By ZIKA BOBBY
The Rivers State government has restated its commitment to attract foreign investments into the state, with the ongoing Rivers State Carnival, popularly referred to as CARNIRIV, which began at the weekend in Port Harcourt, the capital city.
The Director-General, Rivers State Tourism Development Agency, (RSTDA), Dr. Sam Dede, yesterday said the children’s version of the CARNIRIV 2012, set the week-long feast in motion. He expressed optimism that the cultural festival, if properly developed, could attract massive direct and indirect investments. “The main objective of CARNIRIV is to place River State boldly on the investment map of the world.
We want to attract not just tourists and culture lovers to the state, but also create a platform to promote economic activities and commercial exchange not just during the festival period but much after,” he said. He explained that the cultural festival, apart from providing opportunities for relaxation and showcasing the diverse cultures of the people, also boosts micro economy as local businesses such as hotels, transport companies and retail stores were fully engaged by visitors who came into Port Harcourt to witness the festival.
The RSTDA Director-General assured that this year’s edition of CARNIRIV was an improvement on past editions, adding that the agency raised the bar of excellence this year by putting together a world-class festival featuring unique blends of culture, music and entertainment as well as the participation of international stars.
To this end, he revealed that Grammy Award-winning reggae star and rapper, Shaggy; fellow reggae singer, Patra popularly called the Queen of the Pack; and gospel music sensation, Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa were some of the international music stars that would light up the state at this year’s edition of CARNIRIV.