By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja: In a bid to resuscitate the Arts and Craft village belonging to the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), the National Assembly has disclosed that it will resist any attempt to confiscate and encroach into government properties by individuals.
Members of the House Committee on Culture and Tourism led by the Chairman, Hon. Ogbeide Ihama who made this known on Thursday in Abuja, said it is unacceptable for Individuals to acquire Government land, adding that the National Assembly will not fold its hands to watch individuals take over Government property.
The members who visited the premises as part of an inspection tour, emphasized that they have a duty to speak for Nigerians and will do everything to protect the only cultural village in Nigeria.
According to Hon. Ihama, “The expanse of land measuring about 23 hectares belong to NCAC, however individuals are beginning to encroach and trespass into Government property.
“We are endowed with huge and rich cultural heritage and this is a place where we can showcase all that God has given to us. So, we will resist any attempt to continue to encroach on this land, if it persists, we will have to call for public hearing.
“We are aware that this place became a hideout for hoodlums, arms and ammunition were found and discovered here. So, I do not think that we will fold our hands and watch that happen”, he stressed.
While noting that NCAC will continue to do everything within their powers to get their rights in accordance to the Certificate of Ownership, he assured that as the people’s parliament, they will stand firm to ensure that government property is protected.
The Committee Chairman commended the management of NCAC, and the Inspector General of Police for their support in securing the permanent site of NCAC located in Abuja.
For his part, the Director General NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe while fielding questions from Journalists, said they are working to emplace law and order in the village.
He noted that the village which has 165 shops, is expected to give jobs to 500 Nigerians, adding that the it will be reopened soon.
In his words, “We believe that with the National Assembly, the IG of Police and every other person in support, Nigerians will now enjoy the benefit of this place.
“It is a shame on us that we are the only country in West Africa without a cultural market. It is time for us to come together. The Nigerian project must move forward”, he remarked.
Runsewe who led the honourable members along with members of his management around the village, explained that no stone will be left unturned in a bid to rebuild the place to international standards.