BENIN CITY: Edo State Arts, Culture and Diaspora Affairs Commissioner, Hon. Osaze Osemwegie-Ero has disclosed that the Obaseki administration was set to revive and re-brand the 58 tourist sites across the state to make it a tourist heaven.
Hon. Ero made the disclosure when he received members of the Benin Cultural Heritage Centre led by Squadron Leader Ehi Ighile (rtd) in his office on a courtesy visit last Thursday.
According to him, the Godwin Obaseki-led administration’s vision is to promote the cultural heritage of the state and revive all the tourist attractions in the state. “He said his vision is to promote Arts and Culture in the state and gave us a marching order to ensure we visit any village that has one festival or the other, no matter how remote the area may be, as this will promote the rich culture of the people of the state.”
The commissioner said the Aba festival, recently held in Igarra, Akoko-Edo was a boost to the state economy as about N450 million naira was injected into the system with more than one million people from home and in the Diaspora present at the occasion.
“The festival became much successful due to the presence and participation of Edostate government. Edo State Government is ready to be present in all the cultural festival brought to its notice in the state.”
“Our moat is a tourist attraction site and can be compared to the walls of China but neglect has put us in a bad light. The vision of this present administration is to maintain and beautify the moats across the city and make it attraction for tourist which will in turn generate revenue for the state.”
Hon. Ero said the state government was prepared to make the 58 tourist site world class standard and to attract visitors from around the world. He said his ministry was working with the ministry of Education to ensure Edo Language is part of the curriculum from primary to Tertiary Institutions across the state.
He expressed the administration’s readiness to expose the Igun Art work to the world, thereby promoting the rich cultural heritage of the people of Benin Kingdom as well as generating revenue for the artisans and the state government.
In his response, the leader of delegation of Benin Cultural Heritage Centre, Squadron Leader Ehi Ighile (rtd) said the organization was none partisan and none governmental and has membership of over 100, with the aim to promote the glory of the Benin people.
He said the Kingdom has ruled the world for over 400 years before it was conquered by the British and the advance in Art work made the Mask of Queen Idia the symbol for FESTAC 77.
Ighile said to promote the cultural heritage of the Edo people they decided to assist the ministry of education in the training of 300 Edo language teachers to teach the subject in schools.
“As a body, we discussed with the ministry of education and discovered that we lackEdo teachers in our schools as such decided to train 300 teachers of Edo language which the ministry will post to our schools to teach the Edo language.”
Ehi Ighile named some of the achievements of the group to include the design of the Benin Cultural Heritage Centre on a land given to the body by the Oba of Benin as the body has received donation from spirited people both from home and abroad to ensure that a world class centre is build to attract tourists to the state.