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Senate seeks improved funding for information sector

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Senate seeks improved funding for information sector
Senate has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to increase the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Information and Culture to enable it execute its mandate.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation, Senator Danladi Sankara, who made the appeal during the budget defence of the ministry and its agencies in Abuja, expressed dissatisfaction with the poor budgetary allocation to the ministry.

He said: “As a matter of fact, we are not happy with the budget that they put in the Ministry of Information, because the budget, if you look at it, is not enough.

“There are so many schedules with our ministry and it’s our duty to try all we can do to interfere with the matter. We have to contact the Minister of Finance and also the Budget Office so as to consider the allocation given to information.”

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in his submission, expressed gratitude to the committee for the support enjoyed.

“I must first of all thank you for the cooperation from this committee all through last year. More importantly for the empathy we have enjoyed from the committee.

“I want to also put on record my appreciation and that of the ministry in your appreciation for the challenges facing the ministry and facing government.

“It is a thing of joy for me and the ministry to hear that the Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation led by the chairman, you’ve being fighting our course for us.

“This is in the sense that the committee understands through our various interactions that the burden with the ministry to execute its mandate is onerous and needs a lot of resources. I can’t thank you enough, Mr. chairman and distinguished members,” Mohammed stressed.

While giving an analysis of the 2020 budget, the minister said that the total sum appropriated for the ministry was N616,134,981 and actual release stood at N444,46,603, leaving a balance of N172,88, 278 which has been released.

“The percentage of what was released to what was actually appropriated is 72 per cent and out of the N444,46,603 which was released, total expenditure stood at the sum of N444, 43,786.

“And the capital development fund out of the sum N1,13,945, 616 that was appropriated for the entire ministry in 2020, the sum of N824,793,576 was appropriated in 2020 for the information sector to undertake nine major projects.”

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