The Director-General of National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman with his management team received the senate committee in charge of Culture and Tourism led by its Chairman, Senator Ahmed Hassan Barata. The visit to the museum headquarters is in line with the committee’s statutory oversight function.
The museum helmsman gave a panoramic presentation of the museum including its accomplishments and challenges as the visit was to appraise projects executed from the 2011 budget.
Mallam Yusuf mentioned some of the ongoing projects in the commission; being construction of Heritage Conservation Centre, Ogbomosho, construction of Chalet at Ita-Yemo, Ile-Ife, construction of a Museum at Jalingo, Taraba State, and Ogbomoso, Oyo State and the completed projects as : rehabitation of Tafawa Balewa Musoleum,in Bauchi,Rock Art Interpretation Centre, National Museum, Birnin Kudu.
The museum boss explained, that “out of the four Museum of National Unity that were earmarked for the country, only two Enugu and Ibadan are operational while Maiduguri and Sokoto are yet to take off”.
The Chairman, Senator Ahmed Hassan Barata, while appreciating the presentation harped on the importance of museum collection as they represent man’s cultural legacies. He said, “Every community needs to identify itself and it can’t be done without art and craft. We therefore commend NCMM for gathering such diverse collections for our country”.
The visiting committee members responded to the presentation made by the DG NCMM and promised to use their good
office to ensure that more fund is provided for the purchase of artifacts and maintenance of the existing museum throughout the Country.
While stressing on the security of objects, the committee also suggested that “We need to establish a department that will be
responsible for preventing illegal trafficking of antiquities outside Nigeria and we need to keep somebody who understands the importance of artifacts at the border points; otherwise, people will just pocket the small items and take them across the borders without anyone knowing that they are artifacts”
The Museum Management was delighted at the visit. In his response, the museum boss said “We are happy because we are sure your visit will afford us the opportunity to interact and possibly see ways of making culture, particularly, Museum and Heritage resources, a part of the development agenda of this country”.
The Museums Management also used the occasion to reiterate the urgent need of having a National Museum built in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria as seen in other modern cities of the world.
Some of the Senators that came with the committee Chairman were Senator Abubakar Sadiq Yar’dua, who is the Vice Chairman of the committee, Senator Hosiah Agboola, senate Deputy Whip and SenatorAbubakar Tutare who is also the vice
chairman Senate committee on Police Affairs with their aides.
The museum top shots present included Dr. Musa Hambolu, Director of Research Planning and Publications, Mr. Olubode O. Oke, Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Oluremi Adedayo, Director Monuments, Heritage and Sites, Ms Ronke P. Ashaye Ag. Director Museums, Barr. Emeka Onuegbu, Ag. Director of Administration, Alhaji Abdulkarim Kadiri, Deputy Director Audit, Mr. Bayo Olajide, Deputy Director Works, Ms. Rose Bodam of Museums, Dr. Akinade, DD Research, Pastor Yemi Opaleye, DD Research and Barr. Tunde Adebiyi of Legal Unit.
The visit was a delight for Pressmen as they were there to cover the occasion while it was rounded off with group photograph.