Speech By HMIC , Alh. Lai Mohammed, At The 2020 Edition of The Yauri Regetta

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (left), and the Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, at the 2020 AnnualYauri Regatta and Cultural Festival in Yauri, Kebbi State,on Saturday.



First, permit me to congratulate the government and people of Kebbi State in general and the people of the Emirate Council of Yauri in particular for sustaining this very rich cultural festival, the Yauri Regatta Festival, which dates back many decades. Thanks to the passion and commitment of His Excellency, Gov. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, and the Emirate Council, this festival has continued to occupy a prominent place in the annals of festivals in Nigeria, attracting people from far and near

2.  This is the first time I am attending this festival. Before coming here, I have been regaled with stories of how magnificent the event is. Today, I confirm its magnificence, and I am glad I came here. And from today, I have also become a marketer of the Yauri Regatta


3.   Coming here today is a mark of the Federal Government’s determination to leverage on the country’s Creative Industry, which includes movies, theatre, music, fashion, festivals and tourism, to diversify the economy and provide jobs for millions of our our teeming youths.

4.   The Creative Industry is Nigeria’s new oil and, if well harnessed, has the capacity to help drastically reduce the country’s unemployment challenges and make a success of the Buhari Administration’s economic diversification policy .

5.   The Creative Industry currently employs 1 million people, mostly youths. It has the capacity to employ millions more. Well packaged and well marketed, our festivals, which showcase the rich culture of our people, from North to South and East to West, can contribute immensely to the nation’s economic and social development. This explains why we at the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture have made it our policy to support our festivals by not only attending them, but by also helping to raise their profile through massive publicity.

6.   I am therefore here today with a number of media organizations as part of the efforts to showcase the Yauri Regatta Festival to the

world. We will not only showcase it in the traditional media, we will showcase it in the social media, which has no national boundaries. We will make sure that the world gets to know about the pomp and pageantry of the Yauri Regatta Festival. You can now see that I have already started the marketing job.

7.   We are also in the final stage of publishing a Calendar of National Festivals that will contain the various festivals in the country and the dates on which they are held annually. The essence of this is for tourists, both domestic and international, to be aware so they can plan their attendance ahead. I have no doubt that when the Calendar is finally unveiled, the Yauri Regatta Festival will occupy a pride of place in it.

8.   We have also started training festival managers across the country so they can be able to better organize and package festivals

to attract the highest number of tourists and maximize their potentials. As we all know, these festivals have gone beyond mere

entertainments to events that can attract massive financial inflows into their immediate vicinity, the state in which they are located and indeed the entire country. As we continue the training of festival managers, Yauri will definitely be one of the beneficiaries.

9.   Finally, we are committed to ensuring that our festivals, including the Yauri Regatta Festival, get their pride of place on the global calendar of festivals, just like the Rio Carnival in Brazil, the Festival of Colours in India, Oktoberfest in Germany, Carnival of Venice in Italy and the Lantern Festival in Taiwan.

10. Once again, Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I congratulate the organizers of this magnificent event and I say, let’s do it again next year.