Let me begin by thanking you all for honouring our invitation to this event. In this room today, we have the custodians of Nigerian Culture and Tradition. We also have other stakeholders and people who are interested in preserving the heritage of our country.
Our country is blessed with very rich culture and heritage. This is the foundation on which all our social institutions and interactions are built. Unfortunately, we have neglected our culture and traditions to our own detriment. Our youth today do not have a strong appreciation of our history and how we got to where we are.
Every society must cherish its historical antecedents because they serve as source of inspiration for succeeding generations to discover, appreciate and take pride in their identity. It has become very imperative that we take a step back and revisit our history. It has become important that we renew efforts to preserve and protect our history and historical artefacts.
All over the world, Museums preserve historical heritage and serve as reference points for knowledge and research. In many places, museums are a vital part of the tourism promotion industry thereby creating economic opportunities for the government and people.
With all these in mind and our strong desire to develop the tourism industry in our State, the Lagos State Government has taken the project to revive the Museum in Onikan,in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information and Cultureespecially the Honourable Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
You will recall, just last week, I visited the National Stadium with a view to reviving our lost glory in Sports. Three weeks earlier, I was again at the national Arts Theatre to see for myself the state of decadence of one of the major monuments in the city of Lagos.
Our conviction to spearhead the construction of a brand new contemporary Museum in the State is an integral part of our overall strategy to become self-sufficient and secure the future prosperity of our dear State.
As a government, we have decided to lead the process that will deliver a world class Museum that will showcase to the world the priceless treasures of Nigeria. This project will be funded by the Lagos State Government and other well-meaning donors, interested organisations and individuals but will serve generations of Nigerians now and in the future. Our plan is to harness the potentials in our rich cultural heritage to drive tourism in Lagos State.
The Onikan axis where the Museum is situated and the Marina axis will be upgraded to become a world class tourism and entertainment hub. Within this axis are the old Presidential Lodge, Marina which was recently handed over to the State by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari. This Lodge will be redeveloped into the Lagos Heritage Centre for Leadership.
In addition, the Lagos House also in Marina will be transformed into the Lagos Historical Centre. The JK Randle Arcade will be remodelled into a world class recreation/tourism centre. The New Museum will complement and be an important part of the structures being planned for this axis. We intend to regenerate this axis and the museum into an iconic structure that will invoke deep sense of pride in all Nigerians.
This is the new possibility that is being presented to all stakeholders in the tourism sector and all Nigerians. On our part, our commitment is unshaken and we are eager to make this dream a reality within the shortest possible time. Given the mega city status of our State, we believe this is the right way to go in order to optimally harness the State’s tourism potentials for wealth creation and sustainable growth.
I thank Mr President, President Muhammadu Buhari for the fatherly role he has played on behalf of the nation in this partnership. I am confident that through this effort, we shall realise the huge possibilities that flow from the preservation and showcasing of our cultural heritage to the world.
To all our royal fathers, we appreciate your love for tradition and culture. We are committed to promoting all our cultural values and heritage with this project.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is now my honour and priviledge to unveil the design of the New Museum in Lagos.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun!