altThe Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke, has said that the theme for NAFEST 2012, “Culture, Peace and Economic Empowerment,” was chosen to exploit ways in which culture can best contribute, in both tangible and intangible ways, to the enhancement of Nigeria’s economy.

Chief Duke said NAFEST has attempted to deepen the active participation of children in our cultural heritage, with events like the traditional moonlight game, essay writing, and drawing and painting, which were deliberately designed to inculcate in them the primary role of achieving peace.

altThe Honourable Minister, who was represented by the Director of Culture in the Ministry, Mr. George Ufot, at the official closing ceremony of the 26th edition of NAFEST, hosted by the Kwara State of harmony, was of the belief that the festival had achieved its desired objective in view of the various interpretations of the theme by the participants.

He expressed his gratitude to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for the relentless support he has given to Arts, Culture and Tourism Industry, which has sustained the growth of NAFEST in recent years, assuring that the sector will continue to strive towards contributing significantly to government’s efforts at diversifying the source of income generation toward achieving Vision 20:2020.

Chief Duke further extended his appreciation to the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, for providing NAFEST 2012 the enabling environment, the altpeople of Kwara State for sustaining peace and harmony, and the stakeholders who made the festival a reality.

The Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Elder Peter Kisira, who represented the State Governor, formally declared NAFEST 2012, with the theme, “Culture, Peace and Economic Empowerment,” closed.

Naseer Saeed Atiegba