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FG announces new date for Abuja carnival, budgets N82.109million


[FILE] Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Culture, Grace I. Gekpe declaring the exhibition open

The Federal Government has new date for the annual Abuja carnival. With the rescheduled date, the carnival will hold from November 23 – 25, 2019.According to Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Mrs Grace Gekpe, in a statement issued in Abuja, the postponement was to enable the ministry plan adequately for a robust event.

Gekpe, who expressed regret at the inconvenience caused by the postponement, however assured the public of a robust carnival.
Meanwhile, in another development, government disclosed yesterday that the carnival, which usual holds in the first week of November in the city capital with events such as road shows, music, cultural dances, masquerades and durbar, would gulp N82.109 million.

The Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosing this in Abuja on Tuesday, while making presentation on 2019 budget proposals of the Ministry and defence of the 2018 estimates before the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism.

Mohammed made disclosure when the Committee headed by Senator Fatimah Raji – Rasaki took him on why N82million was proposed for Carnival in 2019 when the it did not hold last year despite N62million appropriated for it. The Minister said that the N62million appropriated for the carnival last year was not fully cash backed, but lumped with other items on capital component of the budget, which were not adequately funded.

“Money for cultural carnival of national magnitude ordinarily, should even be more than N82million but because of synergy the ministry is having with the Federal Capital Territory and other sponsors in terns of accommodation for participants from the various states, feeding, transportation, make us to make modest proposal of N82million,” Mohammed said.

He also told the Senate Committee that Cultural Centres established by Nigeria in China and Brazil were good for marketing the image of the country and making the outside world appreciate Nigeria and Nigerians better.“Though not revenue generating centres, but in the long run, add value to the economy and citizens of countries that established them.”

Speaking further, the Minister explained that the total budgetary proposals for the two arms of the Ministry (Information, Culture and Tourism) in the 2019 fiscal year, is N5.306billion out which N3.398billion is for personnel cost, N880.507million for overhead and N1.3billion for capital expenditure of both arms.

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Grace Gekpe
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