Saddled with providing citizens with information and creating a technological environment for Nigeria’s socio-economic and cultural development, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture appears to have deviated from its mandate to annually divert outrageous amounts of money in the guise of executing frivolous projects.
This was seen in the proposed 2021 budget with code number ERGP6151757, where N46,281,534 (Forty-Six Million, Two Hundred and Eighty-One Thousand, Five Hundred and Thirty-Four Naira) was approved for the Updating and Reproduction of Wall Calendar of Festivals.
This frivolous item findings show, has been a reoccurring decimal in the budget of Lai Mohammed’s led Information Ministry as the ministry seem to be addicted to traditional information dissemination and preservation techniques instead as against modern technological approaches.
Further diggings, however, revealed that the aforementioned budget was potentially duplicated and awarded with a different code number ERGP9124029 and another N51, 586,943 (Fifty-One Million, Five Hundred and Eighty-Six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Forty-Three Naira) budgeted for Production of FGN Wall Calendars with no specified quantity.
Industry experts when contacted described the amount to be outrageous as the money awarded for the reproduction and updating of the wall calendars may be 10 times higher than the actual amount for its printing and design.
Mr. Eugene Edward, a graphic designer pointed out that the actual amount for the production of wall calendars in bulk with high quality materials is about N1,500 (One Thousand Five Hundred Naira) per paper. “For a 13 sheet calendar bearing the 12 months in a year is N18,000 (Eighteen Thousand Naira).
“If it is 10,000 pieces since the numbers of calendars needed were not stated, it will be nothing more than N4.5 million for a mass production which is not close to the first budget of N46,281,534 (Forty-Six Million, Two Hundred and Eighty-One Thousand, Five Hundred and Thirty Four Naira) hence the budget is excess.“ he said.
Concerned Nigerians have since called for a proper investigation into the dealings of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture as the annual budgeting of millions of Naira for the updating and reproduction of wall calendars is a clear indication that there may be more than meets the eyes in the total budget of the Ministry.