President Muhammadu Buhari has charged Nigerians to promote and preserve their cultural heritage, saying that culture of the people is the identity which gives them due recognition.
Buhari made the call during the 2019 Olojo festival held at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi’s in Ile-Ife on Saturday.
The president, who was represented by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said that people and culture were inseparable since there was no denial that what made a society was its culture.
Buhari expressed delight that the people of Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yoruba had been so passionate and committed to the preservation of cultural heritage.
According to him, for a society to be societal it must be cultural; society and culture are also intertwined.
“The culture and tradition of a people are their identities as it affords them due recognition.
“It is their underlying distinguishing factor from other peoples and cultures. In fact, all societies across the globe have various and divergent cultures which they cherish and practice,” he said.
He, therefore, prayed God to continue to protect Ooni, his chiefs and entire people of Ife to be able to continue to promote and protect Yoruba cultural heritage.
Also Speaking, Osun Governor, Gboyega Oyetola congratulated the people of the ancient town for the success of the festival.
Oyetola, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Benedict Alabi described Olojo festival as `significant’ because it afforded Yoruba people the opportunity to showcase their God-given cultural heritage.
He said: “Olojo festival is promoting our culture and tradition to the whole world. The festival has shown to the whole world that Yoruba culture is very reach”.
The governor reiterated the present administration’s readiness to ensure that the state realised its aims of developing its culture.
“We are doing so much in the promotion of our culture and we will not relent. We want the people to have confidence in our ability to get things done and support us.
“The Olojo Festival is a cultural festival in the calendar of the Ile-Ife, Osun State which is located in the Southwestern part of Nigeria.
“It is the celebration of the remembrance of “Ogun”, god of Iron, who is believed to be the first son of Oduduwa, progenitor of the Yoruba people. The festival is held annually,” he said.
The event was attended by top government functionaries including the member representing Ife Federal Constituency, Mr Taofeek Ajilesoro and the Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye.
Other dignitaries at the event were Oba Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Adedotun, Oba Obiri Kingdom, Oba Abiola Fakoyejo and Oba Idowu Adediwura, Obalufe of Ifeland.
Edited by Maureen Atuonwu
Imo state government condemns invasion of zoo by host community
Nnah said that the invaders destroyed some facilities in the zoo adding that the perpetrators would face the wrath of the law because the area was a government conservative area.
NAN recalled that members of the community invaded Imo Zoological Garden and Wildlife Park on Saturday and laid claim to a forest in the facility.
The Perm Sec condemned the earlier claim by the community that the Attorney General of the state had ceded the forest to the community adding that the land still belonged to government.
According to him, no judgment can undermine the Land Use Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the legal protection status of the zoo as contained in the Eastern Nigeria No. 1350 Forest Law (Cap 55) of the 1966 section 7, sub section 2.
“This law set aside all wildlife and forest facilities as protected areas by law,” he said.
He said the invaders vandalised the zoo facilities which included the canteen, animal water supplying pipes, borehole and the facility fence.
Mr Kemmas Nkemakolam, Community Spokesman told NAN that state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice had ceded the forest to them for expansion, which he said warranted their action.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ndukwu Nnawuchi (SAN), in a telephone interview with NAN, denied issuing any authority to the community.
He said, “I did not issue any authority for any community to invade government property, but all I can say is that the community has an understanding with government over the land”.
The General Manager of the zoo, Mr Francis Abioye said there was no evidence of court judgment or authority given to the community to take over the zoo forest.
NAN however, gathered that the action of the community is generating wide criticism from stakeholders in Imo and lovers of nature.
Edited by Hawa Lawal/Maureen Atuonwu
Ugwuanyi calls on youths to use their talents to promote Nigerian values
Nigeria News Agency reports that the MTN Foundation sponsored the LIMCAF exhibition and Award ceremony.
Ugwuanyi said, while thanking the organisers, that the event had become a platform for young Nigerians to share their creativity and for attracting visitors from across the country and beyond.
He said that the event had put the state on the national tourism map and also a means of creating wealth and generating revenue for the people.
“I congratulate all the contestants and winners.
”I also thank the organisers of LIMCAF 2019 and the sponsor, MTN Foundation, for putting us on the national tourism map and for giving Enugu an enabling platform to showcase our hospitality.
“I enjoin everybody to continue supporting young talents so that as we grow our arts and showcase our talents, we will continue to foster unity and national integration,” he said.
Mr Dennis Okoro, Director at the MTN Foundation, said it supported the event because of its desire to reawaken love for Nigeria through arts and culture.
Okoro said that the MTN Foundation supported the festival as part of its Arts and Culture Courses, through which it had sponsored some art, poetry and theatre productions.
He said the Foundation had sponsored plays like Fela and the Kalakuta Queens, Agbarho, Jungle Story 2, Emotan and initiatives like the Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Festival and the Lagos International Poetry Festival.
“Our support for this national event stems from a desire to see a reawakening of Nigerian arts and culture as fulcrum for national cohesion.
”Of course, a world without art is a world devoid of colour,” he said.
