Mr Olusegun Runsewe, the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), has debunked the allegation that he was found wanting by the recent National Audit Report from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation ( AGF).
Runsewe said that the report dwelt majorly on the activities of the agency before he was appointed in 2017 in a statement released to journalists in Lagos by his Media Aide, Mr Frank Meke.
He said that a thorough look at the report captured majorly activities of the agency in 2015 and 2016, two years before he was appointed in 2017 to run the agency.
The News Agency of Nigeria( NAN) reports that the 2017 audit report recently released by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation had indicted the NCAC and its Director- General of financial irregularities in contract awards and payments.
According to the report, the financial irregularities were committed in 2015, 2016 and early 2017 before Runsewe was appointed.
Runsewe in the statement said, ” The reports actually looked at the activities of the agency when I was not there.
” I think there is a misconception about what that report is all about, which looked at the books of the agency between 2015 and 2016 when I was not there.
” I have explained that there is the need to be careful when journalists go through such sensitive reports and may wish to publish its findings.
“Rushing to the press without taking time to look at the various angles will possibly leave innocent people highly misunderstood or hurt.”
The statement stated that Runsewe in the past two years had taken Nigeria’s culture from the doldrum of darkness to the frontiers of national and international discourse.
He said that he stood clear and free from the imagination of many who felt that such report would rubbish his image and bring him down.
” The call to service to our fatherland comes with a lot of challenges, with a lot of people thinking on how to bring others down.
” There are also those who are uncomfortable with the changes to which NCAC has brought about to Nigeria’s cultural and tourism revival.
” So certain efforts such as this normal report of agencies’ activities and not just NCAC alone, should not be blown out of proportion,” Runsewe, the first Nigerian to be appointed as President , Africa Region of World Craft Council, said.
He added that the issue of the audit report would not distract him or cause him to lose sleep over listed cultural activities for implementation in Year 2020.
He said that such cultural activities would include the revival of Argungu Fishing
Festival, and the national campaign against desires to get rich quick by all means among Nigerian youths.
He listed others to include the 2020 National Cultural Festival in Jos and the Iconic International Cultural Expo.
” We are determined to work harder to justify the confidence of our appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, the good people of Nigeria and the international community.”
He said that the international community was pleased to have Nigeria returned into the global community as a promoter of culture and peace .