Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured that the state has concluded plans to host the most colourful edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) scheduled for November.
Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance on Thursday when he recieved a delegation from the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) led by the Director-General, Chief Segun Runsewe, main organisers of the festival.
According to a statement issued by Runsewe, the delegation was in the governor’s office to formally present a blueptint of the festival and ascertain the level of preparedness of the state in hosting the 2022 edition of the festival.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NAFEST is an annual cultural festival which brings together contingents from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to a host state to showcase the nation’s diverse cultural heritage in arts, crafts and all.
Sanwo-Olu said that a delegation from the state had visited NCAC for a Pre-NAFEST maiden meeting to interact and obtain details of hosting the festival.
He said based on the report, the state government had to improve on their facilities to meet all criteria set by the NCAC.
He noted that this was done to enable the state not only to host the biggest and most colourful festival, but also emerge the overall winner of the fiesta.
He revealed that as a prelude to the festival, Lagos state would hold a Pre-NAFEST event for seven days.
He said this was aimed at showcasing the rich cultural heritage of all the local goverment areas in the state which would therefore herald the EkoNAFEST 2022.
In his response, Runsewe congratulated the Lagos State Government for winning the hosting right for NAFEST 2022, which was keenly contested by three other states.
He said that the festival which is the foremost cultural event in Nigeria had been a platform to unite the nation through arts and culture.
He reiterated that the festival which grows richer, bigger and better with every edition would provide a strong platform for the state which is the centre of excellence to bring its well-known finesse to bear in making the EKO NAFEST 2022 the best of its kind in the history of the festival given its track record.
“The essence of the visit is for us to interact and brief you on details of hosting the festival which will bring together contingents from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to Lagos State for seven days,” he said.
He explained that the festival would have far reaching benefits to Lagos residents with a positive impact on the economy of the state in the areas of hotel accommodation, transportation, small scale businesses and vendors.
Runsewe expressed the need for the state Local Organising Committee (LOC) to work in close partnership with the National Organising Committee (NOC) for effective coordination.
According to him, the wife of the governor , Mrs Ibijoke Sonwo-Olu will be crowned the mother of NAFEST, “Mama NAFEST 22”, during the National Technical Stakeholders meeting coming up later in the month.
“This will also afford her the platform to host the children during the Eko NAFEST 2022,” he said.
Highlight of the meeting was the exchange of cultural gifts between the the governor and the director-general of NCAC.