Mrs Ronke Ashaye, former curator, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) Lagos delivering her speech during the cultural fiesta
Mrs Ronke Ashaye, former curator, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Lagos has urged the Federal Government to ensure proper funding of museums across the country.
Ashaye made the call during a Cultural Fiesta organised at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos on Wednesday.
The curator said that museums across the country especially the Lagos branch were in dilapidated state due to lack of maintenance and adequate funding.
She advised that the museums should be made to operate independently away from the Federal Ministry of Culture and be converted to centres of historical, archaeological and anthropological studies.
Ashaye said this would help museums function well adding that museums had been neglected over the years.
“There is need for the government to pay greater attention to museums in order to empower it to fulfill its mandate.
“Government has not given the necessary support to this institution and it needs to give culture its pride of place.
“There should be a complete overhaul of this great institution to ensure that they are properly placed on a sound footing and this will require that museums in Nigeria be removed from the supervision of the culture ministry.
“Museums should be turned into centres of historical, archeological and anthropological excellence where they will be effective in regulating, supervising and complementing the efforts of other tertiary and relevant institutions.
“These should be done to enable our museums compete favourably with those in the International community; it is a unique institution that should stand on its own.
“Each time I remember the state of these museums, I weep because this is an institution I gave 35 years of my life from 1978 to 2012,” she said.
Also, Mrs Omotayo Adeboye, Curator, National Museum, Lagos, encouraged everyone to embrace and uphold every aspect of nation’s culture in dressing, language, cuisine, dance and all.
She said the aim of the cultural fiesta was to celebrate nation’s cultural heritage, educate Nigerians on the essence of embracing culture and imbibing the spirit of love and unity.
According to her, the programme was also to preach unity and encourage Nigerians to stand united in the face of cultural diversity that existed.
“We are showcasing nation’s cultural aspects that are put together to celebrate a child at birth into a family unit which is the bedrock of the communities which when put together constitute the ethnic groupings.
“We want everyone to know that we are all one, regardless of our ethnic and cultural differences, let us all live in love and peace,” she said.
Mr Biodun Omolayo, Managing Director, Omolayo Art Gallery, urged museum staff to work tirelessly in ensuring people visit the museum to learn from its huge historical knowledge.
He advised the museum management to expand the scope of the annual cultural fiesta for people to be constantly kept abreast of nation’s rich culture and encourage them to embrace such.
Omolayo urged the museum management to create a point at the airport to bring people into the museum to benefit from its huge historical knowledge.
“This is an avenue to celebrate nation’s cultural values so I urge the museum to encourage and uphold the cultural fiesta to educate the youths and adults more.
“The museum should have a suggestion box in which they can get feedback and suggestions from the staff and public on moving the museum forward,” he said.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the members of staff were adorned in different indigenous attires, beads and other body adornments to depict the various ethnic groups the nation was blessed with.
Edited & Vetted By: Dorcas Jonah/Maureen Atuonwu
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