The Lagos State Government on Tuesday held a stakeholders forum on the need for preservation of historical and cultural heritage sites/monuments in the state.
The forum which was held at the Hall of the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, was attended by owners and managers of heritage sites, traditional rulers, among others.
Speaking at the event, Commissioner, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said, the stakeholders forum was meant to create an avenue for the state government and the stakeholders to examine issues of preserving, protecting, restoring and promoting historical and cultural sites and monuments in the state.
He added that this is in line with the determination of Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, the Governor of Lagos State who in his inaugural speech promised to “engage investors and stakeholders in creating the enabling environment for tourism, entertainment and art and an iconic infrastructure for the benefit of all Lagosians”.
He pointed out that Lagosians are living witnesses to how the governor has been keeping to his words and surpassed expectations of citizens in infrastructural development that has positively impacted on arts and expanded the frontiers of tourism fortune of the state.
Speaking further, Mr. Ayorinde disclosed that the forum is a follow up to the first gathering held in October, 2017. He emphasized that the objectives of the forum was to ensure that the heritage sites and monuments in the state are maintained and make attractive for tourist/ visitors and to keep historical monuments for generations to come.
While reeling out the benefits of preserving the heritage sites and monuments in the state, the Commissioner reiterated that they are precious to the state government just as it is in most advanced countries of the world.
In a short keynote presentation by Dr. Tunji Adejumo, an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture, University of Lagos and Architect Theo Lawson talked on their interchanging heritage and culture as well as why our heritage and culture should be preserved.
They noted that all indigenous groups in Lagos have their festival routes and that it’s for the people of each area to sit and package whatever heritage sites they have for tourism purposes. The two scholars both agreed that there is the need for inventory of all facets of cultural heritage resources, consensus on immovable heritage to be addressed, create an enabling environment for private driven small scale museum for display as well as exploration of statewide cultural festival calendar.
Highlights of the suggestions provided at the end of the forum include, the establishment of Ibile Festival to showcase the uniqueness of the culture of the state, the establishment of cultural heritage committee, adequate funding of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in order to efficiently perform and using the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as a veritable tool for public sensitizations.