With all set for the 2019 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) holding in Benin City, the Edo State Capital, the state government has urged residents to come out en masse to contribute to the successful hosting of the event.
Speaking during a roadshow to sensitise residents on the upcoming event, Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Osaze Osemwengie-Ero said the 32nd edition of the NAFEST is the first to be hosted by the state in 40 years.
He said the 2019 edition of the NAFEST, which is the biggest arts and culture event in the country, will consolidate Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration’s reforms in boosting tourism through arts and culture, which is one of the six thematic pillars of the administration.
The roadshow train moved from Five Junction through Urubi, Iyaro via Akpakpava Road to Ring Road-axis and climaxed at the Oba Akenzua Cultural Center.
The commissioner said the roadshow was held to create awareness and educate the people on the benefits of the forthcoming Arts and Culture event holding between 19th-26th of October, 2019.
According to Osemwengie-Ero, the event will boost socio-economic development in Edo State, as the state expects to host over 500,000 tourists from across the country and five neighbouring countries, for the event.
He added that all the 18 Local Government Areas of the state will be represented as the event will boost business in the hospitality and tourism sectors of the state.
A highlight of the rally was the presentation of outdoor sculptural works by the Director-General, National Gallery of Arts (NGA), Simon Odey Ikpakronyi.
Ikpakronyi said Benin stands out with prominent life-like sculptures for the amusement of tourists.