Senate seeks better funding of Nigeria’s information management

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

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The Nigerian Senate has called for adequate budgetary releases to MDAs of the government especially the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to enhance its function of effectively managing the country’s information systems for better propagation and understanding of public policies and programmes.

Chairman of the Senate committee on information and national orientation, Senator Suleiman Adokwe, made the call while speaking with Senate correspondents in Abuja on Thursday.

Senator Adokwe spoke shortly after officials of the ministry, led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, defended their 2019 budget proposal of =N=6billion before the committee.

He noted that effective information management was critical to the success of government policies and programmes, hence the need for adequate funding of the sector, stressing that the committee would do its best to help the ministry to keep pace with the rapid advancement in information and communication technology (ICT) in the 21st century.

“Some of the gadgets that you could use 10 to 20 years ago are now obsolete. There are so much gadgets that were bought for NTA for CHOGM and the All African Games that you cannot use today. You have to recalibrate them to bring them up to standard for them to properly function nowadays,” he said.

Earlier at the budget defence session, the minister said a total of =N=6 billion had been proposed for the ministry in the 2019 fiscal year. He gave the breakdown as N3 billion representing 50 per cent as personnel cost and N1 billion or 16.6 per cent as capital budget for the information sector alone.

According to him, =N=438 million has been earmarked for capital projects for both the information and culture sectors, while =N=880 million or 14 per cent proposed for overhead.