By Aluta News
Dec 12, 2023
The Senate Committee on Information, has expressed reservation over meagre allocation for the Ministry of Information and National Orientation in the N27.5trillion 2024 budget.
Sen. Kenneth Eze, the Committee’s Chairman, said this when the Minister of Information, Alhaji Mohammed Idris appeared for the 2024 budget defense on Tuesday in Abuja.
‘’This is not a budget that can be visible if we are telling our story as a country, 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.
“I wonder how you are going to do that with these little resources.
“Information ministry is a very sensitive ministry that should be taken seriously and funded and 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 sensitise the people, there is a widening gap between the government and there must be enough information to bridge in the gap,’’ he said.
Eze added: “I looked around in the budget, I didn’t see the Nigeria Press Council, APCON and other agencies, is the government telling us that the agencies are being scraped, that they can function without personnel,?
‘’Who will pay their salary? just few months ago, new DGs and Executive Secretaries were appointed.
”Hon. Minister, this is serious matter for the committee to look into and we shall surely do that.’’
The Minister had informed the senators that national values and attitudes re-orientation campaign under the aegis of National Values Charter (NVC), would be launched in 2024.
“It is the desire of the ministry to have a big national conversation around our values and attitudes re-orientation, so that Nigeria will at least rediscover itself and reclaim some of those values that had been eroded over the years, so we can have a better country for all of us.
‘’We also desired the launch of the national and international branding campaign for Nigeria to highlight and showcase its immense natural and cultural resources.
‘’We are also going to convene regular series of press briefings and media engagements for cabinet members and other senior government officials to avail Nigerians of what various ministries and agencies are doing, so that Nigerians will be carried along on what and what are the projects and programmes of the government.
‘’We also intend to invest resources in modernising the government information and communication management and regulatory system across the agencies like News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Nigeria Television Authority(NTA) and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria(FRCN),’’ he said.
He added that the N1billion allocated for the Ministry as capital expenditure in 2024, was not sufficient for the implementation of the programmes.