By Taiye Olayemi
The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured tourists across the country that the state will host the most colourful National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) as Lagos bags the hosting right.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, the state Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, gave the assurance during the 53rd National Stakeholders Technical Meeting on the 35th NAFEST, held on Tuesday in Lagos.
“I assure you and the largest tourist community that all hands are on deck, facilities are ready, plans are in top gear, not only for Lagos State to host the most colourful festival but also to emerge the overall winner in the Eko NAFEST 2022.
“I assure you of a memorable time, adequate security and emergency services, we will organise an event to portray the standard Lagos State is known for.
“We are delighted and honoured to be granted the hosting right for NAFEST 2022 which was keenly contested by three other states,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu noted that as a prelude to the festival, Lagos State would hold a pre-NAFEST event for seven days.
He said this was to herald the Eko NAFEST 2022 and to highlight the rich cultural heritage of all the local government areas in the state.
According to him, a delegation had visited the National Council for Arts Culture (NCAC) for the pre-NAFEST maiden meeting to obtain details of hosting the festival which will bring delegates from all 36 states of the federation.
He said based on the report, the state had worked hard to ensure that the available facilities meet all the criteria set by NCAC.
Earlier, Akinbile-Yusuf, who was represented by Mrs Oyinade Nathan-Marsh, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the festival would give the state the unique opportunity to celebrate the famed ‘Spirit of Lagos’.
This, she said was the rugged, resilient, determined, and dauntless to-do spirit every Lagosian possessed.
“I appreciate the National Council of Arts and Culture under the able leadership of the Director-General, Otunba Segun Runsewe, for this amazing opportunity presented to Lagos to host the notable personalities, artists, creatives and everyone in general at this year’s NAFEST.
“I am convinced that this meeting will afford us the opportunity to exchange ideas and develop a robust template for the 35th edition of NAFEST come November.
” I call on everyone here present to put on our creative and thinking caps as well as have all hands on deck for effective coordination, strategic planning, adequate preparation, and execution of ideas.
“On our part in Lagos, we have made adequate preparations to play host to this grand national event, as our amiable governor has rightly made known earlier,” she said.
Chief Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, NCAC, organisers of the annual festival, revealed the theme of the festival as “Culture and Peaceful Coexistence”.
Runsewe said that the theme of the programme was carefully selected in direct response to the current security challenges facing the nation and the need for sustainable peace, social harmony and national unity.
“You will agree with me that any nation that aspires to national development must necessarily lay a foundation for peace, social harmony, mutual understanding and tolerance which are the ingredients of national development,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NAFEST technical committee members thereafter held a meeting to finalise the entire planning process. (NAN) (nannews.ng)
Edited by Folasade Adeniran