By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared that problem of wrong Perception about the country in the outside world, has been hindering it from tackling the menace of insecurity in the land .
The problem it explained, has been serving as stumbling block against moves by the country to get required equipment to fight insurgency and other forms of deadly crimes like armed banditry, herdsmen/farmers clashes, kidnapping, among others.
Making the lamentation while fielding questions from journalists at the Senate wing of the National Assembly Monday, the Minister of Information , Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed , said the fault lines of Nigeria as a country , were being exploited by those creating the wrong Perception .
“Some people have being trying to exploit our fault lines on matters of insecurity, such as the farmers- herdsmen clashes. They make it as if it is Christians against Muslims, Northerners against Southerners and vice versa, creating wrong perceptions for the country in their sentiments driven narratives.
“It has militated against our attempt to get foreign assistance to tackle insecurity. The country has in different instances denied equipment from outside to fight insecurity based on this perception”, he said.
He however added that the Federal Government is bracing up to the challenge of rewriting the narratives through media engagements at home and abroad.
“We have been fighting against the wrong perception and shall continue to do so through foreign lobbies and media engagements because it has hampered our development and growth “, he explained.
The Minister had during the budget defence session his Ministry had with the Senate Committee on Culture , submitted that the sum of N105million was proposed for the image laundering which to him was small like other proposals made by the Ministry.
He complained of gross underfunding of the Ministry by government, saying “we are the face of government .The amount of money that was released last year was small .it was actually our creativity and resourcefulness that took us to where we are. The ministry needs sufficient funds to drive its responsibilities.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Rochas Okorocha (APC Imo West), said though the money proposed for the Ministry in the 2020 budget was small, but it should think out of the box to make things happen, particularly in the area of Tourism and Culture.
“You need to think out of the box to control this image of hopelessness. Think of a programme to showcase our movie stars and you will see the positive multiplier effects it will give to the country”, he said.