The Bayelsa contingent has won the 29th edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST 2016) held in Uyo.
The festival which started on 2 October had the theme, “Exploring the Goldmine Inherent in Nigeria’s Creative Industries”.
Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom announced Bayelsa, which participated in all the events as the overall winner among the 17 states that participated.
Hosts Akwa Ibom came second, followed by the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja. Lagos placed fourth.
Emmanuel, who was represented by his Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Emmanuel Ibiok, thanked the winners for their determination and hard work to emerge overall winner.
Emmanuel noted the creative industries in the country have not been fully harnessed to yield the desired result.
The governor identified one of the challenges facing the industry as the lack of government involvement.
“The theme of this year’s event is apt like other areas of growth in our country that have been abandoned because we were awash with petro-Naira.
“The creative and entertainment sectors of our nation have not been fully appropriated.
“Nollywood, which a few years ago was adjudged the second largest movie industry in the world, is facing serious challenges because there has been a lack of clearly desirable Government involvement in the industry,” Emmanuel said.
He urged private investors to get more involved in the creative industries sector, adding that it is more lucrative than the oil sector, if properly harnessed.
He also urged Nigerians, especially those that project the image of the country to always promote the potential that abound rather than seeing the nation in bad light.
The governor added that the nation was well endowed with human and material resources to achieve greatness.
He commended the Federal Government for bringing the 29th edition of NAFEST 2016 to Akwa Ibom.
The Head of the Bayelsa contingent, Mrs Payeboye Festus-Lukoh, attributed the success of the state to hard work.
Festus-Lukoh, who is also the Acting Executive Director, Bayelsa State Council for Arts and Culture, called for improved facilities in subsequent festivals.