The Director-general of the National Gallery of Art, Ebeten Ivara, has requested that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, assist it with an office complex from among the pool of seized properties by the Commission.
Ivara made the plea on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, when he led the management team of the National Gallery of Art (NGA) to EFCC Headquarters, Abuja on a courtesy visit.
He recalled that the NGA had through a letter to the EFCC, dated May 11, 2020, requested for an office complex that would enhance the smooth running of the affairs of the agency.
“On May 11, 2020, the National Gallery of Art wrote a request letter to your organization to allocate to us one of your forfeited building assets in the Central Area of Abuja, to serve as our Gallery Space. Indeed, we have identified the former Chelsea Hotel, opposite NICON Insurance, behind Coscharis structure for this purpose,” he said.
He promised a judicious use of the complex if allocated to the agency, adding that such a gesture from the EFCC would be of immense benefit to visual artists, art scholars, studio artists and art administrators in the country and would transform the sub-sector to a major revenue earner for Nigeria.
He commended the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mohammed Umar Abba for the achievements recorded by the Commission in the anti-corruption fight, noting that the Commission has earned both local and international acclaim in this direction.
In his response, the EFCC boss promised to assist the NGA to secure a befitting structure. “We are ready to assist you, but first and foremost we have to establish whether Chelsea Hotel, which you have already identified, whether another agency of the government had not indicated interest because there are agencies of government who have also applied directly to the presidency,” Umar said.
The EFCC boss however directed the NGA D-G to liaise with the EFCC Director of Asset Forfeiture and his team to determine suitable forfeited properties without encumbrances.
He sought the NGA collaboration with the EFCC in the fight against corruption, adding that “We have to work hand-in-glove for the success of the federal government”