" ITREALMS: MIC confirms request for N13.1m from NBC, says not personal loan for Lai Mohameed

Saturday, May 14, 2016

MIC confirms request for N13.1m from NBC, says not personal loan for Lai Mohameed

The Ministry of Information and Culture (MIC) has confirmed requesting for a loan of N13,120,470.00 million from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to cover a five-man delegation to Beijing, China for a conference on Tourism for Development, reports ITRealms.

MIC also insisted that the loan is not a personal loan for the Honourable Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

A press statement signed by Director of Press (DoP) and Protocols at MIC, Dama N.P.D. and made available to ITRealms, said their attention has been drawn to a letter endorsed by (DoP) to the Ag. Director General, NBC, said the loan is to cover tickets and travel expenses of a five-member delegation being led by the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture to Beijing, China.

Dama alleged that the internal memo was mischievously leaked to the social media by staff of National Broadcasting Commission.

According to Dama, the loan being requested is for the Ministry to meet up its obligations to enable the Minister and members of his delegation attend the Conference on Tourism for Development in China, that is, meant to benefit the country.

“The loan is not meant for the Honourable Minister alone as personal expenses, but for the expenses of all members of the delegation … but for the entire five members of the delegation to cover for tickets, travel allowances and other incidentals,” Dama said.

The conference, Dama said, is being organized by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation in conjunction with the Government of the People’s Republic of China, under the overall theme “Tourism for Peace and Development,” will feature amongst others discussions on major issues for sustainable development including the contribution of Tourism to poverty reduction and peace.

Dama further said the Conference will also feature discussion on major issues that have direct bearing on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), poverty alleviation through Tourism and the linkage between Tourism peace at the National and International levels.

In addition, Dama said, China on this occasion as chair of G20 will also host the 7th T20 Ministers meeting under the theme “Sustainable Tourism, An Effective Tool for Inclusive Development.''

The Conference, the DoP pointed out, is a veritable platform to develop synergy and partnership with players in the global Tourism Industry which will go a long way in boosting our drive to diversify the Nigerian economy.

“It is also important to note that the Minister and his delegation were to have discussion in China with Set Top Box Manufacturerswho are meant to establish manufacturing factories in Nigeria for these boxes for our digital broadcasting processesrather than the current situation in which the boxes are being imported.  This is meant to conserve our foreign exchange and to also create avenue for job creation for our citizens,” Dama said.

The DoP emphasized that the Conference is an all important gathering that will benefit Nigeria, contribute towards diversification of its revenue base and create employment opportunities for Nigerians.

“Again, it is not unusual for an agency under the Ministry to assist in order to carry out government functions.  Moreover, the request was discussed with the Ag. Director General NBC, who agreed to assist with the loan before the letter was written.  It is therefore shocking to find out that an internal memorandum from the Ministry could be leaked out to the social media by saboteurs in order to embarrass the government,” Dama said, maintaining that no multiple letters were written to government agencies as alleged.

“We only wrote to NBC after discussing with the Ag. DG.  Payments were to be effected if the fund were loaned out based on extant financial regulations.  There is nothing wrong with the request of the Ministry to meet up with an important assignment meant to benefit the country,” Dama claimed.

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