Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state government is implementing policies and building structures to help preserve the state’s cultural heritage and drive growth in the arts, culture and tourism sector.
Obaseki disclosed during a ceremony held to mark the International Day of Museum, at the National Museum in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Osaze Osemwegie-Ero, said the state government is exploring ways to preserve the state’s rich cultural heritage. He noted that distinguishing elements of the people’s culture will be passed down to the younger generations through extra-curricular activities in schools and on technology platforms.
According to him, “the state will leverage technology to attract more tourists to historic art and cultural sites across the state,” adding that such an approach will create job opportunities for unemployed youths in the arts, culture and tourism sector.
Obaseki noted, “We have identified culture and tourism as a catalyst for economic growth and transformation. Museum is one of the several ways of boosting the growth of the tourism industry.”
He said the state government’s intention to partner with the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, in building a world class royal museum to hold stolen artefacts will lift the state’s arts and culture sector.
He said, “We believe that operating the museum will put an end to arguments by holders of these stolen assets, that we lack world class facilities for preserving our cultural heritage objects and ensure that future generations gain historical knowledge from the objects.”
Acting Director General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Emeka O. Onuegbu Esq., who was represented by the Curator of the National Museum, Benin City, Mr. Theophilus Umogbai said, “Museums are inherent part of the local communities, their cultural landscapes and environment. Using technology can make museums become accessible to more people across the globe.”