Culture Minister faces scrutiny over N290m street light project allocation

The Minister of Art, Culture, and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, finds herself entangled in yet another controversy, this time concerning the allocation of 290 million naira for a street light project in her local government area.

The allocation, if not handled transparently, could escalate into a significant crisis.

An article published by Daily Trust Newspapers on May 22, 2024, revealed that the Ministry of Culture earmarked 290 million naira for street lights to be installed in Minister Hannatu Musa Musawa’s local government.

While the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mr. James Sule, defended the project as strategic, industry observers expressed dismay that the potential cultural and economic benefits were not clearly outlined.

Moreover, the minister allegedly allocated a staggering N3 billion naira for culture research and development in the 2024 budget.

Sources claim that prior to this scandal, Musawa’s administration had attempted to falsely claim credit for cultural projects initiated by the previous administration.

Now, they are accused of diverting attention by accusing Daily Trust of misinformation regarding the budgeted solar lights project in Musawa’s Local Government.

Speaking anonymously, a ministry staff member voiced concerns about the trend of ministers, agency heads, and legislators directing constituency projects solely to their local governments.

They highlighted the risk of neglecting other areas in Nigeria, leading to disparities in essential infrastructure and services.

Musawa’s past controversies, particularly regarding her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) status, resurfaced amid these allegations.

Three years ago, she faced scrutiny during a Senate screening due to her inability to provide evidence of completing her national service.

The issue resurfaced when the NYSC confirmed that Musawa was still undergoing her youth service despite being inaugurated as a minister by President Bola Tinubu.

As scrutiny intensifies, Musawa faces mounting pressure to address the allegations and ensure transparency in the allocation and execution of cultural projects.

The outcome of these investigations will not only impact her tenure but also reflect on the government’s commitment to accountability and equitable distribution of resources across Nigeria.

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