The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has received the commendation of the Federal Government for his administration’s efforts at sustaining the rich cultural heritage of the Benin people.
The Director General (DG) of the National Commission For Museum and Monuments (NCMM), Prof. Abba Isa Tijani, who gave the commendation while delivering his welcome address at the NCMM management retreat held in Benin City, with the theme, “Developing Museum Infrastructure And Resources For Sustainability Of Culture And Tourism Sector In Nigeria.”
Prof. Tijani, who described Governor Obaseki as a cultural ambassador, reaffirmed the Federal Government’s support towards the realization of the proposed Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA).
He said the ongoing 3-day retreat has created an opportunity for curators and other museum staff across the country to deliberate on the way forward for Museums in the country.
The DG said: “I want to thank the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for accepting us to hold the retreat in his state. This governor is a true ambassador of culture: Since we came into the state, we have gone round and are impressed with the rich cultural heritage of the state.”
Prof. Tijani further commended the efforts of the Edo State Government, the Federal Government and other stakeholders involved in ensuring the return of artifacts looted from the kingdom.
According to him, “We are in a time to make history in Nigeria, as we struggle for the repatriation of our stolen artifacts. We are all in support to ensure our artworks are returned to us.
“The Benin bronze that will be repatriated and returned will be displayed here in Benin for the people to see these stolen artifacts. Some other people will come from across the world to see these artworks in the museum.”
Chairperson, Governing Board of NCMM, Arct. Imma Dambo Mamman-Da, said, “the Infrastructure and resources to be developed for the sustainability of the culture and tourism sector are physical structures, artifacts, monuments, heritage sites and archaeological sites, among others.”
Also, a guest lecturer and former curator at the National Museum Calabar, Dr. Sunday Adaka, said the retreat is a platform for capacity building, geared at improving knowledge which will be used to develop museums across the country.
He noted that deliberate policies should be formulated to help grow museums across the country, adding, “Collaboration is needed between organizations and individuals to sustain the museums. People should be allowed to buy into our activities in the museum, as it will help in partnership to get better results.”