The Director-General, National Commission for Museum and Monument (NCMM), Prof. Abba Tijani has pledged to improve the state of museums and monument sites across the country to attract more tourists.
Tijani made the remark while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ibadan.
He said the commission would do its best to see that all the 52 museums across Nigeria and monument sites would be in good position, properly secured while galleries would be rehabilitated to make exhibitions more attractive to visitors.
The DG said NCMM would partner with private sectors including banks to attract funding.
“We have already started the partnership after I resumed work last year, we were able to get fund to rehabilitate the late Tafawa Balewa site in Bauchi, which was in very bad shape.
“We are also in contact with relevant government agencies on ways to improve funding which has been a major challenge of the commission.
“We also have the challenge of COVID-19 which affected the commission’s productivity last year as traveling/movements came into a hot as a result of the pandemic, it affected our services and school programmes as well.
“We hope that with the new vaccines developed, the risk will reduce and normalcy returns so that we too can resume fully and swing into action,” he said.
Tijani also said that NCMM was engaging with the museums across the world in custody of some cultural objects stolen from Benin City.
“We need funds so we can establish a museum in Benin City, so that when these stolen objects come, they will be returned there and be displayed and Nigerians will then have access to them in their own country,” he said.
He therefore appealed to the government to help improve funding to the commission to enable them invest more in the people’s culture while keeping visitors and communities educated.
Tijani appealed to state governments to partner with them to see that the museums and monument sites in their states were in good shape.
“We need financial support, land provision for expansion of the museums, when the museums and sites are developed, more tourists will be attracted and this will definitely improve the revenue of the states as well.
“We also want Nigerians, especially the communities where these museums are located to bear with us and partner with us as we work towards the rehabilitation of these sites to a standard level,” he said.
He further advised all NCMM staff to be professional in the discharge of their duty because the commission is a specialised one.
“We all need to adhere strictly to our profession and ethics, we should all work together and avoid having different interests and mandates, our aim and goal should be one.
“We trust God that all things being equal, we shall achieve our goals this year and showcase the richness of our culture to the glory of God,” he said. (NAN)