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Nigeria at Advanced Stage of Repossessing Hundreds of Artefacts from UK, US

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this in Abuja.

Lai Mohammed

Nigeria’s federal government on Tuesday said it was at an advanced stage to secure the repatriation of hundreds of looted antiquities to Nigeria from the United Kingdom and United States.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this in Abuja, at the final session of the PMB Administration Scorecard Series 2015- 2023.

He said Nigeria is currently in the forefront of global efforts on the repatriation of antiquities to their countries of origin.

He said some of the artefacts to be restituted are with Pitt Rivers Museum of the University of Oxford, the Ashmolean Museum of the University of Oxford, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology of the University of Cambridge, Glasgow City Council in Scotland, National Museums of Scotland, Hulls Museums and other institutions in the United Kingdom.

 He noted that hordes of antiquities are also held in several institutions in the United States, including Dartmouth University, Field Museum of Chicago and Natural History Museum in Washington, DC.

Mohammed said the move to restitute the remaining antiquities held in the UK and US followed the success by the country in the recovery of hundreds of looted artefacts, including the 1,130 Benin Bronzes that Germany had begun to return in December last year.

He said the federal government had also started the process of increasing the number of national monuments in the country currently at 65, by declaring 111 historical sites as national monuments. He said the declaration was awaiting presidential assent.

Also the exhibition galleries in Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Mausoleum, Bauchi, the National Museum of Colonial History, the National Museums in Lagos, Ibadan, Esie, Yola, Abeokuta, Maiduguri, Oyo, Minna, Damaturu, Asaba, Koko, Jalingo and also in the Old Residency Museum, Calabar restoration have been upgraded while conservation work has been done in the National Museums in Kaduna, Enugu and Ife.

The minister said the ministry had achieved its objective of launching the PMB Administration Scorecards Series (2015-2023), which was to massively showcase the achievements of the Buhari Administration.

He said his ministry would soon launch a series of multi-dimensional activities to further showcase the achievements of the administration.

He expressed delight that the massive achievements showcased during the scorecard series had put a lie to the mischief of the political opposition that the Buhari Administration had achieved nothing.

“The refrain from the opposition, prior to the launch of this Scorecard Series, was that the APC and the Buhari Administration have nothing to campaign with in the run-up to the 2023 general elections. But we have proven them wrong. Not only do we have achievements to campaign with, we are spoilt for choice,” Mohammed said.

 Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja