The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Parastatals Monitoring, Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo, has emphasised the importance of exposing Lagosians to the history of the State, as well as acquainting them with the various archival materials in its repository.
He said historical knowledge of the past is necessary for the present generation to appreciate the past, make the present worthwhile and also make informed decisions about the future.
Ayantayo spoke when he led officials of the Parastatals Monitoring Office (PMO) on a visit to the Lagos State Records and Archives Bureau (LASRAB) at Magodo, challenging the Bureau to devote more time to publicising the various archival materials available in its warehouse.
He maintained that the dissemination should be geared towards informing the citizenry about the history and cultural heritage of Lagos State and Nigeria for the young generations and those yet unborn.
According to him, the purpose of the visit was to have an overview of the activities of LASRAB as well as an in-depth understanding of its mode of operations, including its achievements and challenges, with a view to ensuring effective and efficient service delivery to Lagosians.
Ayantayo said the tour was in line with the core mandate of the Office to ensure that Agencies and Parastatals of the State Government are in sync with the focus of the current administration, imploring the Agency to do more in archiving and publication of historic documents.
His words: “LASRAB needs to publicise archival records they have and ensure that all Lagos residents are aware of their existence. The people want to know more about the historical places and documents already archived by the organisation”.
The Permanent Secretary, Parastatals Monitoring Office (PMO), Mrs. Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu, thanked LASRAB for the preservation of archival records in the State, just as she enjoined the bureau to continue to look for documents and materials of historical value for preservation.
She said the primary purpose of the visit, which was to familiarise the Office with the activities and challenges of LASRAB, has been achieved and would be presented to the State Governor with a view to making LASRAB better.
The Director-General of LASRAB, Mrs. Bilikis Adebiyi-Abiola, thanked the team for the visit, saying that the desire of PMO to make the Agency better than what it is now was commendable.
She emphasised the importance of record-keeping and restated that the Bureau was created to keep proper records, gather data and archive information about Lagos State, assuring the visiting team that LASRAB remains committed to carrying out its mandate of preserving the historical heritage of the State.
She said the Agency has done a lot in keeping proper records of happenings in Lagos State, but requested improved funding for more effective and efficient service delivery.
“We need the Government to invest more in LASRAB. We need funds to keep records of happenings in Lagos State. We have done a lot in heritage preservation and we want to do more, but we are constrained by funding. Investing in LASRAB would enable the State to unlock hidden potentials for economic growth, as there are several records we need to archive in Lagos State which people want to see and would be good preservation of our historical heritage”, Adebiyi-Abiola asserted.
The General Manager also pleaded with the Special Adviser and the Permanent Secretary to use their offices to help in the growth and development of LASRAB.