Senate seeks better funding for Nigeria’s information, culture sector

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The Nigerian Senate has admitted that the government must invest massively in the culture sector, if the diversification of the country’s economy would be realised in the shortest possible time.
Senate believes that the huge potentials of Nigeria’s culture deserves better funding for it to be harnessed, describing as poor, the 731million naira appropriated for the 2020 fiscal year.
Chairman of the Senate committee on culture and tourism, Senator Rochas Okorocha who made the remarks, however assured the ministry’s officials that Senate will do all within its powers to help them reach their targets.
He expressed worry that the culture sector is poorly funded despite the overwhelming evident of its potentials to facilitate the much desired diversification of Nigeria’s economy.
Earlier, the Minister in charge of the ministry, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had informed the lawmakers that a number of factors are affecting the ministry’s drive to achieve its mandate.
“We need to project Nigeria culturally to the world but I agree with you that we are under funded, and our investment in this sector of our economy is low,” he said.
“We also appreciate the challenges that we are in as a country due to dwindling revenues for some time now. However, our culture and sports have done a lot for us in placing our country on the world map, and we are exploring that too.”
Thereafter, the committee and officials of the ministry agreed to initiate cultural programmes that would help to promote Nigeria’s heritage and also generate revenue.
One of such programmes is the Royal colours, which would showcase the traditional institutions of various Nigerian communities and their rich endowments.
Over 165m naira is proposed for capital projects out of the 731m naira budget of the culture arm of the information & national orientation ministry.
Omolayo. A