Ekiti to increase investment in culture, arts for economic prosperity ― Fayemi

• Upgrades bureau of arts and culture to a ministry

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Wednesday, said his administration was determined to increase its investment and exploits in the arts and culture sector for the economic prosperity of the state and its citizens.

The governor who stated this in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, while declaring open the 2019 Ekiti State Festival of Arts and Culture (EKIFEST), equally announced an upgrade of the state’s Council of Arts and Culture to the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism

Fayemi gave the new Ministry the directive to consolidate on its various achievements, enhance the potential of creative practitioners and boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.

The governor described EKIFEST as an economic and social strategy aimed at repositioning the creative industry of the State for optimal performance and drawing the attention of the global public to the unique landmarks of the state in tourism and culture.

He said: “In Ekiti State, our cultural heritage keeps our memories alive of how beliefs and cultural expressions have contributed to the development of our society. Ekiti is a state of rich artistic and cultural heritage and endowed with the abundance of talents. Our riches are well demonstrated through arts, dance, literature, music, food and folklore.

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“I commend the efforts of the Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture towards the attainment of the target set for it. We still want the council to go a step further by consolidating on the various achievements, enhancing the potential of creative practitioners and boosting the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Ekiti State. And to enhance the progress already made in the last year, I have decided to re-establish the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism for better synergy and integration.”

Governor Fayemi who assured investors of necessary support and encouragement called on entrepreneurs to visit the various tourism corridors in the state and invest in them, stressing that their investment is not only secured but bound to yield good dividends.

Speaking, the Chairperson of EKIFEST 2019 planning committee and Wife of the Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, said the festival was aimed at creating tourism attraction and enhance investment opportunities as well as create viable markets for local businesses.

She noted that the previous editions of the festival in 2012 and 2013 increased tourist visits to the state and created the needed exposure for the cultural infrastructure.

In his address, the Director General of the Council of Arts and Culture, Mr Wale Ojo-Lanre said Ekiti people are gradually getting used to EKIFEST as an economic diversification project.

Ojo-Lanre thanked Fayemi for providing the wherewithal for the resuscitation of the Council which has helped remove the State from the blacklist of absentee states at both local and international cultural festivals.

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