Prof. Lameed Gbolagade, a professor in the Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management, University of Ibadan says there is urgent need for rebranding and face-lifting of artifacts in the country.
The professor… also called for urgent development of museums in Nigeria in commemoration of the World Museum Day. Gbolagade made the call in an interview on Tuesday in Ibadan.
According to him, the International Museum Day (IMD) is a worldwide event to commemorate the values and usefulness of the artifacts that were resident in countries of origin or already repatriated to outside world.
He said that unless serious attention was given to the current Museums in Nigeria, the country could lose many of the indigenous artifacts.
“We need to give the National Museum more priority and also develop state and local museums so that we will not lose them to the hands of people that will sell them to developed nations,’’ he said.
On this year’s IMD theme; “the Future of Museums, Recover and Reimagine’’, while noting the need to discover and recover lost artifacts considering their importance and values.
“If we improve the status and build good accommodation for our artifacts, it will encourage visitors from outside to use them as tourism values. Money realised from such activities will be dedicated to promote museums.
“Also, publicity and social media must be improved that will encourage people to know about those things that we possess, which are different from others.
“We are yet to discover many indigenous culture and artifacts in the country, this must be done, we need to protect those that are available, then endeavor to monetise them by making them available for visitors to see by developing ‘Museum Tourism’.
“Tourists will like to see things that are alien to them, thus spend their hard-earned currency to visit such destinations,’’ he said.
He urged people to always visit places of local artifacts (Museums) in terms of recreation and leisure activities.
“It is time for us to improve on what we have in the country that can as well generate alternative source of revenue.
“One of such is museum development and artifacts protection, the government should spend money to improve them to make them attractive to international tourists.
“If this is done, many people will be encouraged to come and spend holidays as tourists in those localities, thereby, improving the National Domestic Products as well as standard of livelihood.
“More research is necessary in this lucrative avenue and this must be encouraged by making grants, scholarship and other means of funding available to academics to discover untapped artifacts.
“It is high time we diversify our economy from oil to other sources like museum utilisation and tourism development.
“These and many more will improve the source of national income and encourage the people to be self-reliant,’’ he said.