Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that culture and tourism should be promoted as a platform of national development.
Speaking during the presentation of the insignia for the hosting of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) 2018 by Rivers State by the Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe at the Government House Port Harcourt on Tuesday, Governor Wike said that culture and tourism represent a new source of foreign exchange earner.
While appreciating the National Council for Arts and Culture for giving Rivers State the hosting right for NAFEST 2018, the governor said that the state will host the best NAFEST in the history of the event.
He suggested that NAFEST 2018 be held in October, because July as proposed by the National Council for Arts and Culture would be affected by rains.
He said all the stories peddled about Rivers State were contrived by opposition politicians to mislead Nigerians. He said the State is safe with no major security challenge.
Governor Wike lauded the State Contingent to NAFEST 2017 for their quality representation of the state.
Earlier, the Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Runsewe called for the hosting of a National Boat Regatta to place Rivers State on the tourism map of Nigeria.
He said that Rivers State is a peaceful state that has played host to several international and national events, which have been critical to National Integration.
He stated that NAFEST 2018 will witness free medical services, free skills acquisition and waste to wealth programme.
The Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture commended Governor Wike for outstanding developmental strides.
Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media.
23rd January, 2018.