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Artefacts will grow our GDP; Nigerians should respect them: FG

“There will also be investment for our local communities because they will benefit when tourists start trooping in…”

• January 18, 2022
Benin artifacts
Benin artifacts used to illustrate the story [Photo: Premium Times]

The federal government on Tuesday called on Nigerians to value and respect the nation’s artefacts as they will contribute the nation’s GDP growth.

“Nigerians should also support us by appreciating these heritages being cherished globally, we should respect them,” said Abba Tijani, director-general, of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM).

Mr Tijani told journalists in Ibadan that many artefacts had been received from Germany but the commission would receive at least an additional 1,030 in 2022.

He further mentioned that tourism “makes a great impact on our economy,” as countries rely on tourism for GDP growth.

“There will also be investment for our local communities because they will benefit when tourists start trooping in from all over the world,’’ he said.

The objects were taken from the country during the punitive expedition of Benin in 1897.

According to him, when the artefacts are received, it will give the commission the opportunity to build new museums and attract more tourists across the world.

“It will make the foreigners understand the significance of the artefacts better and give them an added advantage which they might not get when they visit museums in Europe,’’ he added.

Mr Tijani also disclosed that the commission had called for the expansion of the National Museum in Abuja and that of Benin so that the objects could be displayed.

“The federal government is ready to take possession of many of these Benin bronzes being repatriated to the country. Also, individuals, philanthropists, culture, science and technology sector and all relevant agencies should work together with us to invest in tourism,” he explained.

Mr Tijani also disclosed that the commission would continue to partner the private sector, adding “we are not relying 100 per cent on government funding.”


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