Edo Govt commences revamp of Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre as preparation hots up for NAFEST

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The Edo state government has commenced renovation work on the Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre, while beautification work on major monument sites across the city centre has continued, as part of the preparation to host the 2019 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).

The Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre is expected to serve as the Festival Villa for the 2019 NAFEST.

Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Osaze Osemwegie-Ero, who led other government officials on the inspection of ongoing beautification work on major monument sites and camping facilities for the cultural event, said the tour was to ensure that the festival sites are ready and up to acceptable standard.

He noted that the state was fully ready to host the event as the Local Organising Committee for the festival is working round the clock to ensure a colourful and impressive hosting.

“Security preparation is in top gear. I have met with security chiefs in the state to heighten their operations during the festival,” the commissioner assured.

He said hosting NAFEST has value chain benefits for everyone in the entertainment, hospitality and allied sectors operating in the state.

Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Dame Omua Oni-Okpaku, said the inspection of ongoing work on monuments in the state was to ensure that the state showcases its rich cultural heritage during the event.  

Oni-Okpaku assured that all monument sites in the state would be maintained on a regular basis to preserve their value.

An on-site engineer at the Cultural Centre, Christopher Aliyu, said the renovation work includes revamp of internal and external structures of the facility, adding that clearing of the premises of the centre has been completed while other renovation work is expected to be completed by the end of the month of September.

The inspection team also visited CampLink Escape and Rejuvenate being prepared as one of the facilities that would be used during the festival.

The proprietor of CampLink Escape and Rejuvenate, Prof. Sam Guobadia, said the centre was prepared to provide accommodation, recreational facilities and meeting rooms during the festival.

Guobadia said Edo is the heart of cultural heritage in Africa, noting that hosting NAFEST is an opportunity to sell its cultural heritage to the world.