Nigeria’s iconic but descript football theatre of dreams, the National stadium, now wears a new look ,curtesy, lagos governor, Babajide sanwo-0lu who has directed that nothing should be left to chance in the strategic showcasing and hosting of Eko Nafest at the once famous soccer destination.
Though, eyes may not readily see the changes from the gates of gigantic stadium, abandoned and left to run rot, but a drive to the soccer laboratory facilities at National Institute for Sports, domiciled inside the stadium, presents impressive and colourful features of the facilities, a transformative connect between cultural tourism and sports, a message the high flyer governor of lagos state intends to also lubricate and showcase as destination offerings even after the festival.
From the lodging facilities of NIS, to about five mini stadias originally conceived for training and other sports games, the splash of colourful paints, artistic works display and renovations of toilets and recreation areas, signposts the signs of a great outing for Nigeria’s biggest cultural tourism extravaganza, which may break the over four years records of Governor Wike of Rivers state, who deployed the greatest incentives and enabling environment when River hosted the iconic Nafest in year 2018, . The 36 states of the Federation are expected to storm the city of lagos, from November 7th to 13th, next month.
Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture, NCAC and President, Africa Region of World Craft Council (NCC), was in lagos over the weekend, running rings with Lagos Commissioner for Tourism, Pharm Akinbile, like master soccer players, directing and driving the renewal process festival choice grounds and also powering the values which cultural tourism can bring to infrastructural maintenance architecture and usage.
Otunba Segun Runsewe and Akinbile are also repositioning security for the festival, and with thousands of cultural delegations and troupes from all the country, lagos state known for massive investment in security architecture, there is no doubt governor Babajide sanwo-0lu, has found powerful willing destination marketers in Runsewe, supported by Pharmacist Akinbile, with Eko Nafest, expected to showcase the culture and economic investment opportunities in the city of aquatic splendour.
A special media tour, is being planned to officially unveil this refreshing transformation of the Sports city by GovernorBabajide sanwo-0lu, and also its octopus capacity to provide revenue yielding opportunities for out door events on sports, culture and tourism.
Sunday Dare, Nigeria’s Sports Minister and a journalist may headline the Media tour to what maybe known as Cultural festival city in the abandoned stadium in the heart of lagos in Surulere.