funds that would enable them compete favourably with their counterparts.
“On Saturday, April 27, and during the grand finale, we shall formally launch the endowment fund.
“We have invited the world to come and help us achieve this goal; we are proud that so much ground will be covered given the calibre of those invited for the occasion,” he said.
Gofwen added that one of the latest interventions NDA introduced and for which they were celebrating on April 24, is the Business Round-Table Meeting.
“The Business Committee wants to create the right atmosphere which will enable our young men and women to execute business plans that will bring development to our land,” Gofwen said.