National Commission for Museums and Monuments
The National Commission for Museums and Monuments is a Nigerian governing and administrative body assisting in the development of the nation's museum system, the largest in Africa and charged with the duties of managing the various repositories of cultural artifacts and conserving and restoring the cultural heritage and property of Nigeria while also promoting national unity. The commission succeeded the Federal Department of Antiquities. The commission was established under decree 77 of 1979.
The commission has had to deal with various problems including theft of artifacts from local museums, staff displeasure over unpaid salary arrears and collecting looted artifacts.
The commission's chairman is appointed by the federal government of Nigeria. The commission has the following functions:
- To administer national museums, antiquities and monuments
- To establish national museums and other outlets for, or in connection with but not restricted to the following: antiquities, science and technology, warfare, architecture, natural history and educational services.
- To make recommendations to the appropriate governments concerning the establishment or management of museums.
After the end of the Nigerian civil war, the Nigerian Antiquities Commission, a predecessor of the commission started building museums in the twelve state capitals towards promoting national unity and showcasing the diverse cultural history of ancient Nigeria. The museum also promotes the exhibition of cultural artifacts from Nigeria.