2 January 2014

Nigeria: FG Budgets N241 Million for 'Good Governance' Tour

The Federal Government has voted N241 million for the Good Governance Tour being led by the Minister of Information Mr Labaran Maku.

This proposal is contained in the 2014 presented to the National Assembly in December.

It was listed in the budget as "Nation-wide Media Tour of Federal Government Projects and Hosting of Town Hall Meetings (8 Outings) (PR&PD)."

Maku had been travelling round the country with a delegation of officials, journalists and civil groups to states in order to highlight projects achieved by the federal and state governments.

The minister had said the programme was approved by the National Economic Council (NEC), which included all the 36 state governors.

But despite Maku's justification of the programme which he described as a national discussion about development, critics say it is a waste of public funds and time.

When it was the turn of minister and his team to visit Edo state last year, Governor Adams Oshiomhole declined to bear the cost saying it was a waste of his state's funds.

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola had also said the tour was unnecessary. "Do the people of Nigeria need a tour to know that they're being well governed?

But Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan had defended the programme saying it was backed by all 36 state governors.

Also, the ministry will spend another N201.347 million on the production of calendars and diaries for 2014.

Printing of calendars and diaries had long been banned since the time of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. It was not clear yet whether President Jonathan has reversed the policy.

The ministry has also earmarked N300 million for external publicity/media insertions in foreign media, N50 million for developing social media platforms and networking with other platforms (PC&IT), N51 million for the purchase of digital machines and other equipment.

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