The Heritage Curator, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Mr Olorunnipa Amos, Akure, says the Idanre Hill in Ondo State, is being considered for upgrading to a UNESCO world heritage centre.
This historic hill is 670 steps uphill and it is one of the highest in South-West Nigeria.
Amos said in Akure on Sunday that the centre, if finally approved, would become the third world tourist centre in the country.
“Idanre cultural landscape is a proposed national monument for the Federal Government of Nigeria and also UNESCO world heritage centre in Nigeria.
“We have 985 of such centres on the world heritage map but in Nigeria, we have just Osun Osogbo in Osun State and Sukun Cultural Landscape in Adamawa State.
“The Federal Government, in collaboration with the Ondo State Government, is making several efforts to actualise the dream of making the Idanre Hill a great tourist site,” he said.
Amos said a lot of work had been done to prepare it to meet UNESCO standard, adding that it would be a huge source revenue for government when completed.
The curator said that government had rehabilitated some old buildings built in 1915 by the Idanre community.
He, however, advised residents of the hilly community not to mutilate the walls of the buildings but cooperate with government in realising its dream.
“We have been creating awareness in form by moving students, scholars and researchers day in day out, to and from the site.
“Recently, the state government initiated the celebration of the annual Mare Festival on the hill, and this has been attracting foreigners from across the globe,’’ he said.
Amos said that since the government’s initiative in 2008, the number of tourists visiting the hill had increased tremendously.