Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has emphasised the importance of preserving the culture of the country as it is not only a veritable vehicle for national integration but also for wealth creation, noting that it should be seen as the new oil of the country.
Sanwo-Olu made this known Tuesday in Alausa, Ikeja while delivering a keynote address to the 53rd National Stakeholders’ Technical Meeting on the 35th National Festival of Arts and Culture 2022 to be hosted by the state in November.
This is even as the State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Ysuful, whose welcome remarks was delivered by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Oyinade Nath-Marsh, said that the state is set to host the best NAFEST while it is also poised to be the overall winner.
According to the governor, who was represented by Akinbile-Yusuf: “Despite the prevailing economic situation, the Nigerian cultural tourism sector has continued to thrive; the celebration of culture keeps uniting us as people, showing 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.’’
Speaking further, the governor noted that the inaugural edition of NAFEST was hosted by the state in 1970, hosting it again this year, after hosting many other editions, signifies that: “NAFEST is merely coming back home and we are ready to host a most befitting festival.’’
While the Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, tasked the stakeholders on the need to appreciate the nation’s culture and see the festival as a unique opportunity for them to showcase the best of their cultural resources while pledging a fulfilling festival as Lagos State is ready to deliver on the promises of the festival.