The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has stated that the importation of finished products is not the solution to Nigeria’s challenges of industrialization.
Mr. Fashola disclosed this, Monday, at the third edition of Lagos Carnival.
The 2012 carnival tagged ‘Eko for Show’, a spectacular display of magnificent costumes, designs, and acrobatics; brought the week long Lagos Black Heritage Festival to a breathtaking end.
“The Lagos Carnival has grown in its three years of existence by reinventing itself and drawing more participants and spectators each year,” said Mr. Fashola.
“It has become a vehicle through which the creativity of designers and resourcefulness of the young men and women of the Lagos State Skills Acquisition Centres, in which all the costumes are produced, are exhibited,” he added.
With vehicular traffic restricted towards and around the Tafawa Balewa Square venue of the carnival; the morning road show by some of the participants donned in flamboyant costumes and dancing to music from loudspeakers livened up the quiet ambience of the usually boisterous Island.
Inside the venue, the 50,000 capacity Square gradually filled up with spectators, mostly young people, amidst heavy presence of armed police officers and state security agents.
“The traditional pride and dignity characteristic of Lagosians of old is back in our daily expressions and aspirations, we are expressing who we are naturally- an industrious people; full of pride and confidence,” said Mr. Fashola.
Apart from a stray police horse which scared some early comers outside the venue into a near stampede as it was chased around by a horse riding police officer, and some area boys who tried to molest visitors but were promptly hounded into a waiting Black Maria; the carnival was relatively hitch free.
Dozens of secondary schools across the state as well as some local councils took their turns to parade around the Square showcasing their costumes, and in some cases, graceful dance moves and acrobatics.
Music blared from giant loudspeakers meant that the spectators, who later invaded the Square, danced along on the stands.
The state’s aim of making the carnival a private sector driven event in future may have received a huge boost with an appreciable presence of corporate sponsors like MTN Telecommunications, Nigeria Breweries, amongst others.
After the parades, and the ushering in of Mr. Fashola, who arrived in the middle of the ceremony, music took over and the now uncontrollable crowd went wild.
“Today is a very fun day for me,” said a LAGBus driver who identified himself simply as Mike.
“It is not everyday you have a chance to see all these things,” he added.