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Published On: Wed, Jan 31st, 2018

Reps give ministry nod to establish printing press

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By Umar Muhammad Puma

The House of Representatives Committee on Information and National Orientation has given Ministry of Information permission to establish a new printing press for government publications in newspapers, magazines and other medium of mass communication.
Presenting the 2018 estimates of the Ministry before the House committee, and review of the 2017 budget, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said that a total of N1.1 billion is needed by the Ministry and its agencies in 2018 for effective information dissemination in the country.
The ministry presented a N99, 450,581.00 billion as its budget for 2018, which covers foreign media consultancy, installation of reservoir, printing of 2018 calendar and rehabilitation of office building.
According to the Minister, due to the prevalence of hate speech, the Ministry had convened a National Council on Information where Commissioners and other heads of government agencies were present to brainstorm on the issue and provide solution to it.
He further informed the lawmakers that the ministry officials had undertaken a working visit of private and government owned media outfits in Lagos and Abuja to ascertain the challenges in the industry.
He hinted that N20Million was budgeted for the production of 2018 calendar of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
On the review of the 2017 budget of the Ministry, he said that N100 million was appropriated for the fiscal year, while N87 million was expended on publicity and personnel emoluments.
He expressed optimism that the 2018 budget estimates would take care of the ministry’s reccurent and capital expenditure, and implored the Committee to approve more funds for replacement of obsolete equipment and to undertake publicity.
The lawmakers, however, told the Minister that the state of affairs of equipment in government owned media outfits is a source of worry to every concerned Nigerian.
The Committee Chairman, Rep Segun Odebumi, and a member of the Committee Rep Kehinde Odeneye (Ogun, APC) told the Minister that the federal government needed to own its printing press, having sold the Daily Times of Nigeria under its privatization of government assets during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

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