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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”






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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"







Prof. Abba Isa Tijani

Director-General / CEO NCMM Nigeria

On August 26, 2020, President Mohammadu Buhari appointed Prof. Abba Isa Tijani as the 7th Indigenous Substantive Director-General/CEO of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM).

Prof. Abba Tijani, a professor of Museology and Anthropology assumed office on 1st September, 2020.

NCMM Profile

In 1979 the Federal Government of Nigeria with decree 77 of 1979 established the National Commission for Museums and Monuments as a replacement for the Federal Antiquities Department 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 This decree has now been replaced by NCMM ACT, CAP 242 of the law of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1990.

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 IMD & IDMS

International Museum Day 2022

“The Power of Museums”

Museums have the power to transform the world around us. As incomparable places of discovery, they teach us about our past and open our minds to new ideas — two essential steps in building a better future.

The International Museum Day 2022, which will take place on June 9th, we want to explore the potential of museums to bring about positive change in our communities through three lenses:

  • The power of achieving sustainability: Museums are strategic partners in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. As key actors in their local communities, they contribute to a wide variety of Goals, which include fostering short-circuit and social economy and disseminating scientific information on environmental challenges.
    • The power of innovating on digitalisation and accessibility: Museums have become innovative playing-grounds where new technologies can be developed and applied to everyday life. Digital innovation can make museums more accessible and engaging, helping audiences understand complex and nuanced concepts.
    • The power of community building through education: Through its collections and programmes, museums thread a social fabric that is essential in community building. By upholding democratic values and providing life-long learning opportunities to all, they contribute to shaping an informed and engaged civil society.

    See More….

    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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