The President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, had on Thursday in Argungu, Kebbi State said the return of the Argungu Agricultural and Fishing Festival after 11 years of suspension, and other international festivals across the country, is a sign that there is improvement of security in the country.
The president lamented how insecurity has created a lull in the country’s tourism and entertainment industry for many years, creating ripple effects on the economy and restricting movements, promising to promote policies that will stimulate more interest in tourism and entertainment.
He assured that the Federal Government will sustain investments in security infrastructure to boost cultural tourism, and attract more investments in the entertainment industry.
“Our presence here today is evidence of Government’s commitment to restoring security and expanding domestic food production as core mandate of our programmes.
“We are all aware that this important cultural gathering was suspended for 11 years as a result of insecurity. Today, by the grace of God, this festival is back and I hope back for good.
“We are not only celebrating the reinstatement of this important gathering, but we are also celebrating the remarkable progress made in restoring peace and security to this region and indeed, our country. It is also noteworthy that yesterday in Abuja a motor rally across five states, which will terminate here in Argungu, was flagged off.’’
He stated further that many international festivals, such as the Argungu Fishing and Cultural Festival, were being celebrated across the country, bringing all Nigerians closer together and improving collective appreciation of the nation’s diversity, while projecting the rich history and culture to foreigners.
“In both instances, massive jobs are created in the tourism sector, which we all agree is still not fully developed. We must therefore continue to encourage, support and promote such festivals.
“Let me use this opportunity to commend Governor of Kebbi State, His Highness, Emir of Argungu, Minister of Information and Culture, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and members of the organising committee at the local, state and federal levels for this remarkable event,’’ he stated.
In his remarks, the Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Bagudu, commended President Buhari for reviving “we can do it’’ spirit in the agricultural sector, resulting in rising grain pyramids and employment, and providing an enabling environment for festivals, like the Argungu Fishing and Cultural Festival, to resume.
The governor promised not to allow the enemies of the state to define it’s fate.
Also speaking, the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Sama’ila Muhammad Mera, commended the President for the bold step to close the land borders which according to him, has clearly shown his love for the nation.