…‘Visitors, residents spent N3 billion during festival’
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that the state recorded a boost in economic activities during the last National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST), noting that residents in the state were exposed to a new vista of opportunities at the cultural fiesta.
The governor said the state recorded influx of visitors from 30 states in Nigeria, who came to relish the cultural assets of the state, which provided an opportunity for the Edo and its citizens to flaunt their robust, extensive and deep-rooted heritage to other Nigerians.
He explained that the state government was committed to hosting a successful culture fiesta through various reforms, including the opening of the business space for private investors, rapid urban renewal with the construction and reconstruction of roads across the state and provision of adequate security to ensure a hitch-free event.
According to him, “We hosted a successful NAFEST because we had laid the groundwork for a lot of economic activities to take place. For instance, before the festival, Aero Contractors, a private airline commenced operations to the Benin Airport on the back of the reforms we initiated to provide facilities for night landing at the airport and also enhance visibility during bad weather. This is one among a longlist of things we have done to attract investors to the state.”
Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Osaze Osewengie-Ero said that the boost in economic activities led to trading which preliminary report show amounted to almost N3 billion.
According to him, “We hosted contingents from 30 states in Nigeria as well as visitors from different parts of the world during the event. Preliminary reports showed that at least 300,000 people were at the event and they are estimated to have spent an average of N10,000 each during the event. This shows that not less than N3billion worth of trade and commerce took place during the fiesta. This is one of the ways we are promoting trade and tourism in the state and we are glad to have recorded such a milestone.”