Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State Governor
To redirect the culture and tourism sector, as a way of diversifying the economy of the state, Delta State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Ernest Ogwezzy, has disclosed that government intends to establish a film village to be called Delta Entertainment District.
Ogwezzy said discussions have reached advanced stages between local and international partners with the government to ensure the success of the venture.
The commissioner said during the last stage of the ministerial press briefing at Government House, Asaba. According to him, “what this means is that, the tourism sector will be on a sure footing of development funding”.
He said the Entertainment District would generate enough funds for itself and, in turn, improve the state’s Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) and create jobs in line with the SMART Agenda of the present administration. Ogwezzy said the essence of the whole idea was to redirect stakeholders to see Delta State as a preferred tourist destination beyond events and oil.”
The commissioner also disclosed that government, through the ministry, has entered into partnership and signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with some corporate bodies to host Delta brand events, like Delta Heritage Carnival and Delta Music Festival.
On culture, the commissioner said the state governor had given a directive to the ministry to organise a three-day cultural fiesta in the state annually, adding that, at the just concluded Abuja Carnival, the state won a lot of awards and was ranked among the best.
In the same vein, the commissioner said that to develop the arts sector, about 43 people were sponsored for training at the Emede Arts and Craft Training Centre and they have graduated in different art fields including ceramics, textile, and painting.
Ogwezzy said for the first time since the creation of the state, Delta now has a comprehensive and updated list of Hotels, Tourists and Entertainment (HTE) sites in the state and once the new Tourism Board law is passed will generate revenue to the state. While saying that government has also approved giving a face-lift to some notable tourist sites like the Lander Brothers’ Anchorage, among others, the commissioner said the ministry has partnered with some private sector organisations to promote and market community festivals like the Ukwata, Abbi, Emu-Obodeti, Umunede, Okere-Warri festivals, etc.
As a way of developing the sector, the government intends also to breathe life into Delta Talent Quest and Delta TV Reality Show, the commissioner said.
According to him, “the desire of the directorate is to build enduring platforms aimed at diversifying the economy of the state for a sustainable Delta Beyond Oil and a preferred tourist and business destination in Africa and beyond.”