By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed has described the Argungu Fishing Festival as a rich ingredient for enhancing tourism in a Nigeria.
Lai made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja during a world press briefing saying that ”such festivals are part of the creative Industry and this is one of the areas the federal government relies on for the diversification of the economy away from oil”.
He said tourism is a product that do not only enhance the economy, they also provide jobs, especially for women and the youth.
He explained that the globally-recognized International Fishing and Cultural Festival has being revived after a 10-year hiatus. “This is delightful news, considering the fact that this festival is one of the most widely attended festivals in Nigeria and the oldest festival of its kind, dating back many generations”.
According to the minister “We have also included the Argungu International Fishing andCultural Festival in the Calendar of Nigerian Festivals which we are now set to publish.”
He stated that, with this calendar published, domestic and international tourists can plan to attend various festivals with ease in Nigeria.
“This explains why we are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the maximum publicity for the forthcoming festival. We are going to Argungu next week with a battery of journalists from here in order to help raise the profile of the festival” Mohammade emphasised
He further give an sight that “What many may not know is that this festival was also inscribed in 2016 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The List was created to ensure better protection of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance”.
Consequently, the Governor of Kebbi State, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu who stated that the Agurgungu Fishing festivals has become one of the most leading center of attractions of in Nigeria and internationally.
“ Over the years the numbers of entertaining events have been added with a lot of beautiful sauce to the cultural festivals to give it a national and international touch and out look”.
Bagudu who is also the Chairman of the Organising Committee, represented by deputy governor Samaila Yombi, also listed some of the events slated for the festival as Grand Fishing, Kabanci Display, Agric Show, Cultural Display, Catapulting, Archery,
Traditional Boxing and Traditional Wrestling.
Earlier,The Emir of Argungu in Alhaji Samaila Mera, has bestowed the traditional title of ‘Kakakin Kebbi’ (Ambassador of the Kebbi Culture) on the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Alhaji Mera while reading out the letter of conferment, said: “Our decision as (Argungu Emirate Council) is based on the recognition of your efforts to project the cultural heritage of the diverse peoples of Nigeria to the world and create jobs, income and positive awareness for our youths though Festivals, Arts and Cultural Exhibitions.
The Emir said it was under the watch of Alhaji Mohammed that the Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
“I don’t know of any individual outside the Emirate who has shown so much enthusiasm towards working with us to achieve success,” he said.
While thanking the Emir for the honour bestowed on him, the Minister expressed delight at the revival of the festival.
The festival is slated for 11th to 14th of March 2020 .