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NCMM Nigeria

“Great heritage for a greater future”

NCMM Nigeria

Established with decree 77 of 1979

NCMM Nigeria

Oversees National Museum &

National Monuments in Nigeria

NCMM Nigeria

“Great heritage for a greater future”


The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) is an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, responsible for the preservation, promotion, and development of Nigeria’s cultural heritage. Established in the 1940s, the NCMM is responsible for the management of all National Museums and Monuments in Nigeria, including ancient artefacts, traditional architecture, and historical sites. Its main aim is to preserve and promote the diverse tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Nigeria for generations to come. NCMM is involved in Exhibition, Research, Education, and Community Engagement programs aimed at creating awareness and appreciation of Nigeria’s rich history and cultural heritage. The Commission also conducts archaeological excavations and surveys in various parts of the country, creating opportunities for further research and development in the field of cultural heritage management.





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Vision Statement

A stable museum system, which ensures the preservation and integration of the Nigerian cultural and natural heritage within the local and national developmental process and the world heritage network.


Mission Statement

The systematic collection, preservation, study and interpretation of the material evidence (tangible and intangible) of the development of the peoples of Nigeria and Nigerians in the Diaspora.



"Great heritage for a greater future"







Olugbile Holloway, DG NCMM

Olugbile Holloway

Director-General / CEO NCMM Nigeria

On 21st March, 2024, President Bola Tinubu appointed OLUGBILE HOLLOWAY as the 8th substantive Director-General/CEO of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM).

Olugbile brings a rich reservoir of strategic thinking and cultural insight. His proven ability to navigate diverse industries and drive impactful outcomes, coupled with his track record of success in shaping brand narratives and fostering growth, positions him as a dynamic leader. He is ready to make a profound impact in his new role, steering the commission towards innovation and excellence.

The President Welcomes the Museum

The Ex-President, Commander in Chief, Muhammadu Buhari, recently received in audience, the former DG NCMM Prof. Abba Isa Tijani at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja.

Prof Tijani used the opportunity to brief the President on activities, recorded successes and challenges of the Commission.

This visit was during the tenure of the former President. Nigeria has since May 29, 2023 welcomed a new President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The Museum Magazine 2023

     Free Download Click to DownloadThe Museum Magazine 2023It gladdens the heart to note that considerable attention is recently being paid to the museum Institution in Nigeria. The immediate past administration led by Mohammadu Buhari demonstrated...

Outstanding Eulogies As ‘Mama Heritage’ Takes A Bow

     Outstanding Eulogies As 'Mama Heritage' Takes A BowIt was a magnificent outing at the NCMM Headquarters in Abuja when the Department of Monuments, Heritage & Sites threw a stellar send-off party in honour of Ms. Victoria Ndidi Osuagwu who on...

Nigeria Collaborates With Switzerland Over Benin Antiquities

     Nigeria Collaborates with Switzerland Over Benin AntiquitiesRecently, the Director-General, Prof. Abba Tijani led a Nigerian Delegation to Switzerland under the Swiss-Benin Initiative to discuss the future of Benin Collections in Swiss Museums. The...

The President Welcomes the Museum

     The President Welcomes the MuseumThe President, Commander in Chief, Muhammadu Buhari, recently received in audience, Prof. Abba Isa Tijani at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja.  Prof Tijani used the opportunity to brief the President on activities,...

22 Benin Bronzes Handed-over by Germany to Nigeria in Abuja

     22 Benin Bronzes Handed-over by Germany to Nigeria in AbujaGerman Foreign Minister, @abaerbock Annalena Baerbock and @claudiaroth_official  Claudia Roth, Minister of State for Culture and Media, has today, returned 22 Benin objects to Nigeria. The...

The Museum Magazine 2022

     Free Download Click to DownloadThe Museum Magazine 2022It gladdens the heart that once again we are seeing the rebirth and resuscitation of this very informative magazine, the production of which has been halted for over six years due to dwindling...

