Maku cautions Nigeria officials against frivolous foreign travels

The Information Minister advised against holding public workshops abroad.

The Minister of Information, Labran Maku, on Thursday at the 2013 ministerial platform in Abuja tasked public officials and other Nigerians to be patriotic by avoiding constant and frivolous travelling.

“We must show patriotism, Nigerians like to travel abroad for the flimsiest of reasons. This is how we lose the population that are used to fuel the economy of other countries that don’t even have the beauty of this country. Those things you are looking for outside this country, you can find them in any part of Nigeria.” Mr. Maku said.

Mr. Maku, who advised Nigerians to learn to travel to the rural areas, advised public officers to desist from travelling out of the country for workshops, but to savour the beauty and sites showcased by the Minister of Culture Tourism and National Orientation, Edem Duke.

“We run to other countries to hold workshops by organisations based here. Which of those countries bring their people here for any kind of workshop?” he asked.

Holding workshops and seminars in foreign countries is common among Nigerian officials, both elected and appointed, with billions of Naira spent on the travels.

Speaking at the ministerial platform, Mr. Duke said the ministry has succeeded in the development of cultural industries in the six geo-political zones of the country, with twelve of such projects completed and commissioned.

He also said that plans are underway to refurbish the National Arts Theatre to become a better place for business attraction.

“What we are saying as a business proposal is that, those areas of the national theatre that for 40 years has been used for depositing human waste, where some people are rearing swine, the section which is now a slum; harbouring reptiles or the section used as an open air beer parlour. Those sections will now have to be developed into recreational centres and all so that they can strengthen the national theatre.” Mr. Duke said.

On the president’s grant to the Nigerian entertainment industry, Nollywood, Mr. Duke said that the body has stated its problem as distribution and technical issues which would soon be settled.

“They have said that their greatest problem is distribution and capacity building and technical competence and so the coordinating minister of the economy is coming on with a template to address distribution, to address technical problem, training and equipment provision,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, said that the ministry of Justice has been able to conclude over 86 matters in domestic courts while others were before the ECOWAS community court of justice.

He also said the ministry has been able to save over N5 billion from cases in favour of the government.


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