Three emerge winners of Rivers Gov’t graphic arts competition

Lorine Emenike

The Rivers State Government has unveiled three winners of graphic arts Competition in Port Harcourt.

The winners are Mr Dumbor Debeeh, Mr Oscar Taribo Tamgba, and Mr Samuel Nwankwo.

As part of the rewards for their outstanding performance in the recently held competition, which had participants drawn from the 23 local government areas of the state, the winners would be travelling to Dubai for further exposure.

The competition was organised by the Rivers State Tourism Development Agency (RSTDA) in collaboration with the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing. RSTDA, a parastatal under the Rivers State Ministry of Culture and Tourism has earmarked programmes aimed at changing the narrative of the state for the better with a view to building bridges internationally and locally as well as growing the wealth of the State.

The state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mrs Tonye Oniyide, who described the RSTDA’s director-general as the doyen of culture and tourism in the state, congratulated him on the bold initiative and on his efforts in the development of the culture and tourism sector, saying, “We will continue to encourage him. We are proud of him. He is one man that knows his onions.”

Oniyide thanked the partner, Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, for involving Rivers State in its projects.

“We are proud of you always,” she said.

In his speech, the Director-General of RSTDA, Mr Yibo Koko, said celebrating the colours of the state, rich and progressive diversities to grow a sustainable tourism economy in the state has always been the strategic vehicle of growth that drives the operations of the agency, adding that with the abundant human and material resources in the state, the state has a rich creative space to be explored and exploited by the agency and others in order to create wealth for the state.

Earlier, speaking while unveiling the winners at the RSTDA’s Office in Port Harcourt, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, who was visibly elated, expressed delight that the winners had through their outstanding performance, showcased their talents to the world and put the state on the global map in the areas of creativity and tourism.

Danagogo, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, SSG’s Office, Mr George C. Nwaeke said the Covid-19 pandemic has been a blessing in disguise to the state, as it has given it an opportunity to show to the whole world that there are abundant talents in Rivers State.

While thanking the Director-General of RSTDA, Mr Yibo Koko for his innovative strides, he said there is the need for parastatals in the state to work with their parent Ministries.

Danagogo thanked Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing for partnering with the state government, saying, “Rivers State is a very important place in Nigeria. We will continue to partner with you.”

In a goodwill message, the Director of International Operations, Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Stella Fubara-Obinwa, said Dubai has long been associating with Nigeria, pointing out that several months ago, Dubai wanted to create collaboration with countries and with Nigeria.

According to her, “We got approval from RSTDA’s Director-General to promote arts in Rivers State.”

She noted that the painting competition expected participants to capture Dubai in their artistic eyes, and it was open to the 23 local government areas of the state.

At the end of the day, she said the winners were selected to broaden their horizon and to give them encouragement not necessarily in monetary form, stressing that the lucky winners would be visiting Dubai in months to come.

Fubara-Obinwa further indicated that the winners would be given three icons, one each as supported pieces of technologies to crown their efforts.

While thanking the RSTDA’s Director-General and the state government, she said the competition had never been done in any other country, as it was the first of its kind in the world.

Among dignitaries that graced the occasion included the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communions, Ibiwari Clapton-Ogolo; who represented the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim; and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mr Monday Yaimonay; among others.

The winners, who spoke with newsmen, expressed delight for emerging winners, saying the competition had made their dreams of excelling in their chosen careers come true.