The Nigerian Ministry of Information and Culture has been urged to champion the development of culture and tourism sector to effectively contribute to national growth.
The Chairman House Culture and Tourism, Mr. Ihama Omoregie made the call when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed defended the 2018 Culture and Tourism Budget.
Mr. Omoregie said exploring the potentials of culture and tourism sector will provide the alternative revenue source, create jobs and provide peace and unity in the country.
“Developing the culture and tourism sector will bring peace and unity to Nigeria. Government policies from now on must be friendly to culture and tourism sector for national development,” Mr. Omoregie stressed.
Defending the budget, the Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed told the lawmakers that about 283.7million Naira will be required in 2018 for special projects on creative industry, film, music among others.
The projects according to the Minister would increase the country’s Growth Domestic Products, GDP, and reduce crimes and other social vices, through the engagement of youth and creating job.
“The projects through collaboration with film makers, youth engagement piracy elimination, will improve the GDP and will engage the youth fully, thereby reducing crimes,” the Minister said.
On the 2017 Budget Performance, the Minister said out of the N612.22million appropriated, N569.77million was released, while about N335million was utilized representing about 55% implementation.
Alh. Lai Mohammed revealed that fifty million Naira was used in 2017 to equip the twelve Cultural Industry Centres established in six geo-political zones of the country.
He said: “These Industries Centres produce tangible and intangible creative outputs which have potential to create wealth and generate employment.”
The Ministry proposed about N4.9bn for the culture and tourism sector, out of which, N3.181bn is for personnel cost, N880.51m for overhead and N810.511m for capital project.