The acting director general, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Abdulkerim Oshioke Kadiri has urged Nigerians to join in preserving monuments and sites so as to have a legacy to bequeath to future generations.
Kadiri made this known during the International Monuments Day celebration themed: ‘Rural Landscapes’ recently in Abuja.
He said, “since this day is meant to highlight the importance and contributions of monuments and sites to the social, political, economic and cultural development of the society, the Commission therefore needs the support of the communities and other stakeholders for the realisation of our set goals and objectives of preserving our monumental heritage for humanity”.
Meanwhile, the International Day for Monuments and Sites was proposed by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) on April 18th 1982 and approved by the General Assembly of United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1983, with the aim to promote awareness about the diversity of culture, for their protection and conservation.
According to the Commission’s Public Relations Head, Otono Momodu, the reign of the acting director general, Abdulkerim Kadiri has ushered a lot of innovative and proactive endeavours into the NCMM which include the commercialization through public private partnership (PPP) leading to setting up of the strategic business unit (SBU) in the commission.
Kadiri reiterated that, the federal government of Nigeria under president Buhari’s administration has placed among other agenda, revenue diversification away from oil and gas. “Like you know, oil and gas gets depleted over time arising from exploitation and outside that, the relevance of oil and gas is declining year in year out because scientific inventions and discoveries are coming up. Cars that drive on solar energy are now manufactured, with time the relevance of oil and gas will no longer be as high as it is today and that is why federal government has identified tourism as a veritable medium for enhancing internally generated revenue in Nigeria.
“Like you are aware, so many countries in the world for example Kenya, South Africa and others live purely on tourism and if you look at the natural heritage sites and Relics in Nigeria, they are among the best and most treasured all over the world. This is the reason why we have to develop our museum infrastructures to enable us as the pivotal arm of tourism sector develop to an international standard whereby local and international tourists will find Nigeria a place of tourism destination.
“Although our budget for the ministry in the past has been very low, the amount dedicated for capital development and infrastructural development of the tourism and culture sector especially the National Commission for Museums and Monuments is very low. The appropriation every year is inadequate to cater for infrastructural development for instance we have 48 museums all over the country, 60 identified and enlisted national monuments and one hundred identified but not yet listed monuments, two world heritage sites, Osun Osogbo Groove and Sukur in Adamawa state. These monument and heritage sites are world class and we have decided to open up our gates for partnership to willing and able partners who are interested in museum activities to join us either in technical expertise, or cash”.
He stated that the commission has set up the strategic business unit (SBU) in the commission to improve on the quality of products and whatever is generated from various skills, arts and crafts.
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