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Obaseki, lawmakers attend Oza carnival, stakeholders put value of creative sector in 2021 at N500m

By Michael Egbejule, Benin City
07 January 2022   |   2:46 am
Oza community in Orhiomwon council of Edo State was agog, yesterday, as the state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and notable personalities from all walks of life attended the maiden Oza Carnival

[FILES] Obaseki. Photo/ facebook/godwinobasekiofficial

Oza community in Orhiomwon council of Edo State was agog, yesterday, as the state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and notable personalities from all walks of life attended the maiden Oza Carnival, which showcased the rich culture, artistic and natural endowments of the people.

Speaking with The Guardian, the Chairman, organising committee of the carnival, Mr. Kingsley Ogbebor, said the carnival attracted over 30,000 visitors and came with many benefits.

During the three-Day carnival, the rich culture, artistic and natural endowments of Oza people were showcased. The carnival began with rallies as different groups came out with colourful cultural attires and bands.

It was spiced up with football, singing and beauty competitions.

Obaseki was represented by his Chief of Staff, Osaigbovo Iyoha.

Members of the Edo State House of Assembly, including the Deputy Speaker, Hon Roland Asoro, Hon Nosayaba Okunbor, attended the occasion.

Hon Patrick Asowieren, representing Orhionmwon and Uhunmwonde at the National Assembly, described the carnival as a very successful event.

A former governor of Edo State, Prof. Oseriemen Osunbor, and Ken Imansuangbon were present at the carnival, which attracted over 15 professors from various universities.

Meanwhile, the initiator of the Oza carnival, Festus Osagie Osaigbovo, Director General, Edo State Liason Office Abuja, had at a press conference held at Protea Hotels in Benin City, stated that the carnival was designed to showcase the cultural heritage of Oza people.

Osaigbovo said it was time for Oza people to blow their trumpet and called on all Oza indigenes home and abroad to be part of the carnival to showcase their rich cultural heritage.

MEANWHILE, stakeholders in the entertainment industry in Edo State have placed the revenue accrued to the sector in 2021 to about N500 million.

A cross-section of stakeholders, who spoke with journalists, said the entertainment sector in the state has continued to record impressive growth, which is creating job opportunities for youths in the state.

The growth, analysts say, is attributable to the ingenuity of youths harnessing opportunities in the digital economy, especially skit-making and comedy on social media; active nightlife with growing hospitality sector; improved business environment facilitated by reforms of the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration, particularly in the provision of security and the inflow of Diaspora receipts.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Engraced Events and Entertainment, Emmanuel Itoto, said the entertainment sector in the state has continued on an upward trajectory, recording a lot of activity in the previous year.

He said: “For several months, we have been having high-quality events. We had the Cyclers Concert, MC Casino’s Game of Jokes and IGoSave’s concert. All these shows sold out 3,000 capacity facilities. There was also the McEdoPikin Show.

Attributing the trend to the government’s security reforms, he said, “A lot of people are encouraged to come out for the shows because of the improved security situation in the state. The people are sure that when they are returning to their houses by 2 a.m. or thereabouts, they are safe.”

A Disc Jockey, DeeJay Joe, who has played in a number of the shows in Benin, said the number of shows in the metropolis has grown astronomically, owing to the growth of the entertainment industry.

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