According to Abba Tijani, Director-General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Nigeria will receive 1,030 Benin relics from Germany in 2022.
A professor, Mr Tijani said that the commission has received several items from Germany, but that it will receive at least 1,030 more in 2022.
During Benin’s punitive expedition in 1897, the artefacts were removed from the country.
When the relics arrive, he claims, the commission will be able to create more museums and attract more tourists from all over the world.
Mr Tijani said this would also give them opportunities to view the cultural objects from the Nigerian context.
“It will make the foreigners to understand the significance of the artifacts better and give them an added advantage which they might not get when they visit museums in Europe,’’ he said.
Mr Tijani stated that the panel had requested that the National Museum in Abuja and the Benin Museum be expanded so that the artefacts may be shown.
He said the commission had cooperated with businesses to fund museum programs and that it has restored a number of museums across the country.
“The Federal Government is ready to take possession of many of these Benin bronzes being repatriated to the country.
“Nigerians should also support us by appreciating these heritages being cherished globally. We should respect them and visit museums to understand them better.
“Also, individuals, philanthropists, culture, science and technology sector and all relevant agencies should work together with us to invest in tourism.
“Tourism makes a great impact on our economy, many countries rely on tourism for their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth because it is a thriving sector.
“There will also be an investment for our local communities because they will benefit when tourists start trooping in from all over the world,’’ he said.
Mr Tijani said the commission would continue to partner with the private sector, adding “we are not relying 100 per cent on government funding.’’