Lagos is 100 percent ready, says tourism, culture commissioner

Posted on: November 1, 2022, by :
NCAC DG Otunba Segun Runsewe and Lagos State officials inspecting facilities for the festival at the National Stadium

The Lagos State Commisioner for Tourism and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf has said the state was 100 percent ready to host and welcome visitors from all over the 36 state of the federation for the 35th edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST). Akinbile-Yusuf said all the state needed to do to host the best NAFEST festival in the history of the event has been put in place.
In the same vein, Director General for National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe said the state was out to create history while hosting the event. He praised the magnanimity and statesmanship of the state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu by providing all the necessary resources needed to host the 35th edition of the festival set to kick off on November 7. Runsewe, while conducting journalists on tour of facilities to be used during NAFEST said: “ What happened in 1974 during the All Africa Games here in Lagos, at this stadium, is repeating itself here today. Within these six weeks, you needed to see how this place looked like. And today we have a place befitting. The lighting, painting, everything has been done, courtesy of Governor Sanwo-Olu. Now, NAFEST will hold here, everything in one location.
“All these painting, patching, even the poles, light as we can see. We inspect quickly before we go to accommodation.
“We need to appreciate something: unfortunately, we don’t appreciate our best in Nigeria, except when you do the wrong thing. This is one governor that, I repeat, we need to celebrate. He didn’t say this is a national edifice. He didn’t say it is not owned by Lagos State, but he realized that anything inside Lagos is still Lagos. Believe me, this man made sure everything is done here. He sent his monitoring team here every three days to check and me sure that everything is taking place.
I decided to make it public because, most times, they will tell you abandoned projects, but this is a governor who empowered his commissioner and in fact the permanent secretary to make sure this place is ready to accommodate Nigerians.”
Runsewe also spoke on the need to maintain facilties before, during and after hosting events. He said: “We go to every part of the world, you saw that they don’t joke with their infrastructures. This was abandoned for 25 years; but has come back to life through the intervention of Governor Sanwo-Olu.
He said: “When we go to other states, we hardly have a good space for cultural market, this place is fitted cultural market without any hindrance. Everything is in one place.
Do you know what is happening here? Governor Nwike of Rivers State told Sanwo-Olu that he is number one, and Sanwo-Olu said he would change that. You see the beauty? That is democracy for you, and funny enough, they are both from different political parties. In this sector, we don’t know about any party. Our won is how to make Nigeria stronger and better.
“Lagos has come in with something different, there is going to be an entertainment city during NAFEST. It will be activities galore. So, some people that can from some states with blood pressure, will come in and return back home without an indication of the blood pressure. The environment and the people of Lagos State will make the difference. If we can do this more often, there will be less challenges in Nigeria.
“A lot of people will be coming to Lagos for the first time during the festival, I want you to help us tell the whole world that Lagos State is making history at this time.
Adding to what the NCAC director general said, the Lagos State tourism commissioner added: “ Contingents to NAFEST 2022 are going to have the best of time, here in Lagos State. Lagos State is 100 percent ready for the 35th edition of NAFEST.
“With what you have seen today, you can attest that Lagos is not just saying it as a thing of the mouth, but he has put it into action. Like you saw, Lagos State has been able to rebrand our iconic national stadium. I am so happy Mr. Governor made that commitment when we had the first meeting with the Director General, National Council of Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe. He said immediately he agreed to host the nation, he worked to put everything in place, be it infrastructure, security, transportation, everything. He actually asked all agencies of government that were going to participate in NAFEST to role up their sleeves, and as we are today, all agencies of government, not only the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and culture, the hosting ministry, but all other agencies of government will be participating.”

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