Tuesday, 9th August 2022
<To guardian.ng
Breaking News:

‘Eko NAFEST 2022’ and great expectations

By Remi Oladehinde
01 August 2022   |   6:56 am
The month of November has been rightly named the month for arts and culture in Lagos. The state will be witnessing a huge influx of people from the Diaspora to participate in all the cultural and art activities that will be taking place in the period.  First, Lagos will be hosting the 35th edition of…

Chief Segun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) with Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state during the visit on Thursday in Lagos. PHOTO: NAN

The month of November has been rightly named the month for arts and culture in Lagos. The state will be witnessing a huge influx of people from the Diaspora to participate in all the cultural and art activities that will be taking place in the period. 

First, Lagos will be hosting the 35th edition of the National Festival of Art and Culture (NAFEST 2022). NAFEST is an annual cultural festival, which brings together contingents from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to a host state to highlight the nation’s diverse cultural heritage in arts, crafts and all. 

Second, the state is also unveiling an art museum, which will be about the biggest in Africa. 

Finally, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Global Conference on Tourism (UNWTO) will be the crescendo of the whole events. 

Naturally, Lagos will be using the opportunity to highlight some of her best in class of arts and project parts of the state not seen before. 

This is part of ensuring that the state famously referred to as the ‘Centre of Excellence’ utilize what it has, not only for the development of the state and the country, but also to give the teeming youths opportunities to flourish, using their God-given talents. 

The entertainment and tourism industry is regarded as a rallying point for great number of the youth who continue to display their talents in arts, culture, music, technology and all the spaces they have excelled. 

Delightedly, the Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration is turning things around in this sector to ensure the country remains the destination for the best talents in entertainment and tourism.


The hosting of these major art and culture related events should logically excite Lagosians because of the opportunities the cultural fairs would be giving them to project their heritage and contribute their quota towards advancing culture and civilization. This is in line with Tourism and Entertainment pillar of the Sanwo-Olu administration’s development blueprint. 

Renowned for her painstaking planning and uniqueness when it comes to hosting world-class events, it is not surprising that Lagos has concluded plans to host the most colourful edition of the NAFEST come November.

Speaking in Lagos during the visit of a delegation from the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), led by the Director-General, Chief Segun Runsewe, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance NAFEST 2022 would be the best ever.

The delegation was in the governor’s office to formally present a blueprint of the festival and ascertain the level of preparedness of the state in hosting the 2022 edition of the festival.

Sanwo-Olu said that a delegation from the state had visited NCAC for a Pre-NAFEST maiden meeting to interact and obtain details of hosting the festival.

He said based on the report, the state government had to improve on their facilities to meet all criteria set by the NCAC.

He noted that this was done to enable the state not only to host the biggest and most colourful festival but also to emerge the overall winner of the fiesta.

He revealed that as a prelude to the festival, Lagos state would hold a Pre-NAFEST event for seven days.

He said this was aimed at displaying the rich cultural heritage of all the Local Government Areas in the state, which would therefore herald the ‘Eko NAFEST 2022’.

No doubt, the festival would have far-reaching benefits to Lagos residents with a positive impact on the economy of the state in the areas of hotel accommodation, transportation, small-scale businesses and vendors.

Lagos won the hosting right for NAFEST 2022 amid keen competition from three other states. The Festival, which is the foremost cultural event in Nigeria, has hitherto been a platform to unite the nation through arts and culture.

The festival, which grows richer, bigger and better with every edition would provide a strong platform for the state to bring its well-known finesse to bear in making the EKO NAFEST 2022 the best of its kind in the history of the festival given her track record.

Being the nation’s ‘Centre of Excellence’, Lagos remains the country’s cultural, arts and entertainment hub.

Indeed, it is on record that the inaugural edition of the NAFEST was held in Lagos in 1970 to promote national unity. Therefore, for Lagos, NAFEST is merely coming back home and the state is ready to host a most befitting Festival.

Already, the state has had to improve on facilities  to meet all criteria set by the NCAC  that will enable Lagos not only to host the biggest and most colourful festival, but also emerge the overall winner of the fiesta.

Despite prevailing economic situation, the Nigerian cultural, tourism sector has continued to thrive; the celebration of culture keeps uniting us as a people. This shows that arts and culture can mend the broken psyche of the populace. 

Indeed the promotion, propagation, presentation and preservation of culture can be the new oil, the much-needed recipe for societal advancement while forging national integration. 

Thus, he largest tourist community are assured that all hands are on deck. Facilities are ready; plans are in top gear not only for Lagos to host the most colourful NAFEST, but to organize an event that portrays the standard the state is known for. 

NAFEST 2022 offers Lagos another opportunity to celebrate the famed ‘Spirit of Lagos’. 

The ‘Spirit of Lagos’ is a metaphor for the never say die instinct of a typical Lagosian who is rugged, determined and relentless. Even in the face of adversity, he stands strong and refuses to give in to defeat or failure. 

Lagos is a land of confidence and opportunity. This is a great hallmark of Lagos. In Nigeria, Lagos remains a bastion of hope for thousands of people, especially youths, who aspire to fulfill their dreams in life. Lagos is a place where a ‘nobody’ could rise to become a noticeable figure in the society. 

One is, therefore, confident that the 2022 NAFEST will afford participants to exchange valuable ideas as a catalyst to develop a robust template for the overall development of the state’s tourism sector. 

Oladehinde is Head, Public Affairs Unit, Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, Alausa, Ikeja.