1. The annual festival of the Ngas nation is the foremost on the Plateau having started and held as far back as in May 14, 1988 at the beautiful Nefur Arena, Pankshin.

2. Since it began as an initiative of the Ngas Youth Movement, then under the leadership of Mr. Emmanuel G. Manasa, it has metamorphosed into a first class festival drawing lots of people and tourists from far and near to celebrate with the Ngas nation, its rich culture and traditions driven solely by the Ngas Development Association.

3. What started practically as an experiment that did not gain the acceptance of many, today, has over the years; changed the course of the organization and management of such cultural celebrations. Increasingly, the tourism potentials of the state hitherto hidden by certain bureaucratic tendencies had been unveiled by the rich celebrations by most of the tribes in the state.

4. PUSDUNG has, over the years, added colour and character to the calendar of the state’s quest to rise above the slogan:Home of Peace and Tourism to a truly tourist destination. We have continued to make it come to reality as well as other cultural festivals being held in the State. The PUSDUNG cultural festival has been a purveyor of all that the State needs to actualize the dream, even as we are aware of the declaration of a state of emergency on this sector by the Governor Simon Bako Lalong’s administration.

5. 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 in great deal due largely to this same number of visitors.

6. PUSDUNG 2019 has a theme: Educational Transformation in Ngasland: Imperative for Accelerated Development. Those who know our station concerning this issue may know that it is apt for our current situation, and that is why we are passionate to bring an end to the problem.

7. An Education Endowment Fund has been established to raise funds that would be used to assist indigent students whose future would be stopped if there is no one to help them with tuition fees and more funds that would enable them stay afloat with their counterparts.

8. This week, on Saturday, April 27, 2019, the Ngas nation will be formally launching the endowment fund.

9. On April 24, 2019, there will be the Business Round-Table Meeting. The Business Committee is desirous as the Association to create the right atmosphere which will enable our young men and women to have business plans which can be translated into concrete realities that would bring development to Ngas land.

10. The novel idea would no doubt stimulate development and the capacities of those who have participated. Some of the best business strategists are on the panel that would discuss the theme: The Economy of Ngas land: How do we move forward?We made the right choices knowing the value they have always added over the years. They are going to add more value to budding entrepreneurs in the land, who will tomorrow be the signposts for business development.

11. Also at the business roundtable meeting on the same day is the Business Pitch and Enterprise Competition, during which Ngas entrepreneurs/potential entrepreneurs especially women and the youth who have business ideas but lack the direction to sell it and or build on them are encouraged through a presentation of their unique business ideas/innovations or proposals to a panel. The best three winners will be awarded prizes.

12. Beyond the competition, the benefits derivable from the competition are indeed enormous, as they are capable of opening the women and youths to the world of business. It is our belief that when such entrepreneurs are introduced to the wider world of business, they will fly higher and higher.

13. One of the things, we want you to know is  the fact that for us in the Ngas Development Association, our yearly gathering has never been seen as a jamboree. The gathering affords us (Ngas people) the opportunity of understanding our diversity with those of our friends and visitors. In doing so, we are able to come to terms with what should help us maintain those diversities with a view to maintaining a balance for peace.

Curled from text of press briefing by the President, Ngas Development Association (NDA), Nde Gonen Gofwen at the NUJ Press Center, Jos on April 22, 2019.