As part of the side attractions for this year’s National Festival for Arts and Culture, NAFEST 2022, being hosted by the Lagos State Government, the Chairman of the Planning Committee for the event, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe has announced that a sum of ₦5,000,000 (Five Million Naira) has been set aside as the star prize for best visual artists that will participate in the week-long event. 

Runsewe disclosed this during a meeting with other committee members for the NAFEST 2022 scheduled to hold between November 7th and 13th at the National Stadium Surulere and Onikan Stadium, Onikan, Lagos respectively.  

He affirmed that the visual artists’ corner, is one of the innovations introduced to this year’s edition of the festival, describing the initiative as the first of its kind in the history of the festival.

According to him, the visual artists would be given the task of drawing Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu after which a panel of judges would examine the artwork to choose the best three. 

He said that the planning committee for the event has received needed support from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who, he said, was determined to ensure that Lagos State, by playing host to this year’s NAFEST, set the pace for other states to follow in future. 

He added that as an affirmation of the wide acceptability of Lagos State, other states across the country have already expressed readiness to take part in the annual event with the sponsorship of a larger contingent to NAFEST 2022. 

In his words: “Lagos will be making history by having all the events for the one-week programme at a single location, except for the opening and closing ceremonies which will take place at Onikan Stadium”. 

Speaking on the essence of the meeting with the planning committee ahead of the event, Runsewe said that the meeting was necessary to update all the committee members about the preparations already in place, stressing that another meeting would be convened so that the preparations can be perfected. 

The Chairman added that those who serve as members of the planning committee for the event would receive Certificates of Participation and would be proud to have served Lagos State and Nigeria in that capacity. 

“We want to change the narrative whereby lesser attention is paid to those that worked behind the scene for a successful event. These persons must be duly appreciated and given appropriate recognition”, he added.

The meeting had in attendance the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm (Mrs.) Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, the Special Adviser on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Femi Martins and the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Oyinade Nathan-Marsh among other Principal Officials of the Ministry.