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The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) has said that museums in the country are not shrines but tourism sites, contrary to the beliefs of some people.
Malam Abdallah Usman, the Director-General of NCMM said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
“There is need to correct the misconception that museums in Nigeria are shrines, where idols are being glorified and worshipped,” he said.
Usman said that the perception had affected the nation’s museum as parents do not find it suitable taking their children to museums for tourism.
The commission’s boss said that a lot of publicity was needed to correct the impression, while calling on the media to help inform the citizenry and salvage the nation’s museum from collapsing.
He said that the commission had embarked on sensitization to correct such impression, adding that it would not do anybody any good to equate museums with shrines.
Usman said that the museums served as tourists’ centres to showcase what the country has to the rest of the world in terms of artifacts.
He said that every state in the country was expected to have at least one museum, adding that there were also specialized museums like traditional architecture museum, which were suitable for sightseeing for members of the public. .
According to him, the commission has 48 museums across the country and some states like Osun, Ondo, Gombe, among others have two.
He said that the commission was working on a programme to establish a museum in the states that do not have, including one for the nation’s capital.
Usman disclosed that the commission has 100 monuments across the country, but stated that only 65 had been classified because of their functions and significance in terms of artifacts or history.
He called on the Federal Government to provide security in all the museums across the country, adding that the commission had to rely on community policing to provide security at the museums to avoid theft of the items.
“What we have is priceless and must not be allowed to be stolen by unscrupulous elements who want to sell our heritage,” he said.