Ekiti set to host NAFEST 2021 as govt assures visitors of maximum security
The Ekiti State government has disclosed that no fewer than 4,000 contingents are expected to be in the state to participate in the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) being hosted by the state between November 13 and 20, 2021.
The government stated that the contingents would be drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, assuring that the participants, as well as tourists, are guaranteed their security while in the state.
Speaking at a media briefing to herald the event in Ado Ekiti, the Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Prof. Razaq Ojo Bakare, described the yearly cultural fiesta as a flagship festival in Nigeria for the unification of the country’s diversity, which he said, was conceptualised after the Civil War for robust and enduring national integration.
Aside from the fact that the festival has promoted self-reliance through job creation, Bakare said, “NAFEST has impacted greatly on trade and commerce, it has brought about innovation and creativity and promoted entrepreneurship.”
He added that between 2010 and 2014, tourism development was the focus of Governor Kayode Fayemi- led administration. It was during that period that the idea of a flagship festival that will drive traffic to the state — Ekiti Festival of Arts and Culture — was mooted.
“The Ekiti State is blessed with a lot of things which ordinarily should drive traffic of tourists to Ekiti. However, there remains the need for global attention to these unique endowments before they can begin to attract global patronage and give prospective investors the opportunity of coming to see, feel and explore all of them,” Bakare said.
He noted that the vision for the hosting right granted the state is for Ekiti to set a new template for others to follow in hosting future events, saying the state is determined to win all laurels in the competitions, to promote its talents.
He added that the security arm of the Local Organising Committee for the cultural fiesta have been working round the clock to ensure absolute security before, during and after the event.
Speaking further about the state’s preparedness for the cultural fiesta, the Commissioner added: “Facilities are being put in place, security are being fortified more than ever despite that Ekiti is one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria.
“We are meeting traders association to sell their products at reasonable prices during the time. We are also meeting with the leaders of transport unions not to jack up their fares at this period.”
The commissioner added that the direct impact of the festival can’t be underestimated, saying: “About 1,000 artistes are at various locations in Ekiti practising, hoping to participate in the festival and all that are involved would be paid to motivate them.”
Bakare assured that the state is devising strong security measures that would ensure safety of those that will be visiting Ekiti during the cultural fiesta.
The commissioner said that private investors are now operating many of the tourism potential such as, Ikogosi Warm Spring, Arinta Waterfall and Fajuyi Park and Museum for more revenue generations and better maintenance culture”
He said: “The government is looking for investors to manage Ogun Onire Groove in Ire Ekiti and other potential that have not been privatised, this is because the private people can manage better and this will help our internally generated revenue.”