THE Senate on Thursday said it would push for the separating tourism and culture from the Ministry of Information.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, made this known in his speech at the opening of a public hearing on the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) Act 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2017.
Senator Saraki, represented by the Deputy Leader of the Senate, Bala Na’Allah, said that the sequestering of NTDC from the Ministry of Information and Culture was imperative to enable the tourism sector to 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, Matthew Urhoghide, said that investment in tourism was very crucial in view of the dwindling government revenue and the current recession.
The Chairman of the committee disclosed that diversifying the economy was imperative following the contraction in the country which was occasioned by the fall in crude oil prices.
Senator Urhoghide noted that the NTDC Act is characterised with inadequacies and shortcomings because it 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 one of the things the NTDC Bill would achieve was to abolish the existing Act and re-enacted a fresh one.
Urhoghide explained that the re-enactment, when concluded, would change the nomenclature of the establishment to Nigerian Tourism Development Authority.