Lameed, Head, Wildlife and Ecotourism Management Department, University of Ibadan, made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Ibadan on Tuesday
He said that Nigeria’s sources of income needed diversification, saying that culture and tourism were areas waiting to be tapped into.
Lammed, who spoke in reaction to the celebration of the World Antiquity Day, said that over-dependence on oil revenue was inimical to other viable revenue-yielding sources.
He urged government at all levels to protect and develop domestic revenue sources such as culture and tourism.
The professor of wildlife ecology further stresseed the need to evolve viable policies capable of protecting antiquities in the country.
“If we are to protect the antiquities, we must first protect the cultural values, folks-lore and other indigenous blessings that are natural gift from God.
“Many of such artifacts can become source of revenue for the nation, states and even the local communities,” he said.
Lameed also said that adequate preservation of antiquities and proper promotion of Nigeria’s diverse culture would attract huge international attention and tourism.
“We can preserve antiquities by building historical legend around them, we can develop them to acceptable levels as expected by the outside world,” he said.
Also speaking with NAN, Dr Amos Olorunnipa, Curator, National Museum of Unity, Ibadan, urged government at all levels to give attention to the issue of antiquity protection in Nigeria.
Olorunnipa urged Nigerians to protect their cultural heritage, adding, “there is no society without heritage”
He said there was need for mass education on protection of historical artifacts in the country.
The curator said the community had crucial roles to play in the preservation of cultural heritage in their domain.
“Allowing the community to participate from the planning through implementation of policies concerning heritage will yield good results.
“The traditional institution should be empowered to organise tours to museums, heritage sites and offer useful advice to make progress,” he said.
NAN reports that Antiquity Day is celebrated annually on Oct. 15, to sensitise people on the need to protect the country’s national cultural heritage for posterity.
The theme for this year’s anniversary is: “The Role of Traditional Rulers as Custodians of Cultural Heritage.” (NAN)
Edited by Azubuike Okeh