PRIVATE SECTOR URGED TO PATRONIZE INDIGENOUS RESEARCH INNOVATIONS
Industrialists and other private sector players are being encouraged to patronize indigenous Research products and innovations developed by Nigerian Researchers. This is because supporting home-grown Research will not only improve the capacity of Researchers to provide more tailor-made solutions to local problems, it will also lead to an improved standard of living among people in our local communities.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jos, Professor Tanko Ishaya, stated this at the International Exhibition for a Project titled “Conservation and Historical Research of Kofyar Hill Settlement” organized by the Departments of Archeology and Heritage Studies, University of Jos in conjunction with the Gerda Henkel Stiftung Foundation held at the Auditorium of National Museum, Jos.
The Vice-Chancellor who was represented by the University’s Director of Academic Planning and Management, Professor Joshua Chollom stressed the need for the preservation of Vernacular Architecture in the historical development of Nigerian customs and traditions. According to the Vice-Chancellor, the Research conducted on the Kofyar Hill Settlement in Qua’an Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State will be beneficial to the local community and add its name on the international Map.
While commending the Project sponsor, Gerda Henkel Stiftung Foundation of Germany for its interest in the restoration and conservation of historical Archeological sites around the world, Professor Tanko equally commended the Project Co-ordinator, Dr. Olukoya Obafemi for leading a passionate Team to successfully carry out the Research work.
Professor Tanko also acknowledged the University’s Department of Architecture for applying its expertise in contributing to the attainment of an outstanding Research outcome. He stressed the need for greater interdisciplinary collaboration among Nigerian Researchers to make their work enjoy greater global recognition.
The Vice-Chancellor further appreciated the Kofyar people for cooperating with the Research Team and allowing them to conduct such a study in their ancestral home and charged Students in the discipline and other young professionals to utilize the knowledge gained to contribute to the conservation of Vernacular Architecture.
In a lecture titled “Vernacular Landscape and Vernacular Architecture: The Past, Present and Beyond,” the Project Co-ordinator Dr. Olukoya Obafemi of the Branderberg Technical University, Germany, stated that urban migration by members of Kofyar Hill Settlement is gradually becoming a threat to the sustainability of the Vernacular Architecture among the Kofyar community.
Dr Obafemi explained that the conservation of Vernacular Architecture aids the sustainability value of Archaeological artifacts and the traditional heritage of local communities, and therefore advocated for more Government funding in the field of Archaeology and Vernacular Architecture.
He advised young people not to see historical landscapes as relics of a primitive culture but rather as a true representation of incubators of their identity. The Scholar enjoined young Students to enroll for courses that promote the conservation of Vernacular Architecture in their Universities to improve their capacity to pass on their traditional heritage to future generations.
Goodwill messages were presented by the Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Jos, Professor Sati Fwatshak, represented by the Deputy Dean, Dr Sarah Lwahas., Heads of Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies and that of Architecture, Professor Benedicta Mangut and Arch. (Dr.) Lepjek Shem, the Curator, National Museum, Jos, Mr. Fadamijo Omolayo and the Head, Project and Works, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Abuja, Engr. Linus Nnok. Others were the Paramount Ruler of Kwa Chiefdom, Qua’an Pan Local Government Area, Plateau State, Chief Ignatus Didel and the Traditional Ruler of Kofyar Hill Settlement, Chief John Datok.
The event was attended by Scholars, Professionals and Students in the fields of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Architecture as well as Vernacular and Traditional Heritage Studies.
Highpoints of the event were a Question and Answer Session and performance by Kofyar Traditional Dancers.
*News Report by Isaac Uzer, Information and Publications Division