The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said the state has attracted investments in the arts and culture industry, which will not only boost tourism receipts but recalibrate the state’s position as a hub for creativity and artistic endeavours.
The governor said this in a statement to mark the 2023 World Tourism Day (WTD) by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) on September 27.
The governor said that the investment in the state’s art and culture scene include the building of world class museums and a landmark archaeological project in the city centre, which will bolster the state’s capacity to attract international tourists and also provide opportunity for youths to learn and revive the state’s rich cultural heritage.
According to him, “While efforts are ongoing to develop the Benin Cultural District to be a thriving hub for arts and culture, we have attracted investment for the Museum of West African Arts (MOWAA) as well as an archaeological project that seeks to unearth materials that help us better understand and appreciate our cultural heritage.
“The construction of MOWAA Institute is ongoing and we have other elements of the Benin Cultural districts coming to fruition, showing an unwavering commitment to transform the State into a space that promotes and nurtures its tourism assets.
“To mark this year’s celebration, the state government has lined up a number of activities such as a stakeholders’ engagement on the validation of the Edo State Heritage Protection and Promotion Policy and other programmes to drive this year’s theme, Tourism and Green Investments. There will also be guided tours and workshops organised in collaboration with experts to mark this year’s World Tourism Day celebration in the State.
The governor further noted on this year’s WTD, which is marked yearly by UNWTO and its Member-States, across the world, including Nigeria, that, “For us, building on the envious cultural heritage of our forebears is sacrosanct. Not only are we committed to promoting them, we are keen on building a new consciousness that would see to the revival of the ideas and concepts that influenced the immaculate artefacts that are celebrated across the world today. These can only be achieved through increased investment in tourism and preserving our cultural heritage.”