Alleged Deduction Of N1.1 billion From 2021 Culture and Tourism Budgetary Allocation To Be Investigated

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The house of representatives committee on culture and tourism says it will investigate the alleged deduction of N1.1 billion from the 2021 budgetary allocation for culture and tourism.
The committee passed the resolution during its sitting on Thursday in Abuja.

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, who appeared before the committee to defend the 2022 budget proposal of his ministry, told the lawmakers that N1.1 billion representing 33 percent of the 2021 budget for tourism and culture was expunged.

“I am not very happy with the national assembly with due respect, because a whopping 33 percent of my budget was chopped off,” he said.

“I proposed N3 billion and they took N1.1 billion out of it and by that, I was paralysed completely; there was nothing I could do.

“The national assembly is like the supreme court. Once they give the verdict, there is no other court to appeal to. So, I am extremely distressed. I complained that the proposal was small, the national assembly made it even worse,’’ he said.

Mohammed said if not for the ingenuity of the ministry to source funds, it would have achieved little or nothing for tourism in 2021.

Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, chairman of the committee, said a sub-panel would be set up to investigate the said alteration in the 2021 budget.

“After this budget defence, I will have to set up a small committee to investigate your budget for 2021 as alleged that N1.1 billion, which represents 33 percent, was taken off your budget,” he said.

“The committee will look into every segment of your budget, every line item in the 2021 budget, especially those that are related to culture and tourism in your budget so that we are on the same page.”

The committee chairman also said the ministry needs to boost tourism to generate more revenue for the federal government.

“There are countries in this world today that their oil is culture. There are countries in this world today that their oil is tourism and we are endowed with both sectors and unfortunately, we are not taking full advantage of it,” he said.

– The Cable
– The Cable

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