*As He Endorses Annang Festival Of Arts And Culture
A socio-cultural organization, Nto Annang Foundation, has commended the good work of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) in identifying, harnessing and integrating various cultural identities across the country into a national cultural annals with the aim of further developing Nigeria’s tourism potentials.
The President of the Foundation, Abom Ephraim Okon, gave the commendation Friday in Abuja at a press conference he addressed at the NTDC Village, to sensitize the public on the second edition of the Annang Festival of Arts and Culture (AFAC 2017), coming up in Ikot Ekpene, popularly known as Raffia City, in Akwa Ibom State between December 14 and 17, 2017.
As a build up to the symbolic unveiling of AFAC 2017 endorsement by the Director-General of NTDC, Mr. Folorunsho Coker, at the Corporation’s head office in Abuja recently when the Foundation paid him a visit.
Coker in his remarks said the press conference “is to demonstrate to the world that NTDC, the highest organ in the cultural-tourism sector has endorsed our festival”.
The endorsement, Coker said “will no doubt give us a leverage, because culture is an expression of peoples’ way of life. Culture plus art equals tourism and tourism is a veritable source of income, not only to government but also to investors in tourism.”
According to Abom Okon, Annang Festival of Arts and Culture is a project of Nka Nto Annang Foundation, aimed at achieving the unity of Annang nation, as well as promoting the rich cultural heritage of her people.
Speaking on the importance of AFAC 2017, he said, “Annang land is the home of ancient crafts and raffia works. Our huge tourism potential and investments opportunities have not been fully explored and so we invite you to go beyond the festival and discover these opportunities.”
When asked of what economic value is the festival, Abom Okon said it will attract foreign and local trade investments into Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and boost the local economy.
“It is our hope that AFAC will attract visitors who will in turn spend money within the four days thereby boosting the local economy.
“Within these four days AFAC shall create employment and job opportunities for our youths who will be gainfully employed to clean the event venues, mount the car parks and vendors within the event environment,” he said.
Giving a detail of the festival, the president said, the first day will open with a cultural float through major streets of Ikot Ekpene and empty into the Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium. This, he added will consist of Kaleidoscopes of cultural display across the eight local government areas in Annang land while the second day will feature an open food fair, arts and cultural exhibition by Nka Nto Annang Foundation Worldwide, cooking competition, eating and drinking competition, comedy, live band and other recreational activities.
The third day, he said will commence with tour to heritage sites and later the Annang language quiz competition will be held, while in the evening, the “the icing of AFAC 2017 shall be the unveiling of The Annang Historic Hall of Fame.
Abom Okon expressed confidence that expected guests at this year’s event shall double the 4, 000 guests that graced the occasion of the maiden edition last year.