Budget for image laundering, meagre ― Lai Mohammed laments

⦁ Says perception hindering foreign supports

The Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said his Ministry was encumbered by lack of adequate fund to launder the image of the nation.

Alhaji Mohammed who appeared on Monday before the Senate Committee on Tourism led by Senator Rochas Okorocha disclosed that the sum of N105million was proposed for image laundering which he viewed as small.

He said: “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.”

Chairman of the Committee, admitted that the money proposed for the Ministry in the 2020 budget was small, but advised the Minister and his team to it think out of the box.

“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.”

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Speaking with newsmen after the session, the Information Minister identified the wrong perception as militating against the federal government drive to procure arms to fight insurgency and banditry.

“Some people have been 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, Northerns 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 been denied equipment from outside to fight insecurity based on this perception.”

He, however, expressed delight that the administration has succeeded in changing 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.”

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