… Says Lagos is 85% Ready for Festival
Lagos State Government and the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe have pleaded with media professionals covering the forthcoming national cultural festival being hosted by the State to ensure comprehensive media coverage for the event.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm. (Mrs.) Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf and Otunba Runsewe, who doubles as the Chairman National Festival Committee, made the appeal on behalf of the State and Federal governments during a media tour of the facilities put in place to host contingents from across the country for the event.
The duo also informed the media of the support received from the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in putting the necessary infrastructure in place for the cultural festival and in giving the best of Lagos experience to the delegates from across the country.
Speaking after the media tour, Mrs. Akinbile-Yussuf, restated the position of Governor Sanwo-Olu to use the platform of Eko Nafest 2022 to set a record that will be difficult to beat by any State in the country for the next 10 years, saying that the government’s gesture should be appropriately projected by the media.
She commended the State Government’s rebranding of the iconic National Stadium, saying that the stadium now wears a new look that everyone can be proud of because of the intervention of the present administration.
While answering questions on the level of security measures put in place by the State Government, the Commissioner said that all the State’s security architecture would be deployed to the venues of the festival to safeguard the lives and property of participants and visitors.
She added that other relevant government agencies including LASTMA, LAWMA, Neighbourhood agency officials and health officials, among others would also be at the event venues to ensure free vehicular movement, a clean environment and attend to the medical needs of the delegates.
Akinbile-Yussuf said all delegates planning to participate in the event that will kick off in the next few weeks, should be prepared to have the best of time in Lagos, saying that the State Government has made adequate plans for the entertainment of the delegates through rich cultural content.
During the tour of the main venue for the event at the National Stadium, Surulere and the hostel accommodation for the contingents, Runsewe, described the facilities as classic and befitting of the status of Lagos, revealing that Lagos is 85 percent ready for the festival.
Specifically, Runsewe acknowledged the kind-heartedness of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in refurbishing some parts of the National Stadium for the event despite the fact that the edifice belongs to the Federal Government.
According to him, the State Government had expended millions of naira to bring the facilities within the national stadium into good shape after being abandoned for 25 years.
Runsewe said: “The Lagos State Governor should be celebrated for this bold step. He did not say that because the facility is a national edifice that does not belong to Lagos State directly should be abandoned. He is a Governor that sees federal government assets here in Lagos as Nigerian assets”.
“Beyond spending huge resources to restore these facilities, the Governor ensures that his monitoring team was always on ground to examine the pace of work being carried out here in order to ascertain that everything goes on as planned”.
Runsewe revealed that the most interesting part of the gesture by the Mr. Governor is that he categorically stated that everything repaired or replaced within the National Stadium by the State Government will remain the national property of the federal government.
The 2022 edition of NAFEST with the theme: “Culture and Peaceful Co-existence”, will be hosted by the Lagos State Government between November 7th and 13th at National Stadium Surulere and Onikan Stadium, Lagos.
Top government officials present during the facility tour include the Special Adviser on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Femi Martins; the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Oyinade Nathan-Marsh; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Tunji Seymour and other principal officials of the Ministry including the planning committee members.