In a bid to properly harness the potentials and opportunities that the annual Ososo Festival in the Akoko-Edo area of Edo State offer, its organisers have engaged a leading marketing and event agency - Neomedia and Marketing Limited to help raise the standard of organisation and marketing of the festival to international level.
At a press briefing held to commemorate the partnership in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer of the Marketing agency, Mr. Ehi Braimah, said the appointment of his agency was strategic to further entrench the mission and vision of the organisers of the festival among stakeholders.
He also added that his agency, with experience in marketing of international brands and events, would not find it tough in galvanising necessary support that would make the carnival appeal to the world.
"As a carnival that has already taken a life of its own and has appealed to relevant stakeholders, our job is to help the organisers attract potential sponsors and guests that would make it a revered carnival that everybody will identify with. It gladdens my heart personally that the proactive government of Edo State, under the leadership of Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, has not only bought into the carnival; the government has created a good platform for its growth. With what is on ground, 2017 edition will be a watershed", he said.
Also speaking at the event, the state's Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Honorable Osaze Osemwegie-Ero said the state government would harness the potentials of Ososo Carnival as part of its plans to boost the state's economy through the development of 58 newly identified tourism sites across the state.
According to the Commissioner, who said he personally visited Ososo recently to verify the potentials of Ososo community as a veritable hub for economic and social development through tourism, expressed delight at the state of its preparedness towards the hosting of the forthcoming carnival which takes place every December.
"The natural potentials of Ososo community as a tourism hub cannot be overemphasized. It must be highlighted and developed as part of this administration's deliberate policy to create employment - particularly for the youths. By doing this, we are indirectly curbing crimes as the saying goes that 'an idle mind is the devil's workshop'.
"To this end, government has identified 58 other potentially viable tourism sites across the state which will be developed so that the state and the communities in particular can reap the benefits", he said.
Mr. Osemwegie-Ero said the state is not relenting in this venture as efforts were on to identify and develop other hidden tourism potentials in the state such as the Aba Festival which recently held in Igarra with thousands of tourists in attendance.
Also corroborating the Commissioner, Chairman(BOT) of Ososo Carnival Initiative, Hon. Emmanuel Agbaje, harped on the need for governments at all levels to begin the process of de emphasizing oil as the economic mainstay of the nation by focusing on the development of other growth areas such as tourism.
He disclosed that having personally witnessed the last outing of Ososo carnival, he has no doubt that the annual event is set to take the center stage in tourism development such as the famous annual Calabar Carnival.