By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor Arts

The National Assembly has expressed commitment to help the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) take full control of its permanent site in order to maximise the site for the benefit of Nigerians.

Members of the House Committee made the promise in Abuja while commenting on unspent funds of government agencies.

Members of the Committee promised to look into the recent controversy surrounding the cultural village located near Sheraton Hotels in Abuja with a view to securing the premises for NCAC.

During the investigative hearing, NCAC Director General, Otunba Segun Runsewe, stressed the need to ward off intruders to the Art and Crafts Village so that the council could put infrastructure in place to empower Nigerians.

He noted that if the Art and Crafts Village facility belonging to NCAC was maximised, the site could boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the Federal Government.

Runsewe reiterated that the site which is worth N9.8 billion belongs to Nigerians and must not be used for personal gains by unscrupulous individuals emphasising that if put to good use, it could generate billions in IGR for the government.

Addressing reporters after the session, Runsewe said it was important to protect and defend the landed property of the council.

He said: “Nigerians must know that the land belongs to them and it’s not a personal thing. If that land was fully operational, it would have been giving some good IGR to the government.”

Runsewe hailed the House Committee its commitment to improving financial expenditures of government agencies.

“We are the implementers and the committee is there to help us do our jobs better. It is not witch-hunting but part of fighting corruption. The committee can correct so many things,” he said.

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