Edem Duke, Minister of Tourism
Edem Duke, Minister of Tourism

In recent years, become a major international economic activity. Historically, Museum has largely been embraced by developed countries. It is perceived to also offer many benefits, to countries in the developing world.
With Africa Museum development in Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South African etc are an inspiration to all of us. These countries demonstrate how they are able to use museum as part of their economic development strategy.
Museums are perceived as ‘manna from heaven’ for developing countries faced with problems related to scarcity of development resources, finance and expertise. These resources are needed to increase the Nation’s economic surplus. This surplus can then be used to facilitate development without which countries would be forced to rely on international aid. Museum effects can be felt at two levels which are:
Firstly, museum is expected to foster economic growth and development through foreign exchange earnings. At a second level, be an improvement in the people’s well being in terms of job creation, income generation and balance regional development, including cultural education and orientation.
Every year, a large percentage of the world population embarks on unrestricted movement within and outside their countries to visit museums thereby leading to dynamic balance of payments and has been effectively employed in several countries as a tool for human and infrastructural development.
Museums bring about exchange of cultural ideas between participating countries. A possible positive social effect of museums is the avenue it opens for Nationals of different countries to meet and share their different values together. This brings about an improved international co-operation among nations while widening the mental horizons of travelers.
On the local level, exchange of cultural ideas help people to understand and appreciate the cultures of each other. It also improves relationship between communities. This relationship could lead to exchange of goods and services, inter-tribal marriages, visits during festival period. The cultural exchange programme also helps to bring about peace and harmony among communities.
The prevailing political stability in Nigeria coupled v the government and policy on economy liberalisation, private sector-led development have provided a conducive environment for profitable investment opportunities in the tourism sector, including museums.
With this fact, private sectors can now invest on the rural communities, especially in areas that have tourist attractions by providing tourist facilities such as Hotels, Amusement parks, cultural centre, like private museums/craft shops, travel Agencies, Banks, information technology facilities etc.
The provision of these infrastructures in localities would help in the development of such areas. Museums can therefore be said to generate investment, thus creating jobs for the populace.
Museums generate income for communities if the tourism facilities, such as Motel, restaurants, Souvenir shops, local transportation, local guides, good roads, electricity etc are there. Small scale industries spring up as a result of museums in such communities.
Museum generates a lot of employment for the people in that locality. It al enhances and uplifts social life of that community an4 increases food production among farmers
Museums could also be used to resuscitate, and preserve the fading Heritage and culture of a given tourist destination. Barasorda (1963) correctly puts it this way “the truth is that, well guided tourism brings, about improvement in living conditions, . preservation and interpretation of intangible heritage historic monuments, conservation of sites of outstanding natural beauty…, development of handicrafts, improvement of architecture as well as the architecture of the environment which gives the forms to the cities.”
The uniqueness and technological skills of our material and non-material heritage have no doubt helps to establish relevance of such communities: e.g the Nok-terracotta, lgbo — ukwu, Osun, Oshogbo festival, Argungun Fishing Festival etc.—
Museums has led to the identification of unique cultural heritage which is normally expressed in the form of festivals colours, art, music, dances, literature, monuments and religious significance This brings about the popularity of the’ area, and could lead to more development by the government and private- sectors who may be interested to invest on such areas to attract more tourists.
Museums have a lot of potentials in this country. Museum creates job opportunities for people; improve social lives of people and serves as a cultural education for people.
Therefore, the government should put machineries in place that could drive the Museums sector to achieve maximum height and maximum benefit in place. This could be possible if necessary regulations and laws that will help support museums in Nigeria are enacted.