Controversy springs up as Lai Mohammed’s ministry spends N661m on refreshment/travelling

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– The ministry of information is to spend about N661 million in 2017

– The money is to cover refreshment and traveling expenses within the course of the year

– Critics say the present government is not driving the recovery plan by blocking all leakages

Critics have raised eyebrows over what has been termed outrageous spending within the ministry of information, where N661,006,782 million is to be spent on traveling and transportation, refreshment and miscellaneous in the 2017 fiscal year.

Controversy springs up as Lai Mohammed’s ministry spends N661m on refreshment/travelling

It is believed that this proposed spending plan is not in line with the Federal Government’s promise to block leakages, as to aid quick recovery of the country from the economic recession.

Vanguard reports that the amount is part of the N49,464,302,080billion allocated to the ministry from the N7.3 trillion appropriation bill for 2017currently before the National Assembly.

A breakdown of the amount showed that the sum of N273,706,901m is allocated to traveling and transportation, N347, 299,681 to miscellaneous, whereas N40m will be spent on refreshment in the fiscal year.

Investigations reveal that the sum of N50m will be spent on scanning and keeping of official records.

It further showed that from the total allocation, only N8,380,248,826 will be spent on capital projects, while N41,084,053,254 is for recurrent expenditure of the ministry.

Other areas expected to take the chunk of the allocation of the ministry include, grassroots publicity and enlightenment campaign on government policies and programmes, which has another N409,240,600, while N100m will be spent on interaction with stakeholders.

The ministry also in the year in view is expected to spend N192,863,901 on publicity and advertisement and another N270 million for hosting of town hall meetings across the country.

Also for the year, N97.2 million has been earmarked for procurement of motor vehicles for the ministry, while another N50m is allocated to the annual Abuja Carnival and National Creativity week in 2017.

Similarly, the sum of N88m, will go into operation and maintenance of cultural centres abroad in China and Brazil. For welfare and sporting activities, the ministry is to spend N69,140,907 and N12,909,380 respectively for the year in view.

Part of the capital projects contained in the budget include acquisition of tangible assets which got N447,554,559m from the capital allocation.

This is in addition to N88,995,701 proposed for maintenance services by the ministry. However, N29, 311,283 and N35,476,295 were earmarked for office rent and other maintenance services in the ministry.

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