By Tajudeen Sowole
In the common goal of preserving the past, the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos has found partnership with a community development initiative, Citi Volunteers In Nigeria.
A project of Citibank, the Citi Volunteers In Nigeria initiative, assisted the Lagos Museum in digital cataloguing of its vast collections by donating computers, printers and air-conditioning systems.
Other areas of assistance include rehabilitation of the storage system of the museum’s shelves as well as parts of the complex.
The occasion was the 200th year anniversary of Citi Bank, under the theme Celebrating Our Past and Defining Our Future.
Shortly before the presentation of the equipments, curator of the museum, Mrs Vickie Agili noted that “the assistance which Citi Bank offered, to rehabilitate the storage area, where the bulk of the collections are housed, is probably the best help anyone can give to a museum because if we lose the collections, then we lose the material evidence of our nation’s history and cultural heritage.”
Agili noted that with 36 museums under the management of National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), across the nation, government needs the private sector to support its activities in the preservation of the nation’s vast collections.
She commended the Citi Volunteers for their choice of the theme Celebrating Our Past, Redefining Our Future, arguing that it “could not be more relevant here in our museum where we learn and celebrate Nigeria’s past as a prelude to understanding and dealing with the future.”
Chief Country Officer and Managing Director of Citibank, Mr. Emeka Emuwa. stated that Citi Bank chose the Lagos Museum for its 200th year celebration “based on our understanding of archiving and keeping records.”
|MD, Citibank, Mr Emeka Emuwa handing over one of the donated electronic cataloguing equipment to the Curator of the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, Mrs Vickie Agili and Assistant Director, Museums, Mrs Edith Ekunke…recently|
Emuwa added, “This restoration project is one that truly speaks to the theme of our 200th year celebrations, Celebrating Our Past and Defining Our Future. The preservation of our nation’s historical artifacts will ensure that future generations are able to connect and understand our country’s history.”
According to the Vice President,
Public Affairs Officer, Nigeria and Ghana,
Ogochukwu Sylvia Ekezie, the event “is Citi’s seventh annual Global Community Day in 92 countries around the world, and with nearly 100,000 Citi volunteers. The museum is part of 1,300 service projects that benefit local communities across the world”.
She explained that more than 500 volunteers were involved in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt that came out to mark the day and give their time. “In Port-Harcourt, Citi provided much needed water storage and treatment systems for the museum, while Citi Abuja volunteers marked the day at the Cyprian Ekwensi Arts & Cultural Centre with children from Bema Home for the Less Privileged.”
Ekezie stressed that the initiative, as a “Global Community Day event, serves as a yearly opportunity for Citi employees, alumni, family and friends around the world to gather as one to demonstrate a shared commitment to its communities.”
She listed regions covered by the Citi Volunteers projects as the Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and North America, noting that in each country, participants “lend their time, skills and expertise to concentrate on local community needs, including financial inclusion, college and career mentoring, neighborhood revitalization, housing, disaster relief and environmental protection”.
For example, in Hong Kong, 4,000 volunteers are said to be partnering with 13 NGOs to host a wide range of community service and fundraising activities for the elderly, underprivileged children and families, and other under-served groups.
In the U.K., “more than 1,400 volunteers will take part in 47 different service projects, including park revitalizations and painting community centres. In Spain, close to 100 people ranging from 4 to 99 years old would take part in a fundraising event called the Citi Mini Olympics.
More than 1,000 volunteers in Pakistan will take part in the Citi 200 Community Carnival benefitting patients of a local cancer hospital. In Kenya, volunteers in Nairobi will partner with Habitat for Humanity’s Maai Mahiu Internally Displaced Persons project at Naivasha, which seeks to provide decent, durable and permanent house.