Deputy Director and Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) expert in the Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Mr. Augustus B. Ajibola, has said that the Inscription of Oral Traditions of Gelede, Ifa Divinations system, Ijeh Masquerade and establishment of an inventory, creation of Living Human Treasure system, are the major achievements of the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Orientation on ICH.
He said this in a paper, “ICH Policies, Projects and Challenges,” which he presented at a workshop on: “Strengthen, Policy and Legal Frame work on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Nigeria,” held at Reiz Continental, Abuja on 14th May, 2015, adding that, outstanding results are still being expected on area of sustainable mechanism for safeguarding ICH with adequate policy and legal framework, an inventory technology and mechanism tailored to the needs of Nigeria to benefit from the intergovernmental mechanism of the 2003 Convention.
Similarly, Dr. S. O. Faniran, National Planning Commission, in his paper, “Culture as Bedrock of Planning and National Development,” stressed that planning is an important tool for achieving development, which he said should reflect strong networks between the government and the community or sectors to promote greater awareness.
He explained: “Culture is transparent, it is transmitted through generations and constantly recreated, hence, ICH provides humanity with a sense of identity and continuity;” and that, “the comparative analysis of culture in development planning can be viewed from the point of Religious, Economics, Language, Sociology and Anthropology.”
Dr. Faniran further stressed that, recognizing culture as a background to development planning, indicated that ICH is embodied in those practices, expressions, knowledge and skills and in associated objects and cultural space that communities and individuals recognized as their cultural heritage.
He reiterated the challenges of ICH and suggested cultural planning strategies to help us develop the society such as mapping the spirit of a place through postcards, snap shots, photo essays, public arts, using focus group and mapping artifacts and their messages, stating that, culture as an object in planning and national development requires a multi-stake holders commitment to achieving effective planning to safeguard ICH as part of strategies for sustainable development.
Also, the Secretary-General of NATCOM-UNESCO, Mrs. Magdalene O. Anene-Maidoh, in her paper, “Education, Culture and Development a Triple Heritage,” averred that education and culture are enablers for peace, humane fulfillment and sustainable development which and interrelated concept when development is mentioned and could ensured the actualization of our national goals and aspirations.
She advised that stakeholders should promote education and culture for development as triple heritage, stressing: “we must place education and culture as cultural statistics, inventories regional and national mapping of cultural resources.”
Joseph Jeyah of Federal Ministry of Health, in his paper, “Heritage of Traditional Medicines into the National Policy Healthcare Delivery and Botanical Garden: An Imperative,” stressed on the various effort government has made in result past in the development of traditional medicine in Nigeria. The development of traditional policy for Nigeria, the structure for implementation of the policies the functions and achievements of the division since inception stating that the challenges of the policy include paucity of funds, poor awareness absence of intellectual property rights.
He further, explained that traditional medicine had for many centuries been parts of our health culture and the desirable aspects of this culture should be incorporated into the existing health care system where all the stakeholders stands to benefit.
In addition, Salamatu Sule, in her paper, “Civil Society as an agent of cultural mobilization in the Promotion and Research of our Cultural Heritage,” said that civil society serve as a mediatory realm between the individual and the state with capacity to trigger action towards social solution to social problems, persuasive ability to enhance transparency, accountability and probity.
Sule further stated that, civil society as a social mobilize promotes Nigeria as a brand and place her in a global cultural space, creates awareness and programmes which enhances cultural relaxation for tourists, promotes indigenous languages, adding that the challenges includes educational challenges, society and economic infrastructure, funding to aid effective implementation as well and lack of support for workshops and other cultural programmes.
She averred that ANA and other civil society institutes are committed to reawakening the socio-cultural consciousness and the preservation of the Nigerian pluralistic cultural heritage.
The workshop ended with the resolve that there should be an inventory of Nigerian traditional festivals, inventory of national monuments, and a digitalized inventory to have a location of each cultural heritage in Nigeria, according to the report by Gbemisola Ajibade, Cultural Officer 1, Research and Documentation, NICO Head Quarters.
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