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Sustaining Nigeria’s cultural heritage

By Olabisi Oyewole

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Sustainability is one of the five pillars of the framework for Action on Cultural Heritage which highlights its potential to enhance social capital,boost economic growth and secure environmental sustainability.

Culture and Cultural Heritage can help to achieve inclusive and sustainable development. Among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations is to strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s Natural and Cultural Heritage

 National Development is the capacity of the country to raise the standard of living of its residents. It can be achieved by providing individuals with basic livelihood requirements and supplying them with employments. Development is a process that creates growth, progress and positive changes

 Nigeria is blessed with diverse of Natural and cultural potential that can be used for national development if properly managed and secured. Quite unfortunate, the government is not doing enough in the area of developing and sustaining these our heritage which would have been a hot cake for National Development.

 In all the geo- political zones of the country, people were endowed with natural rivers, water falls,rocks,statues, caves,hills, animals,birds etc. Man have created different statues to enhance histories, different ethnographic materials,drums, cuisine, festivals, songs,praises, incantations, dances etc which have portrayed man and his ways of life and livelihood.

 Forest reserves, sacred groves,parks etc were secured by some government parastatals or commissions but campaign and awareness about these reserved places were not properly carried out by these government agencies. vandals, looters,thefts, deforesters etc always invade these natural and reserved places which affect the animals, plants and other natural inhabitants of the places.

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 Nigeria is blessed with different cultural festivals which include Eyo festival in Lagos state,Ojude Oba festival in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State,Osun Osogbo annual festival in Osogbo,Osun State,Olojo festival in Ile-Ife, Osun State,Arugungu fishing festival in Arugungu,Kebbi State,,Horse riding festival in Katsina, Katsina State,King’s renewal festival in Benin,Edo State, Cultural carnival festival in Calabar,Cross River State etc. All these festivals were backed up with traditional music,praises,dances, incantations, cuisine with people beautifully appearing in their indigenous attires.

 National Commission for Museums and Monuments have tried in there own capacity to secure and protect these Natural and Cultural materials of mankind, the Director General of the Commission Prof Abba Tijani recently repatriated some of our looted antiquities from European countries. Government, stakeholders, kings, community leaders, students and all concerned citizens should please arise and join the National Museums in campaign for the securing and protecting of these Natural and Cultural blessings. This will enable our culture to move from this generation to the coming ones.

 Nigeria can create job opportunities from these Natural and Cultural Heritage,some other countries depends solely on their heritage as a major source of income,we are well endowed in Nigeria that if these materials were properly managed they will be a good source of National Development.

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Sustaining Nigeria’s cultural heritage

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