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Concerns mount over mismanagement of historical buildings

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Lagos PHOTO: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/GETTY<br />

Following the ever-dwindling fortunes of the nation’s monuments, concerned experts have called for a change of attitude towards such historical buildings.

In particular, they charged governments and it’s agencies to wake up to their responsibilities by protecting and regularly maintain the buildings for prosperity rather than demolishing them.
   
The concerns were raised at a workshop organised by Legacy 1995, a non-governmental organisation in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut where issues of protection, preservation and management of the architectural heritage, monuments and historical buildings in Nigeria were discussed.

       
Speaking at the workshop the director, National Commission for Museum and Monuments, (NCMM), Aliyu Abdu, emphasised on the challenges faced by the National Commission for Museum and Monuments stressing that, promoting historical monuments in Nigeria should be a major initiative by the government instead of demolition.
He stated that there is the needs for improve funding for such projects by government, companies and non-governmental institutions to uplift the state of tourism in the country.
   
He said; “We recall the tragic demolition of the Olaiya House, also known as Ilojo Bar and Casa do Fernandez on Tinubu Square in Lagos. This demolition has aroused a great public concern on the condition and future of heritage monuments, which also stands as a means of promoting tourism in Nigeria”.
   
Participants at the workshop include, Barrister Emeka Onuegbu, Director-General NCMM, Olusomi Delano, Delano Architects, Aduke Gomez, Morayo Koleosho along with other professionals and stakeholders who contributed in the examination of the existing laws and policies protecting historical buildings and monuments.
   
Also speaking the Vice president Legacy 1995, Mrs. Kofo Adeleke urged the state government and stakeholders to get more involved in improving the availability and funding of historical buildings and sites.
   
“I encourage various stakeholders to adopt clearer roles and responsibilities, increase the knowledge and visibility of historical buildings and monuments and also create more opportunities for local initiatives based on history and tourism. The development of professional skills for restoration is vital”, she said.
   
She further said that the government should set up funds, which could be used to maintain the buildings in their normal state.
 
According to her, there is the need for the development of professional skills and capacity building necessary for restoration and preservation of monuments as well as putting in place the necessary improvements in the funding of historical buildings and sites.


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