The Lagos State Government has reiterated its readiness to host the forthcoming National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST 2022) tagged: ‘Eko NAFEST 2022.’
Speaking to journalists during the tour of the facilities scheduled for use for the weeklong festival, MMrsUzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, the state’s Commissioner for Tourism, Art and Culture said that the state was 100 per cent ready to host thousands of participants from 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FECT), Abuja.
Akinbile-Yussuf emphasised that as part of its preparation, some aspects of the iconic National Stadium at Surulere have been rebranded, while some sections of the stadium would be used for the festival.
Some of the refurbished facilities she said would be designated as cultural markets cuisine and interior décor and others.
She explained that at the end of the weeklong programme which starts on November 7 and runs through 13 of the same month, the refurbished facilities would be handed over to the National Sports Commission (NSC) by the State Government.
She said: “The Lagos State Government is 100 per cent ready to host the NAFEST 2022 edition. MMrBabajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of the state has promised the nation that he is going to give the 2022 edition of NAFEST a story that will be very difficult for anybody to beat in the next 10 years.
“With what you have seen today, you will see that Lagos State means business, we have put all our talks into action. Lagos State government has been able to rebrand the iconic national stadium and today, it has become something that every one of us is very proud of. I’m so happy that Mr Governor committed during our maiden meeting with the Director-General of the National Council Aof rt and Culture (NCAC).
“For instance, the National Stadium, immediately we are through with it, we are going to hand it over to the National Sports Commission. We hope the asset would be maintained by the commission.”
She further assured the delegates of total security during and after the festival, adding that all the agencies of government, including the Lagos State Transport and Management Authority (LASTMA), had been co-opted to ensure a successful outing.
She lauded Otunba Segun Runsewe for agreeing to hold the festival in Lagos and promised that the edition would be the best posted by any state in the country.
Also speaking during the tour, Runsewe expressed delight by the State Government to refurbish some of the relics of the National Stadium, which he said had been abandoned for over 25 years.
In his assessment of the state, Runsewe said Lagos was 85 per cent ready to host the festival and expressed confidence that the state would be 100 per cent ready in the next few days with the level of infrastructure provided by the state.
He also said that quality accommodation in various areas within the state would be provided for all participants.
“Lagos state is fully prepared to host the festival; first, there is an upgrade to the hosting of the delegates by the state. You can see that some of the rooms have air conditioning, and the quality of the facilities is top-notch Lagos has already said that they are going to provide an entrainment city, medicals and other things for the festival.
“As of today Lagos state is 85 per cent ready to host other states,” he said.
Runsewe stated that the festival is expected to showcase the culture and economic investment opportunities in the city of aquatic splendour