TOURISM PROMOTION IS PARAMOUNT – Says Helen Obiageli Kerri- Former Director of Museum.

TOURISM PROMOTION IS PARAMOUNT – Says Helen Obiageli Kerri- Former Director of Museum.

Former Director of Museum Helen Obiageli Kerri (Mrs)  now retired, has worked in the Nigeria Civil Service for over 30 years, she retired about 15 years ago.
NAIJA TRIP had an interview with her as she took us back in time during her active service days. Enjoy the excerpts.

I was the director of Museum for Five years. I enjoyed my work so much as I got  lots of attention and support of the then government.  My responsibility include preservation of our cultural and artifacts and to promote them worldwide. Nigerian artifacts are well known worldwide as visitors turn out in large numbers to visit the museum, this included students on excursion. The powers that be then were more favourably disposed to Culture, tourism and preservation of the artifacts. If you don’t have artifacts, them you have no museum.

These heritage are expected to live forever, although many of our artifacts lie in foreign museum as they were stolen or taken away illegally by foreigners who buy them cheap because the people don’t know their true value. Although the government has being making frantic effort to recover them, to a large extent many have being recovered, but we still have many in museums around the world. Majority of the artifacts are made of  perishable materials such as clay, and woods,  we also have bronzes, which are durable although they need conservation. I believed that we do still have the largest quantity of  these heritage and we  have the highest collections of artifacts in Africa.

Owo (Nigeria) ca. 1500

When asked about tourism in Nigeria she said that infrastructure have to be in place. It is usually Private sector driven and if the private sector is not empowered for itself then there is not much they can do. They probably look at the fact that if they invest so much or Borrow money from the bank, when can they pay back. Since the infrastructure are not adequate people are not coming because tourism is not being properly promoted. All of these is like a chain reaction, so tourism promotion is paramount  for all this other sectors to work.

It all goes back to us developing our country and our sites to attract Tourist from all over the world. This can help us generate good foreign exchange and more friends.
Nigeria has a lot to offer the world and they are waiting for us.



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