The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has disclosed that his administration is bracing up to build a museum, as discussions are underway for several returns of Benin Bronze from western museums and private collectors in 2021 in a move that is capable of jump-starting broader movements across Africa and beyond, seeking pre colonial- era loot.
This was disclosed by the Governor during a discussion with the press in the capital city of Edo State, Benin City.
According to a News report by Reuters, Governor Obaseki disclosed that plans had been drawn up to build a centre to store and study the returned artefacts by the end of 2021, and a permanent museum by 2025.
He said that the whole Black Lives Matter movement has added some urgency to the conversation and emphasized that the worldwide anti-racism protests had forced Western nations to re-examine their colonial pasts, which played a huge part in advancing negotiations on finding a compromise.
However, several museums including the British Museum and the Museum of Ethnology in Vienna have formed a Benin Dialogue Group – to discuss the sculptures and work on displaying them in a museum in Benin City, with some of them officially on loan.
What you should know
According to sources, the Governor disclosed that British soldiers seized thousands of metal castings and sculptures during a raid on the then separate Kingdom of Benin in 1897.
The “bronzes” – actually copper alloy relief sculptures, many showing court figures – were auctioned off and then spread among institutions from New Zealand to Germany and the United States, with the biggest collection in London.
However, despite several demands for repatriation, the British Museum resisted calls for the full repatriation of its collection of bronzes – as well as of Ethiopia’s ‘Magdala treasures’ and Greece’s ‘Elgin marbles’ – often citing legislation banning it from disposing of artefacts.
What they are saying
In a statement by the British Museum on the discussions, and also on repatriation of artefacts, they said, “There is the question of the objects that will feature in the new museum in Benin and how many will be determined through discussion with our Nigerian colleagues.”
However, Governor Obaseki said, “A private collector returned one item in August and four others had expressed interest in recent months in doing the same as early as next year.
“An independent trust has been set up to raise funds including representatives of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments and the royal palace of the Oba of Benin. Funds will be raised over the next two years to build the three-storey Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA), and work on a research office to store the first returns which would start in March,” the Governor said.
FG secures $72 million from World Bank for states to develop land information systems
FG has secured $2m each for the 36 states of the federation through a World Bank-funded programme to develop their land information system.
The Nigerian government has announced that it has secured the sum of $72 million from the World Bank for the 36 states of the federation to develop a land information system.
According to Punch, this was disclosed on Monday at the Geoinformation Society of Nigeria 2020 Annual Conference in Abuja by Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, who was represented by the Acting Director-General, National Space Research and Development Agency, Francis Chizea.
“The application of information technology is the main driver of the recent World Bank space characteristics and responsibility programme anchored by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.
“This programme secured $2m each for all the 36 states of the federation to develop states land information system aimed at gathering improved primary data,” he said.
He also added that the scheme is expected to create 50,000 jobs nationwide.
What you should know
This comes after Nigeria recently announced that it would seek a World Bank loan of $750 million to help combat the effects of the pandemic on Nigeria’s economy.
FG needs to explore nation’s tourism as a panacea for unemployment
The FG has emphasized the need to explore the nation’s vast tourism potentials to create jobs and address youth restiveness.
The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has emphasized the need to explore the nation’s vast tourism potentials to create jobs, achieve inclusiveness, and address youth restiveness.
The Minister made the remarks in Abuja on Monday, when he received a delegation from the Nasarawa State Government, led by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe.
The statement by the Minister is a sequel to the award of a contract by the Nasarawa State Government to construct the road leading to the Farin Ruwa Waterfalls in the state, which is the highest waterfall in the country at 150m high.
He said this will complement the contract earlier awarded by the Federal Government for the construction of the Farin Ruwa Dam, for the provision of water and electricity, as well as the construction of the road leading to the dam.
In addition, the Minister expressed delight at the plan by the Nasarawa State Government to build a Film Village at the Farin Ruwa Waterfalls, saying the beauty of the environment can attract film makers across the world, as well as local and international tourists.
(READ MORE:FG agrees to exclude ASUU from IPPIS)
What they are saying
Commenting on the visit of the Minister, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa state, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, noted that the delegation came to seek support for the development of tourism sites in the state.
Dr. Emmanuel said: “Your Excellency, I want to thank you for this visit because it shows the kind of importance Nasarawa State attaches to culture and tourism. The truth of the matter is that we can avoid a lot of youth restiveness if we take advantage of tourism, because tourism in its own right has the capacity to create jobs, leisure, and bring unity and understanding among the people.
“We look at tourism in Nigeria as the panacea to poverty, as one industry that can bring inclusiveness, and it is targeted largely at women and the youth.”
Reacting to the submissions of the state executive, Lai Muhammed said: “You can see that with the combined efforts of the Federal Government and the State Government, that key element, which is always missing in tourism development, which is infrastructure, has already been addressed.”
In addition, the Minister also used the occasion to commiserate with the Government and people of Nasarawa State over the recent gruesome murder of the State APC Chairman, Mr. Philip Shekwo.
Twitter suspends Nigeria Communications Commission’s account
Twitter has suspended the account of the Nigeria Communications Commission.
The Twitter account of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been temporarily suspended on the digital platform.
Findings by Nairametrics revealed that the account was suspended today, although the cause or reason for the action by the microblogging platform remains unknown as at the time of reporting this.
What this means: A statement on the suspended account showed that no activity can take place on it. It is also pertinent to note that usually, Twitter suspends accounts based on violations of its rules, or to ensure safe environment for users. Also, accounts may be suspended to protect other users from cyber-crime, violence, terrorism/violent extremism, abuse/harassment, sexual exploitation among others.
What they are saying: A statement on the suspended account @NgComCommission read thus: ‘’Account suspended. Twitter suspends accounts which violate Twitter Rules.’’
On the other hand, confirming the recent development, NCC’s director of public affairs, Ike Adinde told TheCable that the commission is aware of the development, but he, however, denied any wrongdoing by the organization, noting that it is a glitch from Twitter’s two-factor authentication (2FA) system.
“We have been aware of issues with our Twitter account, apparently emanating from technical glitches with the company’s (Twitter’s) authentication system,” he said.