2017 budget: Niger Assembly demands more funding for media

Members of the Niger State House of Assembly on Thursday demanded for adequate funding for the State Ministry of Information for effective and efficient publicity of government’s activities.
The lawmakers, while commending the Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Jonathan Vatsa, for utilising the meagre funds allotted the Ministry, lamented that paucity of funds has hampered activities since the inception of this present administration.
Making the observation at the 2017 budget defence as presented by Vatsa, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Culture and Tourism, Hon. Shuaibu Liman Iya, said the media is greatly needed to showcase government’s successes.
According to Liman: “Information is the bedrock of every administration and must be given utmost priority.
“I tell you, Ministry of Information is the life wire of the administration.
“The media is not cheap; if the government can release adequate funds for the Ministry, there will be rejuvenation.
“We have written to the government to expedite action so as to activate Bida, Kotangora and Suleja stations.
“More allocation to the Ministry will put the state in positive light nationwide.
“The government must stand up to boost media and publicity because people are not aware of what is happening.
“The government is achieving success, yet the media is not carried along.”
In his presentation, Vatsa said N703,577,866.38k was proposed, with personnel cost put at N108,474,723.38k, overhead cost N50,000,000.00 and capital projects N545,103,143.00.
He further lamented that out of the meagre funds approved for 2016 budget, only a scanty amount was accessed in line with the approved budget.