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Senate Expresses Concern Over N1bn Budget Allocation For Information Ministry

In a noteworthy development during the 2024 budget defense session on Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Information expressed reservations about the allocated budget of N1 billion for the Ministry of Information and National Orientation.

 Senator Kenneth Eze, the Committee’s Chairman, questioned the adequacy of the funds, emphasizing the critical role of the ministry in shaping public perception and maintaining communication between the government and the citizens.

Senator Eze highlighted the meagre capital expenditure budget as a major concern, expressing doubts about the ministry’s ability to effectively carry out essential programmes such as the national values and attitudes re-orientation campaign, the national and international branding campaign, and regular press briefings. 

He underscored the importance of the Information Ministry as a key player in achieving the government’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

During the session, Senator Eze also criticized the absence of funding for agencies under the ministry’s purview, including the Nigeria Press Council and APCON. 

He raised serious concerns about these agencies’ ability to function without adequate personnel or resources, pointing out that recent appointments of new DGs and Executive Secretaries indicated the government’s commitment to these entities.

“This is not a budget that can be visible if we are telling our story as a country,” Senator Eze emphasized. 

“There is no way we can go far. You have a great initiative on how you are going to transform the country in the area of information, but I wonder how you are going to do that with these little resources.”

He further stressed the sensitivity of the Information Ministry, urging the government to take it seriously and allocate sufficient funds. 

“If we are talking about the Renewed Hope Agenda that we want as a country, the information ministry should be at the forefront.

 It should be the image maker to sensitize the people; there is a widening gap between the government, and there must be enough information to bridge the gap.”

Senator Eze concluded by assuring that the committee would thoroughly investigate the matter and address the serious concerns raised during the budget defense session. 

The fate of crucial programs and agencies within the Information Ministry now rests on the Senate’s deliberations and potential adjustments to the budget allocation.

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