The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) on Thursday solicited the support of Ecological Project Office (EPO) to address challenges threatening the country’s heritage sites.
Prof. Abba Tijani, Director General of NCMM said this when he visited the Permanent Secretary of Ecological Project Office, Shehu Ibrahim in Abuja.
Tijani said that two World Heritage Sites and national monuments across the country were being threatened by illegal mining and erosion and need urgent attention.
He listed the world heritage sites as Sukur Cultural Landscape in Adawama and Osun Oshogbo Grove in Osun.
Tijani said activities of illegal miners and encroachment around the Osun Oshogbo Grove have contributed to the erosion menace in the area and polluted the revered water for its worshippers.
“We have challenge in managing our museums and monuments because of encroachments and infringements, failure to maintain them would deny Nigeria the opportunity to be enlisted internationally as heritage sites.
“Kano City Wall is also a case in point that needs urgent attention,’ he said.
“Due to the peculiar nature of the commission and the economic value of these sites to the nation, there is need to ensure sustainability of the ecosystem for both tourism and employment generation.
`Nigeria presently has two World Heritage Sites enlisted by the UNESCO World Heritage List, 53 National Museums, 65 declared National Monuments and 108 proposed National Monuments nationwide,’’ he said.
Responding, Ibrahim commended the DG for his enthusiasm and commitment in ensuring the preservation of the heritage sites and monuments and the drive to retrieve some stolen artefacts.
He said the effort has yielded positive results as some of the artefacts have been returned.
The permanent secretary assured the commission of the willingness of EPO to partner with relevant agencies to address ecological problems in the country.
“EPO concentrates its interventions in areas that will impact communities. We usually concentrate more on interventions in areas that will really impact lives in communities where they are located.
“I advised you to expand your collaboration beyond EPO for a more comprehensive intervention in other problem areas and make specific request that relates to EPO Interventions.
“Do individual request, we will try to assess them to see the one that falls within our mandate’’, he said. (NAN)