The maiden edition of the Akwa Ibom heritage festival tagged IbomFest 2016, which is billed to hold from December 15 to 17, has received major boost as His Excellency, Governor Emmanuel Udom has announced his support for the festival. At a press conference, which held recently at the Akwa Ibom Government House, the Governor enjoined all would be visitors to take opportunity of the festival to visit the state and experience the artistic, cultural and tourism opportunities that abound in the state. He affirmed that the entire machinery of the state government was working in unity towards making sure that IbomFest 2016 would make indelible imprints in the consciousness of all guests.
Udom went on to state that the environment of Akwa Ibom State is remarkably clean and healthy while the peace and security status of our state, even in these turbulent times of terrorism and insurrections the world over, speak volumes about the state status as the prime tourism destination in our country. “Ibomfest, therefore, in the spirit of the Dakkada philosophy of our government, is positioned to contribute significantly towards the enhancement of the revenue base of the state and yield positive harvests to the people and government of the state.’’
He further stated that would attract foreign direct investment to the state as well as create opportunity for stakeholders in the tourism industry to showcase their potentials. “I believe that this event will promote foreign direct investment vis-à-vis foreign exchange from visiting tourists, opportunity for establishment of trade relations with states and countries that will participate in the event, employment generation through involvement of men and women, youths, artistes, arts/crafts vendors, transporters, food vendors, hoteliers and others in all activities throughout its duration and finally opportunity for income generation for entire communities.”
Also the Special Assistant to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State for Tourism and Development, Ms. Ini Edo stated that the festival which is themed ‘Our Culture Beyond Borders’ was in line with the desire of His Excellency to ensure that Akwa Ibom remains the choice destination for tourists and investors and this has spurred the pace of infrastructural and socio-economic development witnessed in Akwa Ibom State.
She also revealed that the event will help strengthen relationship between government, policy makers and private tourism operators within the state, the country and overseas towards further development of the abundant tourism potentials of the state and encouraging private sector initiatives in building of tourism infrastructure such as parks, tourists market/souvenir shops, sit outs, guided tours and others to compliment government’s effort.”