By Japheth Alakam
As preparations for a better and successful hosting of NAFEST 2016 slated for Akwa Ibom gears up, the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture and Chairperson, CEC, Mrs. Dayo Keshi, has charged all the stakeholders in the culture sector to find ways of improving on the presentation and marketing of existing Festivals while inventing new ones.
Even as the Akwa-Ibom State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Otuekong Emmanuel Ibiok, charged Stakeholders in the Culture Industry to explore the option of partnering with corporate and private investors to organize a successful, economically viable and glamorous NAFEST 2016.
The 2016 NAFEST with the theme “Exploring the Goldmine Inherent in Nigeria’s Creative Industries” scheduled for 2nd–9th October, 2016 will be hosted by Akwa Ibom state.
The duo made the appeal during the 45th Meeting of the Chief Executives of Culture of the Federation (CEC) held in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State to deliberate on the final adoption of the NAFEST Syllabus; assess the hosting State’s preparedness ; and to elicit the necessary input towards achieving collective desires for a better and successful NAFEST.
Speaking about the festival, Mrs Keshi disclosed that the festival is the oldest NATIONAL festival with representatives of the 36 states and FCT. “It provides a formidable platform in the bottom up approach to wealth creation as most of the participants are drawn from the grassroots of each local governments in the states. It is key in showcasing the economic strength of festivals as it provides a large inflow of participants tourists filling up hotels, increased Transport etc making it a veritable tool in the diversification of our economy.”
Contuining, she pointed out that children are a key component of NAFEST giving them a keen sense of creativity as they participate in the competitive presentation of their paintings dances etc. For children can actually earn through creativity even while in school.
NAFEST 2016 shall feature Arts and Crafts Competition, Indigenous Poetry Performance, Drama, Traditional Wrestling and Indigenous Cuisines where Children are to interpret NAFEST 2016 theme through Essay Writing, Painting and Drawing Competition.
The meeting which was declared open by His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Mr. Moses F. Ekpo, MFR was attended by the Representatives of Chief Executives of (2) Federal Parastatals of Culture: National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), National Commission for Museums and Monument (NCMM)and 13 Directors of State Council for Arts and Culture/History and Culture Bureaux, including (Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Ogun, Rivers, Plateau).
On how to move the festival forward, they noted that it is needful to introduce innovations and creativity in designing, packaging and interpretation of the Syllabus contents and that Nigeria has a comparative advantage in the Cultural global market and we must all take its advantage and explore.
They also adopted to do the Arts & Craft as a Competitive event while Traditional Apartment was agreed to be skipped till next time due to its high cost implications.
Also, in its commitment to ensure early preparation and successful implementation of the National Festival of Arts and Culture, the meeting unanimously offered the hosting rights for the 30th edition (NAFEST 2017) to Kaduna State.
Earlier, in his opening address, the Deputy Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Mr. Moses F. Ekpo, MFR, called for a massive Cultural revival through strategic acculturation, and tasked them on the need to brainstorm and strategize on how to re-position Nigeria’s Culture to attract global patronage as a major foreign exchange earner for the Country, given the Federal Government’s re-investment drive in Culture and Tourism sub-Sector.
He further noted that Nigeria can become a global power in Culture as well as a major exporter of Culture with right mix of resources and tourism integration..
The body commended the culture-friendly administration of Mr. Udom Emmanuel for his support to the State’s culture sector and the hospitality extended to delegates to the meeting, and for hosting the 45th edition of Chief Executives of Culture Meeting in the state in spite of the current economic challenges and for their tireless efforts in the Sector and enduring commitment to the development and growth of Culture and Tourism.