Kehinde Adewole, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, yesterday said his administration will 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 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 (IGR) of the state.
He said the role of Arts and Culture as catalysts to progressive multiculturalism is gaining more recognition.
The governor described EKIFEST as an economic and social strategy aimed at repositioning the creative industry of the state for optimal performance and drawing attention of the global public to the unique landmarks of the state in tourism and culture.
“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.”
“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 state IGR. And to enhance the progress already made last year, I have decided to re-establish the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism for better synergy and integration,” the governor said.
Chairperson of EKIFEST Planning Committee, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, said the festival was aimed at creating tourism attraction and enhance investment opportunities as well as create viable markets for local businesses.
Director General of the council, Wale Ojo-Lanre, said Ekiti people are gradually getting used to EKIFEST as an economic diversification project.
He urged the people to promote Ekiti tradition for excellence
and 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.