By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE Senate, yesterday, refused to treat the budget proposal for the Federal Ministry of Information due to lack of provision for media propaganda in the North East.
The Senate Committee on Information, which took the decision during the ministry’s budget defence, insisted that the ministry must not only rework but also re-present its budget with provisions for effective media propaganda in the North East.
The committee on information, headed by Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, PDP, Abia South, directed that the ministry should bring a budget that will cater for the needs of its media agencies.
Abaribe’s directive was sequel to the observation raised by a member of the committee and senator representing Bayelsa North, Ben Bruce, who had decried the non inclusion of budget for media operations in the North East, in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Bruce, in his remark, had pointed out that during the Nigerian Civil War, the media was effectively used to propagate relevant information.
He therefore appealed that the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, and Voice of Nigeria, VON, should go and add the required component.
He said: “It would have made more sense for the information budget of the Army to be given to the Ministry of Information to equip these stations to be used by the military as a source of communication.
“For instance, if there is going to be an air raid in a particular area, we can warn the citizens to stay off that particular area.”