Friday, June 14, 2024

NAFEST 2024 To Hold In FCT To Resonate Unity- Asika

The Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Obi Asika, says the 2024 edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) will be held in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.

NAFEST, a flagship programme of NCAA, is acclaimed to be a veritable cultural platform for promoting national unity, mutual acceptance and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic, culture and religious differences.

According to Asika, the 2024 edition of the annual cultural fiesta which is the first under his watch as director-general of NCAC, will be held in the nation’s capital to resonate the call for national unity.

He said the FCT edition was symbolic of the “Renewed Hope Agenda” of President Bola Tinubu’s administration and will chart new trajectory for the cultural fiesta.
He added that NAFEST had come a long way, and it was high time it was improved with new innovations and packaged to attract larger audiences, including the diaspora community.

“This year’s NAFEST will be hosted in the FCT and we are trying to inolve all stakeholders, especially the FCT authority because we need collaborations,.
“Abuja, first of all is a beautiful city, and then is Nigeria’s capital, so, we are set to give it the global media attention it deserves.
“The festival will be revamped with some key elements and initiatives that are brand new, and it will be exciting because it will be another way to showcase incredible things that Nigeria has to offer.
“Nigeria is a melting point of incredible contents and talents, and most of these have just been happening randomly without any real organizational support from the government.
“But all of that have changed and the deliverables and roadmap are being put together and we are just beginning implementation,” he said.
The NCAC helmsman said that culture was a veritable tool for economic transformation, adding that innovations to boost economic activities in the FCT and Nigeria at large would be introduced into the festival.
“Besides its entertainment benefits and what it represents nationally, NAFEST can be a source of national revenue as obtainable in other climes.”
According to him, youth participation shall be encouraged by ensuring that Nigeria music stars from across the country perform at the festival.
“We want expansion of culture, business expansion, economic expansion in the territory and then in every other edition of the festival.

Asika said the seventh edition of the annual International Arts and Crafts Festival (INAC), also a flagship programme of the NCAC, will also be repositioned to have more international participation.

“INAC is going to run for at least two weeks in our arts village toward the end of the year, and that will be after NAFEST, which is holding for a week.

“We really need to get more African countries on board for INAC, we want their participation, as we already have countries outside the continent among participants,” he said.

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