The Federal Government said it had started the process of declaring 111 historical sites in the country as National Monuments.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the 26th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023).
He said the process of declaring the sites as national monuments had reached an advanced stage and awaiting Presidential Assent.
According to the minister, when the 111 national monuments came on board they would be added to the existing 65.
Mohammed also disclosed that the Buhari administration had published the first edition of Nigeria’s National Festival Calendar.
He said the ministry supported and attended a number of cultural festivals across the country as part of efforts to put them on the national cultural calendar.
The festivals, according to the minister, included Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival in Argungu, Kebbi; the Durbar in Dutse, Jigawa; Calabar Carnival in Cross River and Ijakadi in Offa, Kwara.
Speaking specifically on the globally-recognised Argungu Fishing and Cultural Festival, the minister said it was revived by the Buhari administration in 2020 after a 10-year hiatus.
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Mohammed said: “Of course, you are aware that this festival is one of the most widely attended events in Nigeria and the oldest festival of its kind, dating back many generations.
“We also ensured that the festival was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2016.
“The list was created to ensure better protection of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance.”
Also listed as parts of his ministry’s achievements, he said they visited tourist sites across the country, with a view to encouraging domestic tourism.
According to Mohammed, they visited Owu waterfalls in Kwara and the Rock Painting in Birnin Kudu, Jigawa, among others.
He said the ministry upgraded the Exhibition Galleries in Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Mausoleum, Bauchi; National Museum of Colonial History.
Also upgraded were National Museums in Lagos, Ibadan, Esie, Yola, Abeokuta, Maiduguri, Oyo, Minna, Damaturu, Asaba, Koko, Jalingo and the Old Residency Museum in Calabar.
He said they had carried out restoration and conservation works in the National Museums in Kaduna, Enugu and Ile-Ife. (NAN)