Poor budgetary allocation, releases limiting activities of federal information agencies – Lawmaker

Segun Odebunmi

Rep. Segun Odebunmi (APC- Ogo-Oluwa/Surulere) says poor budgetary allocation is limiting the activities of National Orientation Agency (NOA), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and other federal government information agencies.

Odebunmi made the assertion while featuring on a radio programme monitored on Monday in Ibadan.

NAN reports that Odebunmi is the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Information and National Orientation.

He said that the problem was not limited to NOA and NAN, but same was applicable to Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Voice of Nigeria (VON) and other agencies.

The lawmaker said that NOA, which has offices across the 774 local government areas in the country  gets less than a N100 million allocation annually.

“What will they do with that amount? Absolutely nothing tangible will be achieved.

“But with the help of the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, we have been able to increase the allocation to about N400 million.

“With this, I believe they will be more efficient and function effectively,” he said.

Odebunmi said that the major challenges of the agencies was finance, saying Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, has agreed to increase their budgetary allocation.

On Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme of the Federal Government to assist the most vulnerable at this time of COVID-19 pandemic, Odebunmi said the programme was a good but the process of disbursement needed to be reviewed.

The lawmaker said that the method of public display of cash and payment to people on queue was indecent and would encourage corruption.

“As I speak now, someone from my consitituency has gotten the Federal Government CCT. I have been monitoring this programme for a while. It started in 2016 and only 14 local governments were included in Oyo State,” he said.

Odebunmi said that he has been sponsoring sensitisation jingles on radio, initiated house-to-house campaign and distributed food items, hand sanitisers as well as other materials to people.

The lawmaker expressed dissatisfaction with efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

“I am not satisfied with the way the COVID-19 pandemic prevention is being handled in this state. The governor is handling the situation as if it is not a serious matter.

“Unfortunately, he was one of the victims including some of the major stakeholders like UCH CMD and others.

“So, there is need for the state to be more proactive like Lagos, Osun, Kwara and other states we share boundaries with.

“If Osun had not been able to handle the people who came from Abidjan seriously, they would have moved into my constituency which would have been bad for us all.

“It would have caused serious crisis in Ogbomoso which will obviously extend to Oyo and Ibadan,” he said. (NAN)

– Apr. 14, 2020 @ 10:05 GMT |

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