ANA national and Benue State chapter members after the facility tour ahead of the 2017 convention… in Makurdi
A five-member delegation of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), led its National President, Mallam Denja Abdullahi, on Tuesday, September 12, 2017, arrived Makurdi, Benue State, to assess facilities ahead of this year’s International Convention, scheduled from October 26 through 29, 2017. Others in the delegation included Legal Adviser, Isaac Ogezi, Secretary, Dr. Ofonime Iyang, Treasurer, Mr. Ikhechi Owabie and Public Relations Officer, South, Mr. Olatunbosun Taofeek.
They were received at ANA Benue secretariat, located on 34, former Alhaji Dash Building, Ankpa Road, Makurdi, by members of Local Organising Committee for the convention. Chairman of LOC, Prof. Idris Amali and his vice, Prof. Jerry Agada along with Secretary, Dr. Raymond Anumve, Otse Otokpa, Dr. Tartule Tijah, Abo Abgochenu, state chapter chairman of ANA, Mr. Charles Iornumbe and Mrs. Dorcas Otalu among others.
The LOC had met with Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, who approved funds for the convention. While receiving the delegation, Amali thanked the team for the visit, saying it would help strengthen the commitment of members towards planning for a successful convention. Amali told the visitors that the LOC had put all necessary machinery in place such as venues for activities, hotels and printing of some pre-convention materials.
Special Adviser to Ortom on Media and ICT, Mr. Tahav Agerzua, was also on hand at the secretariat to receive the guests. He reaffirmed Ortom’s commitment to the writer’s body, and urged members to continue to develop the knowledge base of the state, as the world could partly survive through ideas.
Thereafter, the national officials held a meeting with LOC members at Hotel Bobec, Makurdi, where the template for the event already developed, was presented and considered with improvements made, corrections effected and approvals granted to some proposals.
On the second day, the delegation embarked on a tour of facilities, including JS Tarka Foundation, where the arrival cocktail and convention play are expected to hold on the first and second days of the convention respectively. The team equally visited the auditorium of College of Health Science, Benue State University, Makurdi, to access the venue for the opening ceremony. The tour was rounded off with a visit to the Royal Choice Inn, proposed venue for registration of delegates to the convention, where the 1000-capacity hall proposed for the dinner and award night was also assessed.
While addressing members of the LOC at Royal Choice Inn, Abdullahi expressed satisfaction with the facilities proposed for the convention and stated that in view of the economic crunch, it would be better to plan the convention within available resources in order not to incur huge expenses. He advised ANA members against late registration, pointing out that those in the habit of attending conventions and registering on the spot would be doing so this year at their own peril.
Abdullahi commended Benue State Government for approving funds to support the association for a successful convention and expressed hope that the funds would be released early to enable the LOC put everything in place before the event.
According to him, “It is one thing to approve funds, it is another to ensure their earlier release. We have had situations whereby funds were released a day to our convention, which adversely affected planning. But with the commitment shown by your state governor, we are optimistic that he will release the funds on time so that the best convention ever would take place in Benue.”