By Paulinus Nnah
Ahead of the second edition of the National Gospel Concert and Music Awards slated for November 4, 2018 in Uyo the Akwa Ibom State capital, the organizers of the project have briefed the public on the coming event in a press conference held on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at Emmjm Hotel and Suites in the Uyo Metropolis.
Addressing newsmen at the event, the NAGOC president, Pastor Aniekan Essien, disclosed that this year’s version of the concert awards ceremony which is tagged “Unifying Nigeria Through Gospel Art”, will be held at the E3 Event Centre, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Speaking further, Pastor Essien explained that the project was “borne out of the altruistic passion and commitment of the organizers to bring together all gospel musicians, composers and producers in the country to forge a unifying forum aimed at glorifying God, blessing humanity and rewarding deserving persons within the industry.”
Enumerating the project’s objectives to include the provision of platform for strategic interaction with performers, producers, engineers, managers and investors for rapid development of gospel music in Nigeria, among others, Aniekan Essien hinted that the 2018 edition of the event has been endorsed by the Office of the Vice President of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN).
He pointed out that findings have indicated that the vibrancy of Nigeria’s music industry, particularly the secular music genre, has great economic impact, adding that “however, most of these accomplishments in the sector are limited to the secular hip hop music genre. This means that gospel music has not contributed significantly to these achievements, hence the need to inspire and encourage gospel musicians in the country to play more roles in boosting the fortunes of the music industry in general.”
Maintaining that since the birth of the National Gospel Concert, gospel musicians have been immeasurably spurred to contribute optimally to the nation’s creative industry, bearing in mind that Nigerians, and in fact people around the world, are more inclined to patronizing gospel music, the NAGOC helmsman also stated that “Against this backdrop, we expect that the concert/awards project will, besides contributing to the capacity of the creative industry, also ginger the economy of the country at large.”
While assuring that the event would be an improvement on the first one in terms of audience participation, sponsorship and cash prizes to be won in each category, Pastor Aniekan Essien urged the media to accord the event the needed publicity it deserves in order to make the society a better and more productive one.
Among the dignitaries that graced the occasion are: a cable network expert for Europe and CEO, Dr. Gift MacDunhill; the General Overseer of Word Tabernacle Church, Bishop Gabriel Nkanang; a budding gospel artiste, Pst. Bobby Friga; a gospel artiste, Mrs. Uduak Akpan; word artistes, and a host of other important participants at the event.