Nigerian government seeks UNESCO recognition of Ojude Oba festival

The Nigerian government has indicated interest to list the annual Ojude Oba as one of the festivals backed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), describing the platform for fostering the unity of the country as well as one of the country’s tourism potentialities.

Penpushing reports that Minister of Culture, Arts and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musa-Musawa, made this known at the 2024 edition of the festival held at Awujale’s pavilion, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, an annual event held on the third day of Eied-el-Kabir.

The minister, who was represented by the Director of Cultural Agencies and Heritage, Ben Ugo Anama, pointed out that the annual festival was in tune with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, explaining that the mandate of the ministry was to generate over $100 billion in revenue from tourism by 2030.

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Penpushing further reports that Musa-Musawa emphasized that Nigeria could tap into it to diversify the economy from oil and generate more resources, stressing that in line with Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, the ministry would always collaborate with stakeholders to promote, preserve and protect the rich cultural heritage of our nation.

The minister assured that the ministry would ensure it reached its enviable height according to the vision for the ministry tagged “Destination 2030”, noting that the vision considered the potential in arts and culture.

‘This vision considers the potentialities in arts, culture and creative economy in terms of its ability to create economic expansion. Our ambitious goals are predicated on this drive, which is capable of yielding billions and increasing the Gross Domestic Product by the year 2030,” she said.

Penpushing also reports that Musa-Musawa explained that the Presidential Renewed Hope Agenda, especially for the ministry, demonstrated unwavering commitment to diversify the economy and move away from the country’s over-dependence on oil revenue.

The minister, however rejoiced with the sons and daughters of Ijebuland over the success of the festival and the good image it had given the country over the years, noting that she had observed that the festival had yet to receive any elements of UNESCO approval as one of its approved festivals.

Penpushing reports that Musa-Musawa assured that she would activate all the processes to complete the status of the festival with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) without further delay

The Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun in his remarks said the festival had given Ijebuland and the people of Ogun State a distinct identity and had also become a catalyst for developing Ijebuland, underscoring the essence of preserving the rich cultural heritage.

Penpushing further reports that Abiodun while rejoicing with the sons and daughters of Ijebuland over this year’s celebration, promised to partner with the federal government to develop the festival and make it a global tourist attraction and destination.

The Governor added that the celebration theme was apt, as unity and harmony remained the bedrock of any thriving society, and equally called for a more united force to lift the country out of its present woes.

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