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Support Asa Festival to promote tourism, Lawmaker urges LASG

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The lawmaker representing Ikorodu in Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, has called on the state government to support Asa Cultural Festival in view of its tourism potential.

Agunbiade said this on Saturday at the ongoing 2019 Asa Cultural Festival at the Ferry Terminal, Ebute, Ikorodu, Lagos State.

The lawmaker said that the festival was organised to re-awaken the cultural heritage of the people and transform Ikorodu into a tourism hub in the state.

He said that Asa Festival needed more government support having been approved by the Lagos State Government as one of the accredited festivals in the state.


“Asa Festival is to preserve the cultural heritage of our land in Ikorodu, so we want Ministry of Art and Culture to give us more support,” the lawmaker said.

Agunbiade, who is also the Majority Leader of Lagos Assembly, advised youths to see Asa as part of their heritage that must not be allowed to die.

He commended some corporate bodies such as Guinness Nig Plc for their support.

Also speaking at the festival, the Speaker of Lagos Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, emphasised the need to promote Yoruba language and culture.

Obasa called for extensive use of Yoruba language among the people in order to continue to propagate Yoruba culture.

The News Agency Nigeria reports that Asa Festival is an annual cultural caniival where various communities in Sagamu, Ogun, and Ikorodu, in Lagos displayed their cultural heritage.

Among activities on display at the festival were horse rides, stilt man, Imowo-Nla Parade, Okeletu Parade, Agura Parade, Aga Parade and special parade by Council of Elekus.

Prominent monarchs that graced the occasion were the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Shotobi, Ranodu of Imota, Oba Bakare Agoro, Adegoruwa of Igbogbo, Abdulsemiu Kasali, Otunba Ganiu Abiru, Olubeshe of Ibeshe, Oba Richard Abayomi and Obateru of Egbin, Akeem Oyebo.

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Edited by Wale Ojetimi

Tourism

Nigeria Travel Week partners Cabo Verde Airline, SKAL, Upbeat for tourism growth

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Nigeria Travel Week said it had collaborated with Cabo Verde Airline, Upbeat Recreational Centre, Skyview Communications and SKAL International for proper marketing of the nation’s tourism sites.

The Organiser, Efetobo Awhana, told journalists at the ongoing 3rd Nigeria Travel Week that collaborations were inevitable in order to achieve remarkable growth in the tourism industry.

“The Nigeria Travel Week has decided to collaborate with these stakeholders in order to use various channels to showcase nation’s tourism endowments and to encourage Nigerians to travel within the country and Africa.

“The Skyview Communications would be giving people the virtual reality platform whereby people can be enlightened about tourism potential in the country.

“These virtual reality gadgets will be available for all to explore in the course of the programme; we are also partnering with SKAL as the strongest association in the world with over 15,000 members.

“Nigeria Travel Week is concerned with the promotion of inbound tourism and travel within Africa.

“We have also collaborated with Cabo Verde Airline, being an African Airline, which we believe we can use to achieve our objective of encouraging seamless travels across African countries,” he said.

Awhana said Nigeria travel week had also partnered with the South African Airways, Nigerian Army, Bristol Palace Hotel, Kano and more.

Mrs Ofure Obidike, President of SKAL International, pledged to support Nigeria Travel Week in promoting inbound tourism through the over 15,000 members the association had globally.

She said different forms of assistance would be rendered in terms of publicity and other technical issues.

According to her, SKAL is open for everyone in the tourism business value chain as it was a professional organisation that promote global tourism and friendship, uniting all sectors of the travel and tourism industry.

“SKAL has existed for 60 years now and we will be helping the Nigeria Travel Week to achieve its goals in promoting nation’s tourism destinations,” she said.

Also Mrs Moyo Ogunseinde, Director, Upbeat Recreational Centre, said that the amenities at the centre would be at people’s disposal during the programme.

She said the facility was opened for all for Christmas carnivals, family camp as there were regular live band, gymnastics, cafe, restaurant for people’s pleasure.

Chloe Grant, West and Central Africa Market Director, Cabo Verde Airline, said that the airline would do everything possible to encourage seamless travels between Cabo Verde and Nigeria to help the Nigeria Travel Week achieve its goals.

Grant said this would also rub off on the neigbouring countries to Cape Verde and Nigeria.

She said more of the outcome of the collaboration would be evident when the airline began operation from December 9, 2019.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi

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Imo state government condemns invasion of zoo by host community

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Imo State Ministry of Environment has condemned the recent invasion of the state Zoological Garden and Wildlife Park by the host Nekede community in Owerri West council area of the state.

Mr Gilbert Nnah, Permanent Secretary, who is also the acting Commissioner Ministry of Environment, made the disclosure in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Owerri.

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

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Ugwuanyi calls on youths to use their talents to promote Nigerian values

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Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has called on young people to use their talents constructively to promote Nigerian values and improve social cohesion.

Ugwuanyi made the call at the grand finale of 2019 Life in My City Art Festival (LIMCAF) held on Sunday at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu.

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.

No fewer than 100 artists participated in the finale that included exhibitions in Abuja, Benin, Ibadan, Lagos, Ondo, Port Harcourt, Uyo and Zaria.

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.

VIN /

Edited by Chidinma Agu/Maureen Atuonwu

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Firm opens Virtual Reality Booth in Lagos to market Nigeria’s tourism

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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

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NCAC boss urges Nigerians to ensure full participation in 2019 INAC

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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

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30 countries to participate in 2019 INAC — Runsewe

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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

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