The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) said in Lagos on Thursday that it recorded 46,359 visitors nationwide in 2016.
Mr Emmanuel Omotosho, Head of the NCMM’s Education Department, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview that the commission was able to record an appreciable increase in patronage between 2015 and 2016.
According to him, 42,724 visitors were recorded in 2015, with an increase of 3,635 in 2016.
Omotosho attributed the increment in the patronage statistics to the fact that Nigerians were becoming more aware of the essence of museums, on a daily basis.
He gave the breakdown of the visitors’ patronage for 2016 as: Students: 37,013, Nigerian adults: 8,149 and foreigners: 1197, totalling 46,359.
Omotosho gave the breakdown for 2015 as: Students: 35,592, Nigerian adults: 6,476 and foreigners 656, totalling 42,724.
“The museums, as custodians of our cultural heritage, gained an appreciable patronage in 2016 because people are getting more aware of its essence.
“We do a lot of awareness by giving out our postcards depicting artefacts in the museum. We also give out some of our publications to people who come to book for excursions,” Omotosho said.
He urged schools who had not complied with the Lagos State law that all secondary schools must inculcate the museum culture as a subject in their curriculum, to ensure that they do so.
According to him, students in schools that had not complied were lagging behind in gaining the historical knowledge their colleagues were exposed to and this could affect them in later years.