Senate moves to divide Ministry Information


Senate on Tuesday moved to split the Federal Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism in a bid to reposition the Tourism sector towards earning optimum national income for the nation.

In a motion sponsored by Senator Fatima Raji-Rasaki representing Ekiti Central Senatorial district, she explained that Nigeria’s Culture and Tourism sector runs short of United Nations standards as a result of unworkable policies of the Federal Government.

She regretted that the much ‘talked about economic diversification’ has not seen Culture and Tourism becoming the economic hub and employment sector for the teeming youths.

“Aware of the importance and potential contribution of tourism to Nigeria’s economic diversification and creation of employment opportunities to the teeming youths and the recognition of tourism”, Rasaki submitted.

She said the unbundling of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism would provide effective administration tourism sector.

Senator Mao Ohuabunwa on his part stressed that it has become necessary for Senate’s intervention, saying, the nation should learn from Gambia that has developed their beach into a tourist centre with huge incomes.

“Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, I support this motion especially as Nigeria is talking of diversification. We have so many tourism resources and if go to Gambia, they have been able to develop their beach, unfortunately for us in Nigeria, because of oil we are not doing anything.”

Senator Gbenga Ashafa stressing on the importance of tourism, said: “As we all know tourism is a major source of national income and If you go to Dubai, they have developed their exomomy through tourism.”

“Take example of Senator Ben Bruce who has invested heavily in tourism, you discover that he is doing well. If you look deeper, in Lagos where I come from, it is principally about fishing. Nigeria can make tourism capital out of it and like Arugungu in Kebbi State also.’

Barau Jibrin representing Kano North said Nigeria can not have a robust economy of her dreams without a robust Culture and Tourism.

“We need to have a robust and sound economy and that is to say, we should have robustst and sound tourism economy by having a workable tourism policy.”

“In the Ministry of information, Culture and Tourism, we need to take away Culture and Tourism aspect for effective administration of tourism sector.”

Senator Ben Bruce said Information, Culture and Tourism was too big for a Minister to manage, stating that Mr. Lai Mohammed may be busy defending the FG, while Tourism sector should be privately driven.

“Mr. President, distinguished Colleagues, Information should be isolated from Culture and Tourism while the Culture and Tourism should be privately driven,” he maintained.


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