Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has expressed readiness to host the 2019 edition of the National Festival of Art and Culture (NAFEST) which is scheduled to hold in Benin, Edo State between October 19 to 26, 2019.
NAFEST which was initiated in 2014 under former President Goodluck Jonathan administration, is a socio-cultural activity that is organised annually by the National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC) to promote cultural diversity and cross ethnic friendship among Nigerians.
In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy to the governor, Cruseo Osagie, Mr Obaseki said his government was ”committed to hosting a world-class festival that would be remembered for a long time”.
“We have all things set. Ring Road is wearing a new look. The Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre has been revamped. We have reworked the surrounding and ensured that it is befitting for festival of this status.
“We have also repainted and re-branded the surrounding centre. On the interior, we have renovated the structure; a fresh stage has been built,” he said.
He assured attending tourists that proper arrangement had been put in place to give them a worthwhile experience.
“There are various options for those who want to fly. Hospitality businesses are upbeat as well. Bronze casters at Igun street are also very much prepared for the festival.
“The vibrant Benin art scene is sure to give an account of itself and prove that indeed Benin is the cradle of art in the part of the world,” he said.
He said Benin is set to give the cultural fiesta a royal touch as it coincides with the the coronation anniversary of the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II.
2face to perform at 2019 NAFEST
In another statement, Mr Osagie said that popular Nigeria hip-pop singer, 2face Idia would perform at the cultural feista.
He added that a longlist of Nigerian artists would be in Benin for the event which would feature local and international arts.
“The Society of Nigerian Artists has also planned an exhibition to showcase the artwork of its members. So, we have a full bouquet of activities lined up,” he said.
The Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Segun Runsewe noted that the festival would not only serve as a unity forum for Nigerians but would also provide a major economic boost for Edo state.
He added that it would offer the opportunity to promote globally the rich, undiluted culture of Edo which would also bring economic prosterity to Nigeria.