Some stakeholders in the arts sector on Friday advised the Federal Government to establish museums fitted with modern facilities around the country for the benefit of local and international tourists.
The enthusiasts told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos in separate interviews that the national museums in the 34 states of the country were in deplorable conditions.
According to them, the government must begin to upgrade the infrastructure within the museums, to attract tourists.
They said that such upgrading was necessary now that the government is considering the diversification from oil to other sectors of the economy, to generate additional revenue.
NAN reports that the theme of the 2018 International Museum Day is ” Hyper-connected Museums: New Approaches, New Publics”.
The objective of the day is to raise awareness that museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among people.
The Nigerian flutist, Dr Omatshola Iseli, popularly called “Tee Mac”, urged the government to intensify efforts in ensuring that all Nigerian lost artefacts were retrieved.
He said that would make the nation’s museums more attractive to its visitors and tourists.
He said that when these artefacts were relocated back into the Nigerian museums, patronage would be on the increase.
Iseli urged the government to ensure that renowned Nigerian artists’ paintings, drawings and sculptures were purchased en mass.
They should be kept in the museum for tourists to see and learn about the history of Nigerian art over time, he said.
“The Federal Government must also make efforts to retrieve our stolen artefacts which are still domicile in foreign countries.
“ The government should also acquire art works of renowned artists, so that new things are added and the history of contemporary arts can be learnt over time,” he said.
A popular musician, Adewale Ayuba, tasked museum management and the government to engage in creating awareness among the public about the existence of museums around the country.
According to the musician, many Nigerians do not know there are museums across the country, where they can learn about the nation’s history.
“Museums will gain popularity and patronage when musicians are allowed to entertain the tourists each time they visit any museum in Nigeria,” he said.
Also, Mr Ikechi Uko, a tourism development expert, said that facilities in the museums should be upgraded to pace up with museums across the country.
He said that the museum which should be the first point of call for every tourist needed to be held in high priority, renovated and upgraded.
“I have been to museums around the world, and I feel we are lagging behind in terms of erecting those fittings to attract tourists.
“The museums should be well-maintained and equipped to attract visitors; the museum buildings likewise the galleries are not befitting.
“I will suggest a total redevelopment of our museums, to pace up with museums across the world like those in Ethiopia and Kenya,” he said.