NATIONAL MUSEUMS AND MONUMENTS COMMISSION SEEKS COLLABORATION WITH EPO TO PRESERVE HERITAGE SITES AND NATIONAL MONUMENTS.
The Director- General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Prof Abba Isa Tijani has expressed the desire of the Commission to collaborate with the Ecological Project Office (EPO) to tackle the ecological challenges threatening the two World Heritages Sites of Sukur Cultural Landscape in Adawama State and particularly that of the Osun Oshogbo Grove in Osun State as well as other national monuments across the country.
Prof Tijani disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Project Office, Malam Shehu Ibrahim, mni,in the Conference Hall of the Office, Wednesday, 19th April 2023. He said the activities of illegal mining and encroachment around the Osun Oshogbo Grove have contributed to the erosion menace in the area and polluted the revered water, worshippers believe has spiritual healing powers.
The Director-General (DG) also said, ‘’we have challenge in managing our museums and monuments because of encroachments and infringements’’, explaining that failure to maintain them would deny Nigeria the opportunity to enlist them internationally as Heritage Sites, citing that of Kano City Wall as a case in point.
In his request to the Permanent Secretary, Prof Tijani also stated,” I wish to bring to your attention, that due to the peculiar nature of the Commission as well as the economic value of these sites to the nation, there is need to ensure sustainability of the ecosystem for both tourism and employment generation.
He disclosed that Nigeria presently has 2 World Heritage Sites enlisted by the UNESCO World Heritage List, 53 National Museums, 65 declared National Monuments and 108 proposed National Monuments nationwide.
The Permanent Secretary in his response commended the DG for his enthusiasm and commitment to ensuring the preservation of the Heritage sites and monuments and the drive to retrieve some stolen artifacts back to the country in recent times has yielded positive results as some are being returned. He added that the Office is always willing to partner with relevant agencies to address ecological problems in the country.
Malam Ibrahim explained that the office concentrates its interventions in areas that will impact communities. According to him, “we usually concentrate more on interventions in areas that will really impact lives in communities where they are located”.
The Permanent Secretary advised the Commission to expand its collaboration beyond EPO for a more comprehensive intervention in other problem areas while it should make specific request that relates to EPO Interventions. ‘’Do individual request, we will try to assess them to see the one that falls within our mandate’’, he counseled.
Ugoma Nnorom (Mrs.)
For: DD (Press & PR)
19TH April 2023