Government at all levels have been urged to preserve the nation’s cultural heritage and values for continuity and transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next.
Opinion moulders including custodians of culture who made the call said preservation of cultural heritage is capable of promoting collective consciousness in terms of unity, nationalism and fostering peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.
Nigeria is endowed with unique heritage resources, some of which are traditional festivals, languages , dressing, indigenous technologies, traditional arts and crafts and cultural landscape.
The national identity is embellished with the unique flavors of the Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa — the three major ethnic groups — and other ethnic groups in the country. The uniqueness in individual culture is apparent in attire, rituals, cuisine, and social norms.
Over the past years, these cultural heritages have played a positive role in preserving cultural values and educating the nation’s patriotic and national pride.
Nigeria is proliferated with numerous exceptional tangible and intangible heritage for sustainable tourism development especially as the country is on the move to diversifying its economy from the oil monopoly and developing tourism as one of the leading economic sectors.
However, efforts at preserving these heritages are obstructed with daunting challenges, particularly human activities such as trafficking and exportation of Nigerian arts, colonization and people’s non- challant attitude to their cultural values.
A cultural anthropologist, Rilwan Ganiyu reeled out the tourist centres in Nigeria that should be preserved and called for more concerted efforts by stakeholders to ensure our cultural values are respected and appreciated.
A lover of culture, Princess Bola Kareem decried the rate at which parents now stop their children from speaking the native languages which is one of the ways to preserve our identity
A professor of political economy and international relations, Tunde Babawale said the denial of identity and self expression due to non- preservation of cultural heritage and practice could lead to social crisis if not arrested.
Professor Babawale also stressed the importance of speaking our local languages especially Yoruba which is a way to prevent it from going into extinction.
Few years back, a United Nations research indicates that Yoruba language in particular will go into extinction in less than a 100 years, making stakeholders to advocate for preservation of cultural heritage through the establishment of museums, educational programmes, and cultural centers to enhance tourism and economic growth.