The Director-General of National Council for Arts and Culture, Olusegun Runsewe, says the council has accessed N300 million loan from the Bank of Industry to reposition the tourism and culture sector.
Runsewe made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.
He said eligible operators in the sector were free to apply for soft loans to assist them.
The director-general said that the council was determined to take the loan to ensure that the council moved from the theoretical aspect of culture to the practical.
He said that besides the loan, the council’s 2018 budget contained provisions for skills acquisition programmes among others.
Runsewe said: “We will be having skills acquisition programmes across the country; we are going to be having ‘waste-to-wealth’ projects because that is what will impact on the ordinary person on the street.
“This will help to create jobs, while reducing unemployment and poverty.
“We will use the N300 million from the Bank of Industry as soft loan because we want the ordinary man on the street to benefit from it.
“What we do is to recommend credible operators in the sector to the bank to access the loan. They will get a letter from us and take to the bank to access the loan.
“The fund is available and I want to thank them for the support to the sector.”
Runsewe commended the National Assembly, particularly the Senate, for the support in ensuring that the culture and tourism sector took its pride of place.
The National Council for Arts and Culture and agencies under it, had on Wednesday appeared before members of the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism to defend their 2018 budget.
They were, however, asked to work on the budget to accommodate recent release for capital projects.
The committee had said that it did not want the agencies to have abandoned projects, and that uncompleted projects at the end of 2017 fiscal year could be rolled over to 2018.