Reps express concern over underfunding of ministry of information
The House of Representatives Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values has expressed concern over underfunding of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
The committee through its Chairman, Rep. Olusegun Odebunmi, made this known during the 2022 budget defence on Monday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism along with some heads of agencies under the ministry had appeared before the committee on Monday.
”I don’t know why the ministry of Information is being underfunded and I see some state ministries being funded more than a whole Federal ministry.
“We need to make an official report on this matter to the House, if we don’t need the services of the ministry of information again we should close it,” he said.
He reiterated the need to fund the ministry, stating that the ministry’s role was imperative to the image of the country.
He added that the budget of the monitoring unit of the Ministry of Sports alone was far more than a whole ministry of information.
He said that the committee’s concern would be taken to the executive arm of government while urging Nigerians to rally support for the ministry in a bid to help it out of the situation.
He promised that the committee would not remove a dime from the ministry’s budget proposal but rather add it up if there was the need.
Also, Rep. Anieka Umana (PDP-Akwa Ibom) and a member of the committee expressed deep concern over the ministry’s budget, adding that the Federal Government must come to the rescue.
According to him, this abysmal low budget of the ministry of information is getting so recurring; information should be treated like defence.
Mohammed had earlier begged the committee not to cut the ministry’s budget proposal.
”My prayer is that please don’t reduce from what is presented; don’t touch my budget because you will have no moral justification for accusing the executive of giving me small,” he said.
According to him, when I met my counterpart in China and asked how much is the budget for information, he said it is a national security.