Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has stated that Lagos remains the nation’s ‘Centre of Excellence and the country’s cultural, arts and entertainment hub.

The governor made the remarks during the opening ceremony of the 53rd National Technical Stakeholders Meeting for the hosting of the forthcoming ‘Eko NAFEST 2022’ held from 25th to 29th July 2022 at High Point Event and Lodge Ikeja

Twenty-four States were represented at the stakeholders’ meeting.

Sanwo-Olu, who was ably represented by the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf welcomed all stakeholders to Lagos for the 53rd National Technical Stakeholders Meeting for the actualization of plans for the hosting of the forthcoming ‘Eko NAFEST 2022’, the 35th in its series.

The governor stated that Lagos State was delighted and honoured to be granted the hosting right for NAFEST 2022, which was keenly contested by three other states.

He noted that the festival, which is the foremost cultural event in Nigeria, has been a platform to unite the nation through arts and culture.

He said: ‘’Lagos is the nation’s ‘Centre of Excellence and that Lagos remains the country’s cultural, arts and entertainment hub and so it is on record that the inaugural edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture, NAFEST, was held in Lagos in 1977 to promote national unity, Therefore, for us in Lagos, NAFEST is merely coming back home and we are ready to host a most befitting Festival.”

The governor added that ‘’the  highlights of this year NAFEST would be that Lagos State will hold a Pre-NAFEST event for seven days to herald the EKO NAFEST 2022 and also showcase the rich cultural heritage of all the Local Government Areas in the state.’’

Also speaking at the opening ceremony of the stakeholders meeting the Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe appreciated Sanwo-Olu saying “He is a special breed”

He averred that people outside of Lagos should look towards visiting the State because Lagos has a history that can be linked to the arts, entertainment, and culture way back as Festac 1977 and this will further accelerate the cultural sector of the country.

Delivering a welcome address of the Commissioner  for Tourism Arts and Culture, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Oyinade  Nathan-Marsh said that ‘’Lagos is ready  to host a most successful festival.’’