…All Agencies, LCDA’s Set to Participate Fully in Coming Festival
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzmat Akinbile Yusuf has said that hosting the 35th edition of the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) would impact positively on the Gross Development Program (GDP) of the State which would be reflected by December 2022.
Mrs Yusuf stated this on Friday in Lagos during a media tour of the National Stadium, venue for the forthcoming festival tagged “Eko NAFEST.
According to her, every business within Lagos State metropolis, ranging from hospitality, food, transportation, entertainment and numerous others would be impacted upon positively as the state is set to receive the 36 States of the federal including the FCT.
The Eko NAFEST 2022 festival will hold from November 7th through November 13th 2022.
DAILY TREND reports that Lagos State last held the NAFEST in 1988.
The Lagos Tourism Commissioner also disclosed that all government agencies in the state, as well as all Local Government Areas are fully ready and would be participating in the coming event
She opined that preparations for Eko-NAFEST has reached 99 percent, even as she appreciated Governor Babajide Sanwo-0lu for moral and financial support towards successful hosting of iconic festival in November.
“Lagos State is hundred percent ready as the hosting State for this 35th edition of NAFEST, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has promised to give this year’s edition of NAFEST a story that would be difficult for anybody to beat in the next ten years.
“With what you have seen today, you can see that Lagos State is not just mouthing it, but we are putting it into action. The state has rebranded our iconic national stadium, and today it has become an edifice that all of us as Nigerians can actually be proud of.
“Infrastructure, transportation, accomodations, security and others have been put in place. The Governor has asked all state government agencies that would participate in this NAFEST to roll up their sleeves, and as we are today, all other agencies of government, not only the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture as hosting ministry would be participating in the festival including LASTMA, LAWMA, neighborhood etc
“We are assuring the states and delegates that they are going to have a good time in Lagos.
“Lagos is a city of entrainment, so all our entertainers have been lined up to participate, all our stakeholders in tourism, arts and culture are participating, all local government areas in Lagos State are also participating fully in NAFEST. The citizen of Lagos would not have a bad time during the festival.
“The benefits of the NAFEST according to him, all the states participating would patronize local businesses and this would increase our GDP, everybody would have a positive impact” she stated
On his part, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) commended the Lagos State Government for the laudable preparation toward the 35th NAFEST.
He said going by the level of preparation toward the festival, Lagos State had so far laid beautiful precedence for other states in trying to host subsequent editions of the festival.
According to him, the state has been able to rebrand various sites within the National Stadium where some aspects of the festival will hold.
He said the state had made provision for conducive accommodation, toilet facilities, waste disposal, medical centres, ambulance services and more.
He noted that in the history of NAFEST, no state had been able to prepare this much within a short time, over the years.
“This entire edifice here in National Stadium has been abandoned over 25 years now and here we are, Gov. Sanwo-Olu has renovated and rebranded it for the purpose of the festival.
“It is so evident that Gov. Sanwo-Olu matches his words with his actions, the level of preparation here signals that revellers will have a memorable festival.
“When I was invited to visit the facilities for the 35th NAFEST, I thought it was a joke but couldn’t believe that such kinds of facilities exists in Lagos State.
“From the history of NAFEST, this is an upgrade to the standard of facilities we have been exposed to, for me, Lagos state is ready to host the federation.
“Before now, we rarely have a venue for cultural market, we got it and several other things, Lagos is indeed setting a beautiful pace for other states to follow,” he said.
Runsewe lauded the accommodation arrangement made so far, considering the free wifi services revellers would enjoy and unlimited access to basic amenities like electricity and water.
According to him, the state remains well organised in its planning process as each of the accommodation halls are labelled, exploring the brands of the state.
He urged other states coveting the hosting right for the festival to take a clue from Lagos state.
DAILY TREND reports that the Eko NAFEST would be showcasing the diversity of Nigerian culture tourism and in particular, there would be a signature outing of the iconic “Eyo masquerade”
Speaking at the sidelines of the meeting of the National planning Committee for the festival, held at National Institute for Sports, National stadium in Surulere, on Thursday, Mrs Oyinade Nathan- Mash, Permanent Secretary , Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, disclosed the infusion and blend of creative deployment of logistics and security, will premium the iconic festival, to all stakeholders and including the 35 states Culture contingents expected during the November, 7th to 13th event.
“We couldn’t get thus far without the guidance of our own Otunba Segun Runsewe. The Nigerian unification and peaceful process, will no doubt, be a significant difference and to our governor, Babajide sanwo-0lu , who has has made lagos a home to all Nigerians irrespective of tongues and tribe, so Eko Nafest, will be more than exciting, even our long stretch of traffic build ups, a sign of prosperity, will be given desired positve interpretation” admirable and cerebral Mrs Mash explained.
Olatunji Seymour, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Sanwo-0lu on Tourism, poured out a heartful passionate endorsement of preparations for the festival, nothing lagos will be on World stage throughout festival, and crediting otunba Runsewe for Creative ingenuity in driving the iniative.
To Solomon Bonu, the former Special Adviser, Tourism to governor Babajide sanwo-0lu, Eko Nafest, will further confirm that lagos state, provides a save haven to all Nigerians as a” mini Nigeria”, adding every Nigerian family has a person in lagos, hence the need for a special status for lagos in the developmental policies of the federal government.
Saanu Solomon Bonu, now the State Assembly Representative from Badagry in next year’s elections, positioned the new look of the NIS facilities, venue of the iconic festival, by Governor Babajide Sanwo-0lu as a strategic swing to desires of the state government, to request and plead with the federal government to hand over all abandoned federal infrastructures to lagos, and also conferring special status to this beneficial opportunities.
“Eko NAFEST means a lot to us, as a unifier of all Nigerians, as Special status destination and from what governor Babajide sanwo-0lu has done to these abandoned facilities here at NIS, giving it an admirable face-lift and renewal, there is no doubt, lagos can well do more to help reactivate lots of edifices left to rot when the seat of government moved out of lagos. We are more than ready and for whatever it’s worth, Eko Nafest, will make a new statement in the cultural tourism history of Nigeria” he said