PROF. Abba Tijani, Director-General, National Commission for Museum and Monuments (NCMM), says that heritage resources are sustainable economic development tools that can sufficiently contribute to the tourism development of any country.
Abba said this in an address during the Department of Archaeology and Tourism, University of Nigeria, Nsukka’s (UNN), First multidisciplinary conference in Nsukka on Tuesday.
The event is tagged; ‘Multi-disciplinary Collaboration in the 21st Century: Planning for the Present and Future”.
The director-general, represented by Mrs. Victoria Osuagwu, a Director in NCMM’s Department of Monuments, Heritage and Sites, described tourism as a major item of international trade capable of boosting the economy of any country.
“Heritage resources promote tourism and are suppose to be more viable in Africa because the continent is rich in cultural and natural heritage.
“Heritage tourism has the ability to create employment as well as serve as a mechanism for protecting the natural environment.
“It also preserves historical, archaeological, and religious monuments as well as generate foreign revenues,” he said.
The NCMM boss said that safeguarding the integrity and fabric of Nigeria’s heritage resources could be achieved by sustainable tourism management.
According to him, sustainable use of the country’s heritage resources for tourism must have at its center preservation and conservation of national heritage.
He commended UNN’s Archeology and Tourism department for the multi-disciplinary conference, describing the theme as apt in moving the tourism sector forward.
Chief Samuel Asadu, Traditional Ruler-elect, Ubogidi, and Ozalla proposed autonomous community in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, described archeology and tourism as huge foreign exchange earners in the globe.
Asadu said that archeology and tourism generated funds as far as many people across the world visited the museums and tourist sites daily for research purposes and sightseeing.
“Cultural institutions and museums play vital roles in tourism development of any country. Some countries in Africa such as Kenya and South Africa get huge foreign exchange from tourism to sustain their economies,” he said.
The traditional ruler advised students of the department to take their study very seriously as they had unlimited opportunities for employment across the globe.
“If you excel in your course of study on graduation, you can be employed in any part of the world as tourism has become economy sustainable development of many countries,” he said.
In his remarks, Prof. Charles Igwe, UNN Vice-Chancellor, said that archeology showcased the past and present of any country using tourism as s launch pad.
“The study of archeology helps us to know historical facts of our past so as to use such facts to plan our future,” Igwe said.
The don commended Dr Emeka Okonkwo, Head, Department of Archaeology and Tourism, for being the first in the department to organize a multi-disciplinary conference to find solutions to challenges facing museums and tourism in the country.
Igwe said that the University was proud of Okonkwo’s efforts in moving the department to greater height and pledged UNN’s management continued support to it.
Earlier, Okonkwo, said that the conference was conceptualized out of the need to address academic and societal issues from different perspectives.
“You will agree with me that present-day Nigeria is bedeviled with several challenges and it is only through a multidimensional approach that these issues can be tackled and resolved.
”This conference will provide an interdisciplinary platform for research scholars of diverse fields from different parts of the country to come together to exchange and share their experiences.
“Such issues that will be addressed include, natural and cultural heritage resources, tourism development, insecurity, and conflict management,” he said.
The head of the department expressed appreciation to everyone present, especially the local organizing committee for making the conference a reality.(NAN)
– May 11, 2021 @ 19:45 GM