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Alhaji Bala Kwatu to Invest N100m in HIASFEST as It Goes Continental

...Calls for Partnership

Jerry Adesewo

Alhaji Bala Abdullahi Kwatu, the initiator and primary financier of the annual Hadiza Ibrahim Aliyu Schools Festival (HIASFEST), has pledged to invest as much as One Hundred Million Naira in the festival over the next four years. He made this announcement during the opening ceremony of the 6th edition of the festival in Minna, the capital of Niger State, held every January. Alhaji Kwatu revealed plans to take the festival continental starting from the 7th edition in January 2025.

“We have been thinking about it, but we are now finally ready to extend this festival beyond the shores of Nigeria from the next edition in 2025. And to this effect, I am ready to invest N100,000,000 in this initiative for the next four years, to accommodate the expansion,” he declared. He expressed his hope that the governing body, to be constituted during the closing ceremony, would drive the initiative to greater heights.

Read Also: HIASFEST 2024 Opens in Minna

Alhaji Kwatu, a former Managing Director of Niger Resources Limited and Urban Shelter Limited, took the opportunity to invite other individuals to embrace and financially support the initiative. “I and the Aliyu Trust Foundation cannot do this alone; we need your support to push it further. Yes, we can do it, as we have been doing, but we would be happy to have you come onboard,” he emphasized.

Earlier, Alhaji Baba Dzukogi, Founder of the Hilltop Creative Arts Foundation and Festival Director of HIASFEST, advocated for more support for literary development in Nigeria. Commending Alhaji Kwatu’s interest and support for the arts, he stated, “If a society is successful, it is probably because of the action of one man. Just one person can make a difference. If we can have more Alhaji Kwatu, even from among those of you seated here, the impact will be so huge. If just one man can do this much, investing over N11m in this initiative every year, I believe more of us can do too, and do better.”

The Festival Director, known in literary circles as BM Dzukogi, appealed for more Nigerians nationwide to

support creative and art initiatives capable of empowering teens in Nigeria, redirecting their attention from criminal activities.

Alhaji Bala Kwatu, previously stating that ‘HIASFEST is an intellectual campaign against terrorism and any form of vices,’ pledged not to spare anything to ensure that HIASFEST is held yearly, acknowledging the joy and hope it brings to the young participants, some of whom have achieved international recognition.

The festival, featuring various competitive art and innovative activities, will take place at multiple venues in Minna between today and Saturday, culminating in the announcement and presentation of prizes to the winners of the 2024 edition.

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