The Senate on Thursday said it is working toward separating tourism and culture from the Ministry of Information.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, made this known at the opening of a public hearing on the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) Act 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2017.
Saraki, who was represented by the Deputy Leader of the Senate, Sen. Bala Na’Allah (APC-Kebbi South), said the separation is imperative to enable the tourism sector enjoy autonomy for rapid development.
“Our ministries have never been helpful in anything developmental. So, the long and short of the story is that the Senate wants to give freedom to the parastatals, particularly the culture and tourism sector,’’ he said.
In his remarks, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Tourism, Sen. Matthew Urhoghide (PDP-Edo South), said investment in tourism is very crucial in view of the dwindling government revenue and the current recession.
He said that diversifying the economy was imperative following the contraction in the country which was occasioned by the fall in crude oil prices.
Urhoghide said the NTDC Act had never gone through any form of review or amendment since it was enacted, in spite of several years of socio-political and economic changes.
He explained that the re-enactment, when concluded, would change the nomenclature of the establishment to Nigerian Tourism Development Authority.