The Federal Government on Monday commended the Lagos State Government for upgrading the National Museum, Onikan, and also offering to rehabilitate the National Theatre, Iganmu.
Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the commendation in his remarks at the public presentation of` The Green Treasures in the New Museum`, in Lagos.
“For Culture and Tourism to be able to work together in a synergy, you need a friendly Visa regime, Airports where air conditioners work, where toilets are as clean as they can be.
“Lagos is one state that is the ready for tourism development: with adequate security, an improved airport and a visa-friendly regime.’’
The minister said that the Federal Government had taken the initiative to take new measures to create a better environment for doing business.
“Visas are now available at our airports and we are also taking new measures to encourage the development of the creative industry and the economy as a whole,’’ he said.
Alhaji Mohammed, however, lamented that the creative industry was not too familiar with the Private Sector initiative.
“The Federal Government has trained 40 Festival Managers who would soon be assigned to manage our various festivals.
“Very soon, our Creative Managers will be able to move creativity to a prosperous level. Digital Television will also help the creative industry and give it a new life and help to save it from Piracy.
“The Lagos State Government is also recreating Theatres and Film Houses, and will also help to rehabilitate the National Theatre.
“Just like the Lagos state government is cooperating with us, we are also collaborating with the people of Lagos in the initiative,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode said that the state government would remodel the Presidential Lodge and the Lagos House on the Marina.
He said that the J.K. Randle Memorial Hall would also be upgraded to blend with the New Museum at Onikan.
Ambode assured that the state government would collaborate with well-meaning Nigerians and the people to harness the potential of the Onikan axis for tourism development and sustainable growth.
The governor commended the Federal Government for giving the state government 6,000 square metres at the National Museum, Onikan, to enable both the New Museum and the existing one to be situated side-by-side.
He said that museums all over the world serve as repository of the culture and traditions of the people, and constitute a major segment of the tourism industry.
Ambode said the museum at Onikan housed about 47, 000 artefacts, and was being upgraded to enable Nigerian children to be able to associate themselves with the nation’s history.
Malam Yusuf Abdallah Usman, Director-General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), said that artefacts could not be complete anywhere in the world without collections from Nigeria.
“As we develop our museums, we are also developing our education. So the contributions of museums cannot just be quantified in terms of Naira and Kobo, but they are all part of the initiative to develop our sustenance and sustainability.
He lamented the absence of standard museums in the country, but commended the efforts of the late Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, Frank Okonta and the Ford Foundation in supporting the work of the NCMM.
Usman also commended the initiative of the Lagos State Government in its notable collaboration with the Federal Government in the development of the New Museum at Onikan.
The National Museum, Lagos has thousands of objects and artefacts in its storage facilities.
The museum also has in its custody and care, four declared National Monuments: the Old Secretariat, Ilojo Bar, Water House and the Iga Idugaran Palace of the Oba of Lagos.