Ekifest Inaugural Speech


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An Address Delivered By The Governor Of
Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi At The Opening Ceremony Of The First Ekiti State Festival Of Culture And Arts Expo (EKIFEST) Held In Ado-Ekiti On Monday 10th September, 2012.

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Ekifest Inaugural Speech

  1. 1. AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE GOVERNOR OF EKITI STATE, DR. KAYODE FAYEMI AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE FIRST EKITI STATE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE AND ARTS EXPO (EKIFEST) HELD IN ADO-EKITI ON MONDAY 10th SEPTEMBER,2012PROTOCOLIt gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the opening ceremony ofthe first Ekiti State Festival of Culture and Arts Expo (EKIFEST). Icongratulate all the sons and daughters of Ekiti State both at home and inthe diaspora for witnessing this novel and memorable event at this periodthat our culture and our language are suffering deprivation and are at theverge of relegation and eventual extinction.As you all know, the culture of a society is the way of life of its members.The collection of ideas and habits learnt, shared and transmitted fromgeneration to generation makes the people what they are. Whethertangible or intangible, the culture determines how members of a societythink and defines the direction of their actions and world outlook. Indeed,it is the people’s identity and binding chord.Many members of a society often take their culture for granted because ithas become so much a part of them that they are often unaware of itspotentials for development. Culture is the key to creative potentials ofevery society and the art of the people is the transmission of ideas, values,norms and ethos which the people regard as sacrosanct. Culture shapesthe foundations of development and determines how people act in the
  2. 2. world. Cultural production is clerly an important area for investment and ameans of boosting cultural identity; more strategically, it aids thediversification of national and global economies. In most parts of the world,the cultural industry sector now makes significant contributions to GDP, asit promotes exports and generates employment.The many advantages derivable from cultural awareness, tapping anddevelopment are not lost on this administration hence the establishment ofa virile institutional framework to rejuvenate our cultural values. This, as amatter of fact, informed the creation of a Ministry of Arts, Culture andTourism on the assumption of office of this government and theempowerment of its various operational arms to drive our vision in thisregard. It is also in this spirit that the Committee on Arts, Culture andTourism was established to provide a strategic roadmap on all aspects ofthe Ministry’s work. All these efforts have been institutionalized through thepassage into law of the Council of Art and Culture by the State House ofAssembly. The Council will soon commence its works as its board memberswould be inaugurated before the end of the year.Tourism, as you are quite aware, is a significant element in the agenda ofthis government. The whole essence of the desire of this administration topromote our cultural values is to harness the age long potentials of ourpeople and the land to further drive indigenous economic enterprises,
  3. 3. generate employment and ultimately make Ekiti State a vibrant andsustainable tourism destination of choice.The theme of this maiden Festival of Culture and Arts Expo, “EngagingCulture for socio-economic transformation” is not only definitive; it is alsoinstructive of our determination to exploit all God given endowments forthe growth of the State. Ekiti State may not be an oil producing State or acoastal region where commercial activities are influenced by the free flowof goods from the seas. We are, however, blessed with abundant humanand natural resources. Our captivating environment, the rolling hills withinthe Efon, Ipole-Iloro, Ikogosi and Okemesi tourism corridor, the lushvegetation, the rivers, mountain range, rocks, the gullies and pathways arefantastic and endearing elements incomparable to any other all over theworld.The state government is poised to tap these potentials to ignite economicactivities of the people. May I assure you all that plans are in top gear todevelop all the identified monuments, historical and heritage sites in theState. These include Ogunonire groove, Esa Cave, Okuta-gbokuta-leri etcto a standard that would meet the UNESCO’s enlistment as a worldheritage site.As you may all be aware, the State Government has concluded the allarrangements for the construction of the Film Village established in the
  4. 4. State which will soon take off at the Ipole Iloro – Efon- Ikogosi tourismcorridor. This is not only to widen our cultural scope but also to boost oureconomic activities. I like to assure that the ongoing construction of theCivic Centre with focus on the Museum, the amphitheater, gallery andevents centre will meet the original concept of enhancing the place of thearts in Ekiti State. As part of these sustained efforts also, it is our desire tostructurally and professionally effect a turnaround in the State’s StandingCultural Troupe to give it more aggressive global outlook for betterperformances in view of its robust potentials.May I use this occasion to inform the good people of Ekiti State and alllovers of our rich cultural endowments that the State Government hasentered into discussion with the UNESCO on expanding the internationallinkages on culture and development to the economic advantage of theState. We are encouraged by the responses of international partners in thisregard. The government is also deeply committed to expanding theintellectual frontiers of Arts and Culture with the planned establishment ofa Department of Theatre Arts and Cultural Studies at the Ekiti StateUniversity, Ado-Ekiti. It is hoped that such intellectual input from theacademic environment into the cultural rebirth and resonance in our landwould further make our cultural values exportable products.At present, fund has been released for the survey of the land provided bythe Ire-Ekiti Community for the development of Ogun-onire groove. In
  5. 5. similar vein, all the tourist sites like the Ikogosi Warm Spring, Arinta WaterFalls, the Fajuyi Park and other parks within the State Capital and LocalGovernment headquarters will be developed to boost tourism. Currently,the wonder of nature, the Ikogosi Warm Spring which is second to none inAfrica is undergoing massive reconstruction and renovation to promoteeco-tourism and make it a bee-hive of tourism activities. Let me again usethe opportunity of this occasion to appeal to all public spirited individuals,non-governmental organizations and corporate establishments to key intothe monumental strides of the state government to better the lots of thepeople from all angles. We indeed solicit private involvement in theseinitiatives.Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, this festival is another window ofopportunity to showcase our cultural potentials in traditional dances,traditional music, games and exhibition by masquerades of diverse forms.Let me quickly add that this effort is not a journey back to our fetish pastor an avenue for idol worship, it is rather an attempt towards thepromotion of our core values as well as an expression of our culturalidentity. The festival will equally showcase exhibition of arts, crafts,artifacts and antiquities of our ancestors. Products of our cultural industrieslike the beautiful coloured mats of Ogotun-Ekiti and Ipoti-Ekiti, theornamental pots of Isan and Igbara-odo, as well as the beaded works ofEfon – Alaaye will be on display.
  6. 6. I like to state here that all talented performers discovered at this EXPOwould be exposed to international competitions through sponsorship justlike the Cultural Troupe was sponsored to participate in PANAFEST held inGhana in July 2012.It is now my pleasure to declare the 1st Ekiti State Festival of Culture andArts Expo open to the glory of God and the benefit of mankind.Thank you and God bless.