Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has declared the preparedness of the state government to make the 2019 National Festival of Arts and Culture, (NAFEST), a world class event.
Recalls that Edo won the hosting right for the festival which will take place from Oct. 19 to 26 this year.
Receiving a delegation from the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) in Benin on Thursday, the governor implored the council to explore the huge potential of the state’s eco-tourism through NAFEST 2019.
Obaseki said the state had robust culture to showcase to the world, noting that agitations to repatriate some of the over 6000 artifacts carted away by Europeans during the Benin expedition of 1897 was ongoing.
He advocated need for the country to develop a world class tourism master plan that would create compelling reasons for tourists’ attraction.
”My government remains committed to developing the culture and tourism sector as it is presently working on implementable plans to realising its dreams,” the governor said.
Earlier, the Director General of NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, said the visit was to intimate the state government with the innovative components to be introduced in the 2019 edition of NAFEST.
Runsewe said the visit was also meant to inform the state about the timeline for events lined up for the festival.
He commended the Obaseki-led administration for winning the hosting right for the festival and said the event would provide the state the opportunity to take its rich cultural heritage to the world.
The director general said some innovations had been introduced in the festival, including the Royalty Day, when all the states of the federation would pay homage to the Oba of Benin.
He also commended the governor for the introduction of culture club in schools and the culture information desk at the Benin Airport and said it would help sell its culture and tourist sites to visitors.