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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

On 04:13:00 by pflamez media   No comments

posted by Rhodies

Calabar Festival; Africa's Biggest Street Party.

As part of measures to see that the Africa's biggest street party, Carnival Calabar continues to hold and is not scuttled by successive governments the Cross River State government is putting modalities in place to institutionalise and privatise the yearly event.

The Cross River governor, Senator Liyel Imoke made this known, last Sunday at the millennium park, Calabar while flagging off the preparation for the 2014 Carnival Calabar , which commenced with the unveiling of the carnival theme 'Celebration Time' followed by the first dry run to mark the beginning of this year's tenth anniversary carnival preparation activities.

Represented by his deputy, Barrister Efiok Cobham, the governor stated that his administration was living up to its expectation to ensuring that the yearly event is sustained adding that modalities are in place in the state house of assembly to institutionalise and privatise the yearly event

According to him

"once again we are here for what has become Africa's number one show and we are thankful to God that we have come. Ten years is no joke; when we came on board in 2007, we promised Cross Riverians that we will move carnival and take tourism to the next level, I will leave you to judge that seven years down the line whether we have kept our promise."

"For us the carnival keeps growing bigger and bigger and there was a need for us to institutionalise it so that the carnival will not be dependent on what ever are the thoughts of the government of the day…. after series of storming, His Excellency in his wisdom said that the best people to drive the carnival is the private sector. To that extent we had to send a law to the house of assembly, which ought to be what is now called Carnival Band Builders Association, who today are the drivers of the carnival."

"It is our belief that the private sector has a bigger role to play in the success of the carnival. There is no bigger brand than Carnival Calabar, who wants to enjoy visibility; the place to invest is in the carnival."

Speaking earlier, before the flag off, the House Committee Chairman on Tourism, Hon Steven Ukpukpen affirmed that a bill to privatise and institutionalise the event was being considered at the house committee level in the Cross River House of Assembly.

In his words "there is a bill before the house that is meant to institutionalise the Calabar carnival and the essence of this bill is to transcend from a public sector driven brand to a private sector. Presently it has gone through the second reading and now it's before my committee and we are working on it."

"At the end of the day this bill will now empower the private sector, that is the individual registered band to now drive the process, what this is meant to achieve is that it will give the private sector more confidence and participation and now it will be freer to brand what ever brand they have to identify with individual bands; and this will of course give them that confidence of sustainability, knowing that no subsequent government can scuttle the process anymore," Hon Ukpukpen assures carnival revellers.

While presenting two Hilux pickup vehicles donated by Scoa Motors to the carnival, the board director of the Nigerian Port Authority, NPA and leader of the Seagul Band, Senator Florence Ita Giwa who stated that NPA had donated 15million naira to aide this year's carnival process that is currently being used to acquire an office for the carnival bands said that the carnival privatisation and institutionalise move by the state government was a step in the right direction.

Meanwhile the chairman of the Carnival Commission, Mr. Gab Ona assures that this year's Carnival Calabar will be more participatory and will come out best.

In his words

"As you can see the dry run is no more like the usual dry run, since 2012. The revellers are dressed in their costumes for the opening section; that has become a special feature to create excitement on a carnival route, sensitise the people of Calabar along the carnival route at the same time and the private sector initiative the governor brought to bare to ensure that the carnival moves to where it will be sustained is receiving a lot of boost.

"With the CCPA now ready to take off from next year and the tourism content of the Carnival which is that people should visit Calabar for carnival, thereafter savour on hospitality, so all these things are being fixed in as a way of a new turn in, because if you get to ten you are starting again, starting again with new ideas, new innovations and new breakthrough," the carnival boss added

On their part, leaders of the Passion 4 carnival band, Mr. Bassey Archibong and Mr. Emmanuel Ita have expressed hope that their band will come out first in this year's carnival competition.

High points of the carnival test run featured unveiling of the 2014 Carnival Calabar theme 'Celebration Time,' launching of two Hilux pickups donated by Scoa Motors by the wife of the governor, Bar Obioma Imoke and a carnival dry run procession on a 12kilometre route.

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