L-R: Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Chairman, National Planning Committee, 3rd left; Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, with other LOC Members on inspection of facilities in Lagos
The level of preparations by the Lagos State Government towards hosting the fast-approaching, “National Festival for Arts and Culture” NAFEST, has been described as very high and scored the state’s readiness 85%.
Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture, NACAC, who is also the national chairman of the organizing committee gave the assessment after the inspection tour of facilities at the main venue for the event in the company of the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf.
On inspecting facilities at the main venue of the fiesta, National Stadium, Surulere, and the hostel accommodation for the contingents, Runsewe, described the facilities as classic and befitting of the status of Lagos, revealing that Lagos is 85 percent ready for the festival.
Specifically, Runsewe acknowledged the magnanimity of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in refurbishing some parts of the National Stadium for the event despite the fact that the edifice belongs to the Federal Government.
According to him, the State Government had expended millions of naira to bring the facilities within the national stadium into good shape after being abandoned for 25 years.
Runsewe said: “The Lagos State Governor should be celebrated for this bold step. He did not say that because the facility is a national edifice that does not belong to Lagos State directly it should be abandoned. He is a Governor that sees federal government assets here in Lagos as Nigerian assets”.
He further paid tribute to Governor Sanwo-Olu thus, “beyond spending huge resources to restore these facilities, the Governor ensures that his monitoring team was always on the ground to examine the pace of work being carried out here in order to ascertain that everything goes on as planned”.
Runsewe revealed that the most interesting part of the gesture by Mr. Governor is that he categorically stated that everything repaired or replaced within the National Stadium by the State Government will remain the national property of the federal government.
While answering questions on the level of security measures put in place by the State Government, the Commissioner said that all the State’s security architecture would be deployed to the venues of the festival to safeguard the lives and property of participants and visitors.
She added that other relevant government agencies including LASTMA, LAWMA, Neighbourhood Watch agency officials, and health officials, among others, would also be at the event venues to ensure free vehicular movement, a clean environment, and attend to the medical needs of the delegates.
Akinbile-Yussuf said all delegates planning to participate in the event that will kick off in the next few weeks, should be prepared to have the best of time in Lagos, saying that the State Government had made adequate provisions for the entertainment of the delegates through rich cultural content.
The 2022 edition of NAFEST with the theme: “Culture and Peaceful Co-existence”, will be hosted by the Lagos State Government between November 7th and 13th at the National Stadium Surulere and Onikan Stadium, Lagos.
Others present during the facility tour included the Special Adviser on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Femi Martins; the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Oyinade Nathan-Marsh; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Tunji Seymour and other principal officials of the Ministry including the planning committee membersShare