The Zonal Coordinator, North-Central Zonal Office of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mr. Ohi Ojo, has advocated the use of cultural tourism as a veritable avenue for achieving a robust national economy.

Ojo stated this on Wednesday, 18th May, 2016, as the guest speaker, at an event to mark the 2016 edition of the International Museum Day, with the theme: “Museums and Cultural Landscapes”, organized by the Kwara State Office of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The NICO Zonal Coordinator asserted that with the price of crude oil becoming unsteady and volatile in the global market, cultural tourism could easily be another, if not a better source of income for Nigeria, maintaining that the nation has a lot to provide in the area of cultural tourism.

According to Ojo, in the lecture, entitled, “Utilizing Cultural Landscapes, Museums as the Vanguard for Promoting Cultural Tourism”, there is a relationship between museums and culture areas in Nigeria, and if well articulated, they could provide a regular stream of tourists from within and outside Nigeria, leading to a robust and reliable economy.

He stated that every geographical area in Nigeria has unique attributes in food, medicine, heritage sites, festivals, and so on, which could earn the country steady income to boost the economy, and that such unique culture areas include the Rain forest, the Guinea Savanna and the Niger Delta region, among others; further urging NCMM to be the pathfinder in the nation’s search for economic regeneration and growth through cultural tourism.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Curator, Kwara State Office of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Mrs. Omotayo Adeboye, said that since 1977, on yearly basis, the International Museum Day has been organized and celebrated worldwide on the 18th of May, a day set aside to create awareness on the important role of museums in the developmental process of every society.

She further highlighted the core functions of museum professionals as preservation, collection, research and exhibition of our culture and natural heritage for education and enjoyment of the public, emphasizing this year’s theme as the link between museums and cultural heritage.

Mrs. Adeboye concluded by citing some of the tourist sites scattered throughout the 16 local Government Areas in Kwara State, including Owu Waterfalls which is said to be the highest in West Africa, Relic of Mungo Park Boat and Cenotaph, Esie Soapstone, Okuta Ago, and Ijoko Waterfalls, among others.

The Director-General National Commission for Museums and Monuments Mr. Yusuf Abdallah Usman, in his goodwill message, heartily felicitated with members of staff of the Commission and solicited the support of Government at all levels, communities, NGOs and other stakeholders for the realization of the goals and objectives of the Commission.

Dignitaries at the event, which was spiced with cultural dances, fashion parade and quiz competition, included the Permanent Secretary, Kwara State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Abdulganiyu Mustapha (Chairman of the Occasion), Police CSP Victor Daramola (representing Commissioner of Police, Kwara State, Mr. Sam Okaula), Asst. Commander Segun Aladenika (representing FRSC Kwara State Sector Commander).

The NICO North-Central Zonal Office team included Tony Olasinde (Head of Research and Documentation), Levi Aladeitan (Head of Orientation and Cultural Affairs), as well as Olumide Dada (Personal Assistant to the Zonal Coordinator).

Samuel Hedima

Head Corporate Affairs/ICT Unit

NICO North-Central Zone