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Economic hardship: Culture ministry under scrutiny for ₦3.7bn research allocation

The ministry also budgeted ₦26 million for miscellaneous expenses, including refreshments and publicity.

Minister of Art and Culture, Hannatu Musa Musawa. [Facebook]

This allocation is part of the ₦28.7 trillion budget for 2024, which President Bola Tinubu approved in January.

Initially, President Tinubu proposed a budget of ₦27.5 trillion, but lawmakers increased it by ₦1.2 trillion to address various sectoral needs.

The appropriation act is under scrutiny following serious allegations by suspended Senator Abdul Ningi, who represents Bauchi Central.

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He claims that the budget has been inflated by a staggering ₦3 trillion, a revelation that has sparked widespread debate and concern.

In the budget for a ministry established by the Tinubu administration, ₦160 million has been allocated to build a skill acquisition centre for arts and crafts in Musawa Local Government Area (LGA) of Katsina State.

This LGA is the home area of Hannatu Musawa, the Minister of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy.

Additionally, ₦290 million has been designated for installing solar street lights in Musawa LGA.

The ministry allocated N98 million for a "Nigerian pavilion" at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival in France, which will be held from May 14 to 25.

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Additionally, ₦150 million was set aside for an "art culture information desk" at the Abuja International Airport.

The ministry also budgeted ₦26 million for miscellaneous expenses, including refreshments and publicity.

Many civil society organisations (CSOs) and individuals have called for a reduction in the costs of governance.

In August 2023, Musawa made headlines when the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) confirmed she was still an active corps member.

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The Director of Press and Public Relations of the NYSC, Eddy Megwa, has confirmed that the minister has been serving for the past eight months in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Megwa explained that the NYSC Act frowned at any corps member making the government appointment list.

He revealed that Musawa was mobilised initially to serve in Ebonyi State in 2001. Megwa said she had her three-week orientation programme there before relocating to Kaduna State to continue the programme.

On getting to Kaduna, Musawa absconded and failed to complete the NYSC programme, Megwa added.

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