2024: Arts ministry votes millions for ERGP which ended in 2020

  • ..-N280m for consultants, over N600m for vehicles

IN the 2024 budget, the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy is setting aside N18.986 million for the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which ended in 2020.

The ministry classified “ERGP implementation” as a new programme for 2024. Economy Post‘s checks show that ministry does not use ERGP in any other sense separate from Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

The ERGP is a brainchild of former President Muhammadu Buhari which was aimed at “restoring economic growth while leveraging the ingenuity and resilience of the Nigerian people – the nation’s most priceless assets.”

READ ALSO: https://www.economypost.ng/featured/energy-commission-budgets-n190m-for-dgs-land-cruiser-n312m-for-fuel-hilux/2023/12/28/

The programme, which was deemed as failure, lasted between 2017 and 2020. The ERGP started one year after Nigeria had entered its first recession and ended the year the country was pushed into its second recession.

Despite that, the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy earmarked millions of naira for “budget preparation and ERGP Implementation” in 2024. It was not clear whether the phrase, “budget preparation,” was meant for the 2024 or the 2025 budget.

Text messages to the ministry asking it to provide an explanation on this and other related issues were not replied.

READ ALSO: https://www.economypost.ng/business/banking-and-finance/cbn-dismisses-bank-takeover-report-as-emefiele-dares-obazee/2023/12/27/

Hannatu Musawa, a lawyer, oversees the ministry. There are controversies concerning her national service, which raised some dust during her appointment.

While she claims to have completed her national service in 2003, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) said she absconded midway, Premium Times reported.

Consultants

There are several items in the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy 2024 budget which are raising questions. First is the N280 million set aside for consultancy, engagement and branding for Destination 2030 in foreign nations.

The Destination 2030 is “a bold step towards celebrating, preserving, and amplifying Nigeria’s rich tapestry of arts, culture, and the burgeoning creative economy,” the ministry says.

The ministry adds, “Through a dynamic display of fashion, music, film, contemporary art, photography and culinary art, it will highlight the power of culture and creativity to drive Nigeria’s economic growth, foster unity, and promote our unique brand on the global stage.”

READ ALSO: https://www.economypost.ng/business/industry-ministry-to-waste-n1bn-for-another-investment-survey-n500m-on-road-shows/2023/12/26/

Apart from the fact that budget for the event is deemed high, analysts believe there is no need of embarking on foreign trips to market Nigeria or its artistic works.

“If you budget N280 million for that in 2024, you have to earmark huge sums like that each year till 2030.This means that Destination 2030 will cost over N2 billion, factoring in inflation and other variables. What then is our return on investment?” asked a culture enthusiast, Mr Dare Damilola.

“Secondly, you can spend time marketing Nigeria abroad, but does that change the fact that foreigners can’t visit Gashaki-Gumpti National Park or Ngwo Pine Forest?”

“Third, we only need to take our artworks to exhibitions and events abroad. That is what we need to promote,” he further said.

Vehicles

The ministry is also setting aside N198.875 million for utility vehicles, N255.987 for awareness vehicles, and N163.877 million for buses. The ministry did not specify how many vehicles it would buy in 2024.

Total cost of vehicles is N618.740 million.

Apart from vehicles, N114.790 million is budgeted for the branding and promotion of Abuja Creative City, while N178.391 has been set aside for “creative upskilling programmes.”

On the issue of vehicles, an energy analyst quoted in an earlier Economy Post report, Ms Chioma Ani, asked: “What happened to buses or vehicles previously used by the ministry? Isn’t there a need to carry out an audit?”

READ ALSO: https://www.economypost.ng/featured/agric-budget-akpabios-zone-gets-21-projects-food-belt-states-receive-nothing/2023/12/25/

Ms Ani, who is also an economist, noted: “There is also no specification as to the number of vehicles that will be bought by the ministry.”

She said that by adding ERGP in the budget, “the ministry did not do its proper due diligence before presenting the budget.”

She noted that this could have been caused by the fact that government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) often followed the same template or model in structuring their budgets.

“This explains why you see that all MDAs have budgets for refreshment, honorarium, travels and the rest. Even if you will not travel anywhere in 2024, you must assign costs to travels. This is how our budgets have been over the years, and this is the bane of Nigeria’s development.”

+ posts

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent

The Ultimate Managed Hosting Platform
Load WooCommerce Stores in 249ms!

More like this