PRESS BRIEFING BY THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR MUSEUMS AND MONUMENTS, MALLAM YUSUF ABDALLAH USMAN ON THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE EVENTS FOR THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR MUSEUMS AND MONUMENTS HELD ON 16TH SEPTEMBER, 2015
On behalf of the entire staff and management of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, I wish to warmly welcome you all to this press conference.
Please note that this is a special day in the history of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments. The reason for this is manifested in the purpose of this press conference which is to:
(i) Officially kick-start 70th Anniversary of the Museums in Nigeria
(ii) Launch the marketing drive of the brochure for the celebration
(iii) Invite corporate/institutional partners for their support
(iv) Intimate the members of the press, other interest groups and the general public about the series of programmes packaged for the anniversary.
Ladies and Gentlemen, you will certainly agree with me that seventy years of existence in the life of any organisation is long and worthy of celebration. However, the purpose of this celebration is not to simply embark on wild celebration or jubilation much as the occasion calls for merry making. Rather, in the spirit of the time and the mood of the new government, the anniversary is carefully planned to serve the following objectives.
(i) Bring to the attention of Nigerians the import of the 70 years existence of the museum in Nigeria.
(ii) To further enhance public awareness of the importance and the relevance of the museum to our history, cultural heritage and national development.
(iii) To acquaint all sundry the landmark achievements of the museum in Nigeria and its gradual growth since the journey officially began in 1945.
(iv) To seek greater cooperation with our international partners; museums in Africa and other parts of the world in order to further enhance museum activities in Nigeria especially in the areas of conservation, preservation, presentation, promotion, research and joint projects and exhibition.
(v) To seek and foster greater cooperation with Museum organizations like West African Museum Programme (WAMP), African Council of Museum and Programme (AFRICOM), International Council of Museum (ICOM), International Council of Museums, Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) etc. in our efforts at repatriating or drawing benefits from our stolen and plundered cultural properties around the world.
(vi) To chart a course for the future of the museum in Nigeria and seek ways of improving on our activities nationwide, open more museums, and work strenuously to overcome our challenges.
(vii) Finally to renew the awareness of the general public about the roles the museum plays in society vis-ŕ-vis the preservation of our cultural heritage, national monuments, antiquities and the exquisite works of arts of our forefathers dating back into centuries.
Specifically the celebration is expected to feature the following activities:
(1) An exhibition at National Museum Lagos with 70 iconic objects drawn from all Nigerian art traditions from Dufuna, to Nok, to Ejagham, to Calabar, Igbo Ukwu to Ife, Esie, Owo, lower Niger-Tada, Benin and other living arts of Nigeria. The exhibition is to illustrate the journey of Museum movement in Nigeria bringing out the similarities in our differences thereby promoting national unity.
(2) Publications on museums, monuments and other heritage sites of Nigeria as well as research journal on museum at 70 in Nigeria: Sustainability and Challenges.
(3) Art competition involving school children at National Museum Esie to promote art appreciation among the upcoming generations.
(4) A gala nite to honour and appreciate our friends, mentors, benefactors and staff in Abuja.
The landmark celebration is not a victory for the Commission alone. Rather, it is a joy that we gladly share with the entire members of the public, all art lovers and collectors, friends of the museum, private sector collaborators, our international partners, visitors to the museum and all that are interested in the promotion and enhancement of museum activities in Nigeria.
I congratulate the staff, and the entire management team of the Commission for working assiduously to make this possible. I also express our gratitude to the members of the press (print and electronic) for your support, cooperation and valuable contributions over the years in our quest to bring the museum to an enviable standard in the years to come.
I thank you all.