Press Release! Historically Significant 9th – 11th Century Igbo-Ukwu Bronzes in National Museum Lagos’ Collection Selected for Bank of America’s 2022 Art Conservation Project

Historically Significant 9th - 11th Century Igbo-Ukwu Bronzes in National Museum Lagos’ Collection Selected for Bank of America’s 2022 Art Conservation Project     Press Release!Historically Significant 9th - 11th Century Igbo-Ukwu Bronzes in National Museum...


     Nigerian Heritage Journal Welcomes New Editorial Advisory BoardNCMM flagship publication, Nigerian Heritage Journal receives a push with the inauguration of a newly constituted Editorial Advisory Board. The newly inaugurated board which consists of...

In Glasgow, Nigeria Holds Talks for Repatriation of Cultural Artefacts from Scotland

     In Glasgow, Nigeria Holds Talks for Repatriation of Cultural Artefacts from ScotlandNigeria once again, has taken another step forward in efforts to secure the repatriation of her antiquities from foreign countries holding on to her collections....

NCMM holds 2022 Management Retreat, Commissions Upgraded Exhibition Gallery at National Museum Jos

Management of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments led by the resourceful Director-General, Prof. Abba Isa Tijani took the Tin City of Jos by storm on the 17th and 18th of June 2022 while holding the 2022 Annual Management Retreat and also performing the...

NCMM Profile

The Federal Government of Nigeria, through Decree 77 of 1979, established the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) as a replacement to the Federal Antiquities Department. The NCMM was established to manage the collection, documentation, conservation and presentation of the National cultural properties to the public for the purposes of education, enlightenment and entertainment. This Decree has now been re-enacted as NCMM Act, cap N19, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Kano City Walls and Gates

The Ancient Kano City Walls were built as a defensive wall with the construction of the foundation laid by Sarki Gijimasu (r. 1095–1134), the third king of the Kingdom of Kano in the Kano Chronicle. In the mid-14th century during the reign of Zamnagawa, the wall was completed before it was further expanded during the 16th century. According to historians, the then General-Governor of the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria, Fredrick Lugard, wrote in a 1903 report about the Kano Walls that he had “never seen anything like it in Africa” after capturing the ancient city of Kano along with British forces.

Benin Arts

The materials used in Benin’s royal arts—primarily brass, ivory, and coral—are endowed with sacred power. The innate value of these materials within Benin and the time and skill that is invested in working them reflect the earthly and otherworldly influence of the Oba and the great wealth of his kingdom. Benin’s royal arts belong to a tradition that favors convention even as it promotes creativity and innovation, especially as a reflection of royal prerogative. Through time, rulers have used the arts to interpret the history of the kingdom and to orient themselves with the past in an effort to support their own initiatives and define their images for posterity

Tada Sitting Figure

Tsoede, also known as Tsudi, Tsade or Edegi or Ichado in Igala language, is a legendary African leader. He was the first person to unite the Nupe people, and is considered the first Etsu Nupe, ruler of the Nupe Kingdom, between the Niger and Kaduna rivers in what is now central Nigeria.

His father was a prince of Igala, and his mother was a Nupe maiden. He was brought up among the Nupe. The Igala people required a regular tribute of slaves from the Nupe, and Tsoede was sent as a slave to the Igala capital Idah. There, he was recognised by his father, now the Atta (king), and his father took him into his palace. He rose in favour and became heir apparent, but was forced to flee after the father’s death.

Esie Soapstone

Esie is an archaeological site in which over 1,000 soapstone figures of men, women, children and animals are located and originally found in a grove surrounded by Peregun trees. After a great deal of pushback from the people that worshiped these objects, they were eventually housed in what is now the Esie Museum. There are also a few at the National Museum of Lagos and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. These soapstone figures are one of the largest collections of stone carvings in Africa. The origins of these figures is mysterious. Esie traditions contend that they are the petrified remains of foreign visitors, while more recent scholarship postulates that the figures were carved by Yoruba people in an area located very close to the site on which they were foun.

