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Honourable Vincent Ofumelu who is the member representing Oyi and Ayamelum Federal Constituency in the federal House of Representatives has called for the upgrade of Ogbunike Cave in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State to international standard.
Honourable Ofumelu, who made the call on the floor of the House during plenary, noted that Ogbunike Cave, discovered by Ukwa over four thousand years ago, is a major tourist attraction in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria and records annual patronage of over two million tourists from within and outside the country.
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He stressed that outside serving as a tourist center, it also serves as a place of refuge and worship especially for indigenes of the community, who believe that it was created by a deity, which according to them lives in the cave.
The House of Reps member recalled that in two thousand and seven, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, included Ogbunike Cave in its tentative list of treasures to be considered as a world heritage site after it was submitted by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments.
He commended the Anambra State Government, which according to him, contributed immensely to the preservation and upgrading of the site adding that there is a lot more to be done to raise Ogbunike Cave to the status of a world heritage site.
The lawmaker posited that the country is currently suffering huge revenue loss as a result of the neglect of most of its tourist sites especially at a time when most countries are trying to diversify their economy to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Honorable Ofumelu urged the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments to urgently carry out a feasibility study on the cave and mobilize resources needed to upgrade it to international standard just as he implored the House Committee on Culture and Tourism and the Legislative Compliance to expedite action.
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