Idanre Hills enter United Nations Heritage List

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The tourism industry in Ondo State at the weekend got a global boost as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) announced plans to enlist Oke Idanre Hills in Idanre local government area of the state into the World Heritage list.

This development will make the ancient Hills the third World Tourists Centre in Nigeria following the earlier enlistment of Osun Oshogbo in Osun State and Suku cultural heritage in Adamawa State. The development would also act as catalyst for the efforts of the State government to turn the State into a tourists' haven and a must visit place in Nigeria

The world body had already approved the Idanre Hills nomination dossier and consequently despatched an independent inspector to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the facilities on the site as contained in the dossier. It would be recalled that the Dr Olusegun Mimiko led Administration in the State organised a world class Mountain Climbing Expedition Festival on the Idanre last December tagged :MARE during which Mountain climbers from all over the world paricipated and several local talents were discovered at the event. Governor Mimiko had assuranced that the event would be a yearly affair

During a courtesy visit to the Sate Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko at the end of the inspection tour of the hills, the UNESCO-accredited assessor and a renowned international Archaeologist, Dr John Sutton told the Governor that from his findings, the dossier actually met the technical criteria for the listing.

“Your Excellency, I have done detailed documentation of everything I saw at the site and I am impressed by what all the stakeholders have done for the preservation of the site” he said.

In his comment, the representative of the Director General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Mr Funsho Adedayo, who is the Director of Monuments Heritage and Sites, disclosed that the process of putting Oke Idanre on the World Heritage List started about four years ago and praised the state government for its commitment towards the realisation of the dream.

While addressing the audience, Dr Mimiko who noted that there wewre no two places in the entire world like Idanre hills saying that the lovely rock formations were special gift to Ondo State and Nigeria in general. He assured that no effort would be spared to make Idanre the best tourist centre in the country and attract tourist to the State.

According to him, “Our administration is leaving no stone unturned to make Idanre Hills the best tourist centre in Nigeria . By next year, the on-going Golf Course at Atosin will be completed. We are also planning to build a housing estate that will not tamper with the ecology of the area”.