Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed, yesterday said the Federal Government has expressed its readiness to support one of the world’s heritage sites, the Osun-Osogbo Grove, with a view to repositioning it for global attention.
He said Nigeria was blessed with diverse heritage sites capable of boosting tourism, which, if maximally harnessed and exploited, would galvanise massive economic values and development.
Muhammed stated this yesterday in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, when he visited the grove.
He explained that the visit was intended to renew national and global attention on the grove and to formally announce the Federal Government’s plan to enlist more sites as world heritage sites.
“We want to beam a searchlight on the grove and draw more global attention to it,” he said.
Muhammed, who expressed delight at the sacred nature of the grove and its tourism potentials, said: “You will agree with me that this is, indeed, an extraordinary site worthy of its declaration as a world heritage site.
“As you are aware, Nigeria has many veritable sites that meet the requirements of being declared world heritage sites.
“Nigeria is really blessed with a lot of potential sites. We are taking immediate steps to first enlist the sites on the tentative list, after which they can be inscribed as world heritage sites.”
Among the heritage sites being proposed for enlistment by the Federal Government are Kano City Walls, the Brazilian Baracoon Museum/Point of No Return in Badagry
The forests in Oke-Igbo, Ile Oluji axis of Ondo State, the Gashaka-Gumti National Park in Taraba and the Ogbunike Caves in Anambra State.
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola expressed continued support for the grove to maintain its status as a tourism centre and economy booster.
“Osun is the home of culture and tourism in Nigeria. We are blessed with cultural tourism centres. We need to develop it and attract tourists to generate more revenue,” Oyeyola said.
He called on the people to invest in culture and tourism to stimulate the economy.