The Nigerian Parliament has risen in support of the country’s Information and Culture Ministry by calling for more funding to enable the ministry execute its mandate comprehensively.
This was made known by the Chairman House of Representative Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Value, Honorable Olusegun Odebumi when the Ministry appeared for 2022 budget defense.
According to the Parliamentarian’s submission which was supported by other committee members, for Nigeria to be taken seriously as far information management was concern there was an urgent need to review and increase the budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Information because information is key in the running of government of a country.
“I am calling on all Nigerians to support this call.
It is gradually declining over the years and it has now become alarming the kind of amount allocated for the entire Ministry of Information and Culture and agencies under it.
Without mincing words, this Ministry and agencies under it are grossly underfunded.
Underfunding also leads to corruption and so many other negative actions.
We need to cry out with a loud voice for the Executive and every concern stakeholder to be aware and do something about this worrying trend of underfunding.
The Chairman then pledged to use every available means to advocate for better funding for the Ministry so as to achieve the required mandate.
He also charged the Ministry and agencies under it to ensure transparency and accountability in their dealings.
In his presentation, the Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed appreciated the Committee for always supporting the Ministry and understanding the challenges facing it.
The Minister also revealed that the Ministry’s budget implementation is done generally and not selectively due to the envelope style of budget template given to it by the Ministry of Finance and Budget office.
Responding to some questions raised by the Parliamentarians, the Minister said the Ministry officials must travel for some statutory meetings and conferences, thus the volume of travels in the 2021 budget performance.
He said both the Legislature and the Executive must look into the funding crisis of the Ministry because the Ministry spends a lot to embark on campaign against fake news, hate speech and also advocacy programs.
In another submission, the Minister said due to paucity of funds, the Ministry has been finding it difficult to preserve some relevant national information in the country’s national archive.
He further lamented that the untimely release of the budgetary funds is also affecting the management of the national archive.
The Minister presented and defended the Ministry’s 2022 budget proposal, totaling 7,845,669,525.
With personnel cost amounting to 3,907,987,780, overhead cost is captured as 900,507,003.
The Ministry’s capital related to Information sector is 1,613,366,465 and the culture sector’s capital amounts to 778,060,757 and capital common for both sectors stands at 645,747,520.
Present at the budget were agencies from the Information arm of the Ministry, Voice of Nigeria, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Nigeria Television Authority, National Orientation Agency, Nigeria Film and Video Censors Board
Parliament seeks more Funding For Information Ministry