Public spaces at Ring Road, the heart of Benin City, are wearing a new look, as the state government steps up preparations for hosting the National Festival for Arts and Culture, which runs from October 19 to 26.
The culture fiesta coincides with the coronation anniversary celebration of the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, as the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has assured that the 2019 edition of the festival would have a royal touch.
Already, major streets in the city are illuminating with branding materials providing information on the festival while the Oba Akenzua Cultural Center has been overhauled.
In a statement, Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, said the state government is committed to hosting a world-class event that would be remembered for a long time to come.
According to him, “We have all things set. Ring road is wearing a new look. The Oba Akenzua Cultural Center has been revamped. We have reworked the surrounding and ensured that it is befitting for festival of this status. We have also repainted and rebranded the surrounding the centre. On the interior, we have renovated the structures; a fresh stage has been built.
“We assure tourists coming into the state that we have all the arrangements covered. There are various options for those who want to fly. Hospitality businesses are upbeat as well.
“Bronze casters at Igun Street are also very much prepared for the festival. The vibrant Benin art scene is sure to give an account of itself and prove that indeed Benin is the cradle of art in this part of the world.”
He added that some streets close to Ring Road have been dedicated as the festival village, which closes them to vehicular movement during the festival, adding, “The corridor will serve as a cordoned off area where tourists can go and have a feel of the offerings during the festival.”