National Art Gallery Must Generate Revenue – DG Begs NASS

  • Approaches EFCC for suitable accommodation

NGA boss Ivara (m), CROSSJOF Chairman Odu to his left and other Exco members during the visit

BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI, ABUJA – At a time the Federal Government is all out for new revenue outlets to improve its earnings, the National Gallery of Arts (NGA) has been promoted as a veritable income source with huge potential to be exploited.

This position is canvassed by Director General of NGA, Mr Ebeten William Ivara with a passionate plea that the National Assembly should amend the NGA Act 2004 to make it more competitive and robust in the face of current realities in the industry globally.

Ivara is certain that as a revenue generating outfit, NGA will readily muster the required financial muscle to diligently and effectively deliver on its statutory mandate.

Speaking when the Executive members of Cross River State Journalists Forum (CROSSJOF), Abuja, led by its Chairman, Gabriel Odu, visited him on Thursday, Ivara said if the current Act had envisioned NGA as a revenue generating organization, the worrying paucity of funds storyline would long have been addressed.

The NGA boss, who is unhappy that activities in 25 state offices, including the FCT Headquarters, are grounded due to inadequate funding, said unfortunately there is nothing on ground to show the NGA was meant to survive as a productive entity.

Ivara said in making a case at the National Assembly, reference was made to Lagos when requesting that a viable and functional National Gallery of Arts be established in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“I insisted that Abuja is the capital of Nigeria and so should have a befitting NGA and this goes to show why there no is such edifice on ground to coordinate activities in this sector. That is why the over 5000 art works are scattered all over.

“I also told them that we can do what I call embellishment where our art works would be displayed at strategic locations like on bridges, highways, on some big buildings among other places where money will be generated for the economy”, the Director General said.

On a befitting edifice that would boost NGA’s repositioning for effective service delivery, Ivara said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been approached for assistance in making available from forfeited property any one void of encumbrances to accommodate the Agency.

According to him, the facility will house a Sculpture garden with conference rooms for exhibitions as well as other activities that will guarantee income generation.

He however lamented that only a paltry N1.9 billion is budgeted for the NGA for 2021, noting that the amount represents a drop in the ocean considering government’s seriousness in diversifying the economy and reducing the country’s over-dependence on oil revenue.

In his address during the visit, CROSSJOF Chairman, Gabriel Odu pledged the Forum’s commitment to collaborate with NGA towards realizing its set goals and vision going forward.

Odu noted that the absence of a functional and profitable National Gallery of Arts in the country is hugely disappointing, promising that CROSSJOF is ready and willing to work with the Agency in the nation’s overall best interest.

Reiterating the importance of media partner in promoting national interest, the Forum Chairman said; “Your predecessors failed to court the media towards achieving their goals. You need to effectively partner with the media in order to succeed in this assignment.”

NGA DG Ivara with CROSSJOF members at the visit

Established in 1993 to drive the National cultural policy and vision, the NGA’s mandate is to warehouse; promote; and present to the global community Nigeria’s rich creative visual arts.

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