…Vow to Reclaim NCAC land in Abuja

Housing Deficit, Budget, Reps, National housing
House of Representatives

By Tordue Salem, Abuja

The House of Representatives yesterday promised to allocate adequate funding for the rapid development of the Culture and Tourism sector. The Committee said the sector was strategic for the growth of the economy and national development.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Culture and Tourism, Hon Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama who gave the assurance in Abuja during the 2020 budget defence of the National Council for Arts and Culture, NCAC, stressed that the sector was too focal to be neglected.

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He promised that the House under the leadership of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila would do everything possible to give premium to the promotion of the sector through an adequate budgetary provision in the 2020 budget proposal.
The Committee also said it will wade into the disputed estate of the National Council for Arts and Culture, NCAC, in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja said to have been ceded to an individual with a view to reclaiming it for the Council for its operations.
According to the Chairman of the Committee, “as a Committee, we will wade into the matter to retrieve the lanced property from that an individual for the Council, you  can not acquire  government  land and give to an individual rather you can only acquire an individual’s landed property  for government use
” We will allow the judiciary to do its own job, right away, the Committee will pay  an on the spot assessment  to the site for members to see things for ourselves

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“If the needs be, the leadership of the House of Representatives will take up the matter up with President Mohammodu  Buhari who is fighting corruption from all directions today and we must all be ready to support him for the benefit of all and sundry, this is corruption of the highest order, to take government land and give it to an individual”
The Committee also passed a vote of confidence on the Director-General of the Council, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe for his passion for the promotion of Arts and culture in the country which had lifted the image of the country in the comity of the nations.
Earlier, the DG of the Council, Otunba Runsewe had raised the alarm over the poor funding of the Agency despite its numerous responsibilities, citing the example of the meager   N100m allocated to it in the 2020 budget proposal
According to him, “our financial situation is so pathetic, what can the N100m do for us, from it, we will host the National  Festival of Arts and Culture, NAFEST,  this festival started in 1973 immediately after the Civil war, it has been a unifying avenue for Nigerians from different ethnic groups and religious backgrounds to come together to showcase their different cultures,
” We just finished this year’s edition in Benin City, Edo State and participants from 30 states of the federation and the FCT, Abuja were in attendance, this helps to promote peaceful coexistence in the country
“Even at the Edo festival, over 300 unemployed youths acquired various free vocational trainings and obtained necessary certificates in their fields, this is the only way we can keep the youths busy from drugs addiction and other social vices ravaging our society
” We also have the annual Abuja carnival to counted with from this allocation, it involves all the States of the federation converging in Abuja for the one week cultural display, we are coming to a point that  it will no longer be possible to host the two events due to inadequate funding, we may have to pick one of out of the two”
Otunba Runsewe also pleaded with the Committee to assist the Council to retrieve its banded property ceded to an individual despite the Council having all the necessary documents and a huge amount of foreign donation to develop the land.

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