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    Monday, March 19, 2018

    CRIMMD Photo Museum:A National Treasure In A Lagos Suburb -Dr. Raphael James

    Director General, Center for Research, Information Management and Media Development, Dr. Raphael James, is a historic and educative tourist Ambassador who has visited about 200 tourist sites in 23 states in the country. He is the founder of the largest photo museum of Nigerian with over 35,000 photos.

    Dr. James, a Nigerian from Abia State, married to Princess Folasade from Ogun state with three children. A graduate of Psychology with Honours from the Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti; he holds a certificate in Conflict Resolution from the California State University, a Diploma Certificate in Computer Desktop Publishing and a Diploma Certificate in Journalism.
    A historic and educative tourist ambassador, and he visited close to 200 tourist sites in 23 states of the federation of Nigeria.
    Publisher of African Dame and The National Biographer Magazines; he’s the author of 23 published books and 56 unpublished books, Dr. James has donated over 23, 000 books to schools in Nigeria and Ghana since 2008.

    He runs a free public library, that has contributed to the upliftment of education standard in Nigeria for 15 years. His library started with less than 100 books and today, we have over 40, 000 books.
    Aslo runs a Free Skill Acquisition Center for Women, which started in February 2016 and by December of the same year had trained 96 women free, trained 1,875 free in different skills in 2017.
    Dr. Raphael James received a total of 93 awards as at December 31, 2017. He is a collector - collects stamps, coins, notes, marbles post cards, stones, plastic animals, toy cars. In this interview with Taiwo Akintunde, he explains the relevance of his museum in Nigeria's history on tourism, arts and culture as well as politics.

    Tell us about CRIMMD Photo Museum?
    It is a Nigerian museum of photo history, rich photographs and portraits of the slave trades and its relics, through to the famous Berlin Conference of 1884/85; the era of explorers (Expedition) of Dr. Mungo Park, Richard Lander and others.
    The operation of the merchants of the Royal Niger Company of Sir George Goldie through to Lord Fredrick Lugard who amalgamated Nigeria in 1914 and his wife, a former colonial secretary of Great Britain, Flora Shaw, who historically invented a name for us-from 'Niger-Area' to Nigeria.
    Outstanding landmark personalities abound: the likes of King Onyeama of Eke, Enugu, King Jaja of Opopo, Queen Amina of Zaria, Bishop Ajayi Crowther, etc.
    Protectorate governors and former governor general; fire brand die hard nationalist from Sir Herbert Macaulay through to Mazi Mbaonu Ojike; regional premiers and regional Governors; military head of states and their deputies; military governors and military Administrators that ever ruled in the making and shaping of Nigeria.
    Elected civilian presidents and their vices; and all the first ladies from Mrs. Flora Ogbeyeanu Azikiwe to Hajia Buhari; elected civilian governors up to the present time, including His Excellency, Senate presidents and the Speakers of House of Representatives from the pre-independence era to the present time.

    A pictorial roll call of chief justices of Nigeria; Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administrators/ministers; inspector general of Police (Past and Present); secretaries to the federal Government; Chiefs of Army Staff, Naval Staff; Air Staff, Chiefs of Defense and the Ministers of Defense; Comptrollers General of Customs Service; chairmen of electoral commissions; Central Bank of Nigeria Governors; notable people in the news and many others. There is also the book section, hosting great biographies of Nigerians (about 400 biographies so far), Nigeria history books, military books, civil war books and who's who in Nigerian books.

    How would you describe the growth of the Museum since inception?
    The museum is a branch of the CRIMMD Center. We commenced operation in 2010 and was officially commission on October 1, 2014, to mark Nigeria at 100 anniversaries. We have had hundreds of schools visiting us and quite a whole number of VIP's too. At inception, we had about 10, 000 photos and today, we have over 35, 000 photos and still counting.
    We have moved from strictly photos and books museum to add several other historical collections. 

    With about 400 biographies of prominent Nigerians, 50 different publications of who's who in Nigeria, 45 different books on the Nigerian civil war, books on Nigerian history, souvenirs and photos from FESTAC 77 and many others, it is obvious that we are making progress.
    Our experience running the museum has encouraged us to embark on yet another museum project which we are about to start - a slave photo museum.

    What is the relevance of the museum in Nigeria's tourism, Arts and culture history?
    It is a one stop place for tourists, because we preserve Nigerian history in photos for generations unborn. We have photos of Tour sites, Nigerian arts, Nigerian cultures and traditions and we have books documenting information to corroborate the photos. researchers, historians, students on excursions, journalists, media executives, mass communications experts and more knows the value once they walk in.

    What are the economic importance/value of this project to the Lagos State Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry?
    If the Lagos state government comes in partnership or collaborations, it will bring in more tourists to the state from within and outside Nigeria, and this will bring in revenue for the state, because more hotels will be booked, and it will encourage more people to see the value of tourism in the state. 

    Former Minister of Information Chief Sir Alex Akinyele congratulates Dr. James after inspecting the Museum
    Any relevant event in the past or recent times to showcase the contents of the museum?
    Yes, we have held photo exhibitions over the years at the Freedom Park, at the National Museum in Onikan. We have also supported other museums both private and Government owned by donating rare photos to them. We also encourage Government owned public schools by staging exhibitions free in their schools to bring Nigerian history closer to them 

    What is your call to action?
    I believe that someday, we will be the largest in terms of size and the most computerised museum in Nigeria.

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