The Curator National Museum of Unity and Monuments Enugu State, Mrs Caroline Ifejagwa wants Government at all levels to harness the Nation’s rich natural and cultural heritage to enhance economic development. Mrs Ifejagwa made this known in Enugu while speaking on this year’s International Museum Day.
International Museum Day takes the centre stage on 18th of May each year. The Day was set aside by the International Council of Museums, ICOM, in 1977. According to the Council, annual records indicate that the event attracts the participation of Twenty-thousand Museums globally, but in 2010, 98 countries participated in the celebration and 100 countries in 2011.
Museum refers to a building where objects of historic, scientific, artistic or cultural interests are stored and exhibited according to globally accepted definition. Highlighting the significance of the event, the Curator, National Museum of Unity and Monuments, Enugu State, Mrs Caroline Ifejagwa explained that adequate investment in Museums could enhance national development.
Mrs Ifejagwa added that Museums apart from serving as an institution for national interest, also empowered Nigerians through entrepreneurial skills.
“ Firstly, for a nation to develop it must be at peace and museum tries to shows that we are one, the geographical locations do not mean that we are different, when we are able to do that, then Nigeria can live in unity and the nation will grow. We have programmes were we teach people handiwork, craft, we even go out to prisons to teach them so that when they come out they can be self reliant”.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s event “Museums and contested Histories” an Archeologist in the institution, Miss Princess Okafor decried the manner in which Museums were being neglected by Government of all levels.
“ A nation without a history is not in existence, our history is our memory and museum plays a key role in keeping our history, trying to reflect it into the lives of visitors not to forget their identities. We can see that in our archeological artifact and antiquities of Igbo-Ukwu ropped pot, Benin Bronze objects and this will tell you how histories go along way to impact our nation”.
Miss Okafor stressed that such historic works were of immense financial benefit to the Nation. The Chief Curator, Mr John Kachikwu enumerated some challenges limiting the growth of the institution.
“The Museum is poorly funded, we have no vehicles for official assignment, no tables and chairs for staff members, constant power outage, the objects in the gallery are supposed to be under air condition, the government should take interest in them and borrow a clue from developed countries of the world . Mr Kachikwu further advised that Government should make budgetary allocation for Museum.