The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, said the theme of the event, ‘The Other Side ‘ tallied with the works on display which were a vivid rendition of today’s relevant issues.
Achebe, who was also LIMCAF patron, said the event was coming on a day that would have been the 115th birthday of Nigeria’s first president, Nnamdi Azikiwe.
He enjoined the participating artists to emulate the footsteps of the country’s visual legends, Bruce Onobrakpeya and Yusuf Grillo.
Bruce Onobrakpeya, a celebrated Nigerian printmaker, painter and sculptor, said that LIMCAF was unprecedented in the development of modern contemporary art in Nigeria.
According to him, the festival brings home to everybody, especially to the parents of practitioners, the social and economic value of art.
The Executive Director, LIMCAF, Mr Kevin Ejiofor, described the finale as “an accurate representation of the ability of our young artists to imagine our society in new, bold and provocative ways.”
NAN reports that the 2019 edition, saw young artists thrilled seasoned art collectors, celebrities, and art lovers with paintings, mixed media creations and sculptures, which spoke to the theme, “The Other Side”.
NAN also reports that the festival was billed as the largest gathering of young artists, patrons, scholars, gallery owners and other stakeholders in the visual arts in Nigeria.
It reports that the festival was the culmination of a process that saw a record 507 entries from 24 States and eight zonal exhibitions.
Victor Olaoye, whose exhibit was a charcoal medium painting titled ‘Angel among gods’, won the 2019 LIMCAF.
Olaoye smiled home with a cash prize of N500,000 and would have the honour of representing Nigeria at the Dakar Biennale, Senegal, in June 2020.
Edited by Chidinma Agu/Maureen Atuonwu
Firm opens Virtual Reality Booth in Lagos to market Nigeria’s tourism
Skyview Communications, a tourism firm, has created a virtual reality booth at the Upbeat Recreational Centre, Lekki, Lagos, to market Nigeria’s tourism sites.
Speakiñg at the opening ceremony, Mr Femi Lawson, Managing Director of the firm, said the virtual reality booth was meant to enable Nigerians experience some of the nation’s tourism sites at one spot.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the virtual reality gadget is a simulation of an existing tourism location composed of a sequence of videos or images which may involve some multimedia elements such as sound effects, music, narration and text.
This entailed an individual wearing the virtual reality gadget view some tourists sites through a 3D 360 video on a spot without visiting the sites physically.
Lawson said this was deliberate to transform Nigeria’s tourism industry as most Nigerians were not aware of the enormous tourism assets the nation was endowed with.
He said it would be appropriate for Nigerians to be conscious of their tourism endowments before those assets could be accepted and patronised by the international community.
“This is a dream come through for me because I have always wanted to enlighten Nigerians on how blessed the nation is in terms of tourism assets.
“The virtual tourism is a marketing tool for destinations in Nigeria; this will open people’s eyes to most of these beautiful sites and at the same time create the thirst in them to visit.
“This booth will be operational everyday of the week and it comes with a token but free for all today.
“Presently, we have 3D 360 videos on ground, four virtual reality gadgets and a mobile virtual reality gadget for corporate organisations and events because we are bringing tourism into events.
“We are preaching relaxation to Nigerians because we do not have that culture of relaxation which is important,” he said.
Lawson said the experience the virtual tourism offers was projected to also give birth to other businesses for tour operators and others in the tourism value chain.
He said that the virtual reality booths would be built in other African countries to sell Africa content when the firm was well equipped with the needed funds.
According to him, virtual tourism booths would be opened also in Abuja and Port Harcourt in the first quarter of 2020 to enable other people in the other parts of the country benefit from the experience.
“I implore everyone to avail themselves of the opportunity to see all that the nation is blessed with; we have 7 destinations packaged in the virtual reality gadgets and before December we should have up to 20 destinations.
“This will be done as soon as we get invites from destinations,” he said.
Edited by Wale Ojetimi
NCAC boss urges Nigerians to ensure full participation in 2019 INAC
The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has called on Nigerians to ensure full participation in the 2019 edition of the International Arts and Crafts (INAC) Expo, slated to hold from Nov. 20 to 24.
Mr Olusegun Runsewe, the Director -General of the council organising the fair, made the call in a statement signed by his Media Aide, Mr Frank Meke, in Lagos on Sunday.
He said the expo billed to hold in the Federal Capital Territory Exhibition Pavilion would encourage cultural exchange programmes between countries, thereby fostering unity across nations.
He assured Nigerians of a special outing with the provision of free medical services, eye test/glasses, dental services, free skills acquisition programme and waste-to-wealth initiatives.
” This year’s INAC has been carefully packaged to empower Nigerians by providing free skills for small and medium startups.
” I encourage Nigerians and indeed foreign nationals to take full advantage of the components of INAC,” he said.
Runsewe said that Nigerian fast rising Urban-Afro musician “Yega” would be performing at the closing ceremony of the expo on Nov. 24.
He said that no less than 30 countries were billed to exhibit during the expo and expressed commitment to take special days to thrill the participants.
” China will take centre stage on Nov. 21, to showcase its oriental endowments as a unique cultural destination.
” On Nov. 22, India will be on hand to entertain guests with breathtaking music and dance routines, in a fantastic reminiscence of Bollywood.
” Venezuela and Bangladesh will also combine on Nov. 23, for a double dose of excitement.
” So Nigerians are advised to avail themselves of the opportunity to attend and see areas they could leverage on for collaborations and business,” he said.
Edited by Ifeyinwa Omowole
30 countries to participate in 2019 INAC — Runsewe
Mr Olusegun Runsewe, Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), said no fewer than 30 countries would participate in the International Arts and Crafts Expo slated to hold in Abuja.
Runsewe media aide, Mr Frank Meke, said in a statement in Abuja on Friday that the event would hold for Nov. 20 to Nov. 24 at the FCT Exhibition Pavilion.
Runsewe said that some of the countries that indicated interest in participating were India, Bangladesh, Spain, Indonesia and Morocco, among others.
According to him, countries from every continent of the world will be represented in what has become a tradition since the event was expanded to a global affair in 2017 from African Art and Crafts Expo (AFAC).
“All is now set for the 2019 edition of the annual International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC) slated for Nov. 20 to Nov. 24 in Abuja.
“This time around, INAC will break new grounds with a record of 30 countries participating in the exhibition which is an upgrade from the 23 counties that exhibited last year.
“The venue for the event remains the FCT exhibition pavilion,” he said.
Runsewe said that the NCAC, saddled with the responsibility of hosting the fair, was ready to stage another showpiece reputed as Nigeria’s number one global exposition.
He said 2019 INAC would feature components like free skill acquisition, free medical services, waste to wealth initiative, investment forum and many other aspects aimed at empowering Nigerians.
The Director General expressed satisfaction at the massive mobilisation of equipment to the venue including world class pavilions, a media/ICT centre, mobile toilets, state-of-the-art stage by renowned event management outfit.
Runsewe said that there would be a standby emergency vehicls throughout the duration of the Expo.
The DG assured exhibitors, participants, guests, visitors, foreign nationals and all Nigerians of maximum security following the engagement of the Nigeria Police to provide security.
“Dignitaries expected include members of the diplomatic community, top government officials, major public and private stakeholders, industry players, corporate outfits and first class traditional rulers from around the country,” he said.
Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Wale Ojetimi
Sabre researcher says tourism revenue in Africa Could Increase by 27%
Consumers would be more willing to travel if they were able to move freely within the continent, and if travel pain-points were addressed
Spend among African travellers could increase by 27 percent over the next year if they were able to move more freely within the continent, new research from Sabre Corporation reveals at today’s 51st African Airlines Association (AFRAA) Annual General Assembly in Mauritius.
More than 5,000 people across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa were asked whether they had travelled by plane in the past 24 months, to which 26% said they had – a 2% increase on Sabre’s similar 2016 study. However, those that did travel cited that various barriers were preventing them from travelling more often. The majority said that air travel was too expensive, but many also cited difficulties in obtaining visas and booking flights, delays, queues at the airport, and an overall stressful travel experience as some of the reasons they don’t travel more.
Of those that had travelled, there was a willingness to spend up to 27 percent more on air travel if they could travel visa-free throughout the continent – with most respondents saying they would take 2-3 trips per year compared with the 1-2 they currently take. More than 90% were also willing to spend more on ancillary services like in-flight Wi-Fi and entertainment, and special on-board food and beverages. Forty-three percent said they would spend over $100 on these ancillaries to improve their travel experience – 26% up on 2016 and still significantly more than global averages.
“It is encouraging to see that a greater number of people have been able to access air travel over the past three years,” said Dino Gelmetti, vice president sales, Middle East and Africa. “However, our research shows that there is still a long way to go to make travel affordable and accessible. The majority of our respondents’ barriers to travel are within an airline’s control, and investing in the latest technology can significantly improve the whole flight experience – from booking to the day of travel.”
Those polled said that if pain points were eliminated and they could travel more freely, the countries top of their lists to visit are South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Kenya and Botswana. And, in an environment in which airlines across Africa are grappling with slow growth, this study sheds light on significant opportunities for the travel industry to improve the travel experience and capitalise on new revenue opportunities.
“Overcoming the cost constraint is a major challenge, but all indications are that if airlines were able to reduce flight costs by optimising operations, routes and pricing, far more African people would take advantage of the opportunity to travel by air,” continued Gelmetti. “Digital technologies offer the key to slashing operational costs, improving efficiencies and understanding customer pain points. By using data harnessing technologies to make sense of customer data and using these insights to offer passengers the right product in the right context at the right time, travel operators immediately improve their chances of increasing sales.”
Airlines also need to break down barriers such as confusing booking and check-in processes, by adopting multi-channel sales and check-in processes that allow travelers to engage in the channels they are most comfortable with – be those traditional channels such as travel agents and check-in staff, or digital channels such as websites and mobile apps. These same digital channels lend themselves to streamlined ancillary services sales, allowing travelers to quickly and easily order and pay for personalized add-ons to enhance their travel experience.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Sabre.
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