In line with the present economic realities and global trends, the Kwara State Government has restated its resolve to partner stakeholders in the culture industry to ensure it takes its rightful place in shaping economic diversification and growth.

nukuThis was made known on Wednesday, 11th November, 2015 at the National Museum, Esie, Kwara State, by the Executive Governor, Alhaji Abdulfattah Ahmed while flagging off the celebration marking the 70th Anniversary of Museum Development in Nigeria, an event that was under the auspices of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM).

According to Governor Ahmed, who was represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Environment, Otunba Taiwo Joseph, it is clear that the era of dependence on oil solely was over for good, and promised to provide an enabling environment to ensure that the culture sector was supported to play its role in this direction.

Earlier at the palace of the traditional ruler of Esie, His Royal Highness Oba Yakubu Agboola Babalola, Eegunjobi II, the Elesie of Esie, the Director-General of National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman had pledged more support to ensure upgrading of infrastructure at the museum in Esie, reputed to house the greatest number of soap images in the world.

This was in response to the Oba’s disclosure that the museum continuously receives visitors from far and wide, especially Canada, USA and Holland, who are disappointed at the standard of infrastructure found there, compared to the popularity of the museum in the global museum scene.

According to Oba Babalola, it was during the regime of General Yakubu Gowon that the Esie Museum was classified as a National Museum, but lamented that not much infrastructure development had taken place to make the place and the community in general befitting of such a world-acclaimed status.

As part of the events to mark the anniversary, there was a painting competition among twenty-seven secondary schools, in which the 1st position went to Miss Adedoyin Oluleye of College of Education Demonstration School, Oro, Kwara State; the 2nd position went to Master Victor Ozobu of Landmark University Secondary School, Omuaran, Kwara State; while the 3rd position went to Master Olaleye Iretomide of Thomas Adewumi College, Oko, Kwara State.

The four-day event, which climaxed on Saturday, 14th November, 2015 was witnessed by many dignitaries, especially from the culture sector, who were conducted round the world-acclaimed museum by the Curator, Esie, Mrs. Mopelola Omowumi; and the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) was represented by the Zonal Coordinator of the North-Central Zone, Mr. Ohi Ojo.

Samuel Hedima

Corporate Affairs/ ICT Unit

NCZ Ilorin