Nigeria’s telecommunications giant, Globacom PLC, has described the Onitsha Ofala festival as one of the top-rated cultural festivals in Nigeria.
Globacom, which said through Mr Augustus Ndu Offor, its Manager, South-South and South East, said it was delighted to have sponsored the festival since 2011 as a mark of the company’s commitment towards preserving the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria.
The theme of 2023 Ofala is “Better. Stronger. Together”.
Offor said the Onitsha Ofala was adding great value to the country’s tourism industry and was positioning itself to be a top revenue earner for the people and the country.
He said Nigeria is currently listed 52nd out of 55 globally, based on the 2020 data from the World Tourism Organization, indicating that the target is to place Nigeria among the top 10 countries in the world.
He said Globacom would do all it could to make the 2023 edition of the Onitsha Ofala festival an epochal and memorable one while assuring of continued partnership until it becomes a reference point in the global tourism calendar.
Globacom lauded the Anambra government for creating the Ministry of Tourism, saying it was an indication that the government recognised the huge but untapped potential of the sector.
He said the Travel and Tourism market in Nigeria has been projected to grow by 6.13 per cent between 2023 and 2027, resulting in a market volume of nearly US$4 billion in 2027.
“In 2011, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding to be the major sponsor of this yearly prestigious festival and we have always looked forward to working with the Palace to ensure a better edition each year.
“Nothing stops Nigeria from moving up to the top 10 Tourism greats among the comity of nations within the next few years and Globacom will not waver from its commitment to support efforts to showcase our heritage to the world.
“When we promote the rich festivals that abound in Nigeria, the world will know about them and slot them into their calendars, thereby leading to a large number of tourists who would be willing to come to witness these festivals.
“This will be a booster for hotels, restaurants, tour guides, art markets and several other sectors whose trade will be in demand by the visitors. And hundreds of thousands of jobs will also be created along the line.
“While we look forward to a successful 2023 celebration of the Ofala Festival, we wish to assure all our subscribers of our continued commitment to providing them with limitless digital and telecommunications solutions,” he said.
Meanwhile, organisers of the 2023 Onitsha Ofala festival have released the programme of activities which coincides with the 21st coronation anniversary of Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, spanning from Oct. 4 to Oct. 22.
Mr Nn’emeka Maduegbuna, Member, of the Ofala Steering Committee and Chairman of the Sub-committee, Strategic Marketing Communication, said the event would feature the maiden Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe Lecture series to be held at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam Campus
Maduegbuna said the preparatory rituals, known as Inye ukwu na no Eze Onicha (annual seclusion), would be held on Oct. 4 while Ogbalido (feast of atonement) would be held on Oct. 7.
He said the main events, known as Iru Ofala and the Azu Ofala, would be held on Oct. 14 and Oct. 15; the Onitsha Ado Youth Council carnival takes place on Oct. 13, and the Oreze IX Art Exhibition will run between Oct. 7 and Oct. 16.
The organisers say the Ofala festival would continue with a Banquet on Oct. 18 and conclude with a church thanksgiving service on Oct. 22.