The 2017 Calabar carnival has received a boost as the five bands participating would now be given a whopping sum of N100 million each, instead of the previous N50 million as preparation fee.
Commissioner for Tourism, Mr. Eric Anderson, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen, on Wednesday, in Calabar, on the state of preparedness, said the annual fiesta this time would be a boom.
Anderson, who is the first commissioner to head the new Tourism ministry, said the money would go a long way to ensure that adequate preparations were made by the various bands and possibly participate in other activities outside the Carnival Calabar.
The five traditional bands, expected to benefit from this largesse, are Freedom, Master Blaster, Bayside, Seagull band and Passion 4. These bands were also expected to compete in other activities including the street party, which usually takes place ahead of the carnival proper.
Commending Governor Ben Ayade for raising the money from N50 million to N100 million, Anderson said all the bands would be challenged to bring out their best during the festival, promising that his ministry was working hard to ensure that it was a success.
“This year’s carnival is going to take a new shape and we are working hard to ensure that there are new initiatives by the various bands. This is why the Governor has graciously approved N100 million from the previous N50 million for the use of each band because they are going to be involved in, not just the carnival, but other activities like the street party and the rest,” the commissioner explained.
Anderson frowned at the behaviour of some artists in previous editions of the festival, warning that the state government will not take kindly to jokes that may appear derogatory of persons or institutions.
He further warned comedians to stop cracking derogatory jokes and raise money from the public as they have been paid to perform.
““This year’s edition of the carnival promises to be big and special because of the various high profile artists that will be coming. But I must warn that government will not allow any Comedian to come and make jokes that are derogatory of anybody or institutions. Or any musician who will come and raise money from the public after being paid to perform,” he said.