Nok Art

Nok art refers to huge human, animal, and other figures made out of terracotta pottery, made by the Nok culture and found throughout Nigeria. The terracottas represent the earliest sculptural art in West Africa and were made between 900 B.C.E. and 0 C.E., concurrent with the earliest evidence of iron smelting in Africa south of the Sahara desert.

Lagos Museum

The Nigerian National Museum is a national museum of Nigeria, located in the city of Lagos. The museum has a notable collection of Nigerian art, including pieces of statuary and carvings and archaeological and ethnographic exhibits. Of note is a terracotta human head known as the Jemaa Head (c. 900 to 200 BC), part of the Nok culture. The piece is named after Jema’a, the village where it was uncovered. It is located at Onikan, Lagos Island. The museum is administered by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments.

News & Events

Celebration of International Museum Day 2023

International Museum Day 2023 to focus on sustainability and well-being

“The theme for the 2023 International Museum Day edition (May 18) is Museums, Sustainability and Well-being

Museums are key contributors to the well-being and to the sustainable development of our communities. As trusted institutions and important threads in our shared social fabric, they are uniquely placed to create a cascading effect to foster positive change. There are many ways in which museums can contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals: from supporting climate action and fostering inclusivity, to tackling social isolation and improving mental health.

As highlighted in the ICOM Resolution “On sustainability and the implementation of Agenda 2030, Transforming our World” (Kyoto, 2019), all museums have a role to play in shaping and creating sustainable futures, and they can do this through educational programmes, exhibitions, community outreach and research.

    Each year since 2020, the International Museum Day supports a set of Goals from the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. In 2023, we will focus on:

    • Goal 3 Global Health and Well-being: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, in particular concerning mental health and social isolation.
    • Goal 13 Climate Action: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, adopting low-carbon practices in the Global North and mitigation strategies in the Global South.
    • Goal 15 Life on Land: Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, amplifying the voices of indigenous leaders and raising awareness on the loss of biodiversity.

    On May 18th, 2023 NCMM will join other museums all around the world to celebrate the IMD.


    Culled from ICOM

    Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove WHS

    Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove

    Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove is a sacred grove along the banks of the Osun River just outside the city of Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria.

    The Osun-Osogbo Grove is several centuries old and is among the last of the sacred forests that once adjoined the edges of most Yoruba cities before extensive urbanization. In recognition of its global significance and its cultural value, the Sacred Grove was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

    Every year, the Osun-Osogbo Festival is celebrated in the month of August at the Grove. The festival attracts thousands of Osun worshippers, spectators and tourists from all walks of life. More…

    Latest Activities

    Return Of Nigerian Antiquities

    This video highlights the efforts of the Director General NCMM towards ensuring the return of Nigerian Antiquities trapped all around the world

    Oba Of Benin Takes Delivery Of Looted ‘Okpa,’ ‘Ilahor’ Returned From UK

    The physical handing over of two bronze artefacts from Jesus College, University of Cambridge and University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom by the Nigerian High Commissioner to Britain to HRM Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo, Oba Ewuare II, took place on Saturday, 19th February, 2022.

    The artefacts were returned in a ceremony held at the Oba Palace in Benin City.

    The Director-General, NCMM Prof. Abba Isa Tijani was joined at the handing over ceremony by the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Amb. Sarafa Tunji Ishola and other officials from the UK. Video Credit: Channels Television

    “National Commission for Museums and Monuments is the Cultural Central Bank of Nigeria”

    Dr. O. J. Eboireme - Late Former Director General, NCMM

    Museum Facts

    National Museum Esie is the first museum to be established in Nigeria. The museum was established in Nigeria in 1945. It is reputed to have the largest collection of soapstone images in the world.

    There are 53 National Museum Stations spread across the country, these stations house the rich history of Nigeria as well as exhibitions depicting the cultural diversity of Nigeria

    In the past years, sixty-five (65) National Monuments and Sites have been declared, while a hundred (100) additional ones are being proposed for declaration as National Monuments to mark Nigeria’s Centenary.

    Recent Videos

    “A Visit to a Museum is a search for Knowledge, Truth & Historical Meaning. Go to Museums as often as you can”

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