Despite recession, Nigerian govt budgets over N1 billion for PR, media lobby

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Despite an economy in recession, the federal government plans to spend over one billion Naira on public relations and media lobby in 2017, a review of proposed allocations to the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture has revealed.

According to the proposals submitted last month to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, the ministry wants to spend one billion, three hundred and fifty two million, one hundred thousand and twenty three thousand, nine hundred and eight Naira (N1,352,123,908) on schemes to influence citizens’ opinion, lobby local and foreign media and other public relations targets.

The ministry is headed by Lai Mohammed, a former spokesperson of the ruling All Progressives Congress. The ministry’s total budget proposal of N49,464,302,080 for 2017 is higher than the N45,162,776,886 it got last year.

It appears the funds budgeted for PR and other media targets, as well as some expenditures like “governance and institutional reforms” proposed to gulp N1.9 billion, are principally responsible for the increase.

In the 2017 budget proposal, Mr. Mohammed’s ministry proposes to spend N100 million on “foreign media PR/ lobby consultancy” and another N100 million to “interact with stakeholders” which, according to the ministry, include the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Nigerian Union of Journalists, bloggers, online publishers and Newspapers Publishers Association of Nigeria.

While the government wants to use N100 million to organize “quarterly opinion polls”, it also budgets N270 million for town hall meetings.

The government also proposes to commit a sum N409, 240,600 on “grassroots public enlightenment campaign on government policies and programmes (including cost of production of materials and IEC on government achievements).”

Also, in 2017, Nigerians could see a lot of Mr. Mohammed or his paid nominees moving from one newspaper house to another and appearing on radio as well as television programmes hosted by “influencers and analysts.”

For this plan, the government wants N180 million to be spent by the Ministry of Information and Culture on “ministerial media appearances with influencers and analysts on TV, radio, social and print media.”

And there is another N192,883,308 budgeted for “publicity and advertisements”.
It is not clear what the government plans to do with hundreds of millions budgeted to “lobby” foreign media, interact with journalists or facilitate the minister’s media appearances with analysts and influencers.

Pressed to comment on the proposals, Mr. Mohammed’s special assistant, Segun Adeyemi, declined, asking our correspondent to contact the minister instead. But Mr. Mohammed could not be reached on phone.

An official in the ministry, however, pledged that the funds would not to be diverted. The official said the government had a responsibility to ensure citizens understand the policies of the government and appreciate its achievement so that the government would not be cast in bad light by the opposition.

The official insisted “it is barely possible for any official to corruptly enrich himself or herself in the present government.”

The Muhammadu Buhari administration came to power on the back of promises to tackle corruption and wastes that constitute barriers to utilisation of funds for developmental objectives.
A further review of the ministry’s breakdown however revealed there are at least two instances of budgeting for one item twice.

The ministry proposes N44,181,840 for “purchase of office furniture and fittings” in line 23010112; and in another place, line FMOI&32443591, the ministry plans to spend another N83,500,000 on ‘purchase of office furniture and equipment.”

Then, in line 23010105, the ministry makes provision for “purchase of motor vehicles” with the sum of N97,200,000. But the same item – “purchase of motor vehicles” – also comes in line FM01&04520205 and gets N97,100,000 vote.

These repetitions and other curious budgetary proposals are some of the issues Nigerians would expect the National Assembly to review in the proposed budget.


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  • Olori Magege

    It is part of the deal. Was 200 million not used to clear evasive weeds instead of feeding Boko Haram IDPs?

  • Darlington

    Lai, the Chief Propagandist! It’s your turn to loot. Insufferable hypocrites.

    • Night Crawler

      You are a proven lunatic who has lost his sense of reasoning

  • Martins

    Comical Lai Muhammed is about to join the big league, hence the padded budget to facilitate the looting spree. Bunch of hypocritical pigs, their only achievement is barefaced propaganda.

    • Daniel

      Nice rhyme and on point.

    • Night Crawler

      Kindly rate this administration in 2019 and stop crying foul

  • Martins

    I hope these lunatics and online internet warriors engaged by Lai Muhammed will benefit from his own loot. Olatubosun, Night Crawler, women leader, progressive, frontman, Caltu, dpfrank, StackCrawler, Peace_3 etc

  • Nkem

    See how corruption gets permanently institutionalised in a system. I don’t know who created this innovation of giving journalists money to tell nonexistent stories for the paymaster.
    Government activities are supposed to create news, and not for the Ministry of Information to generate media content as part of government activity; paying people to appear on talk shows and post on twitter. Government policies are supposed to create impact that is incontrovertibly felt by the people and not for government to sponsor stories about the work that government is doing.
    This practice has become a huge racket for government officials and ‘media relations officers’ to scam government. After all Reuben Abati said no one keeps record of such expenditure because no one issues receipts for that kind of activity.
    On this one it is obvious that Lai plans to make 2017 budget his own ‘Budget of Economic Emancipation’.

  • omotayo olanipekun

    One can’t help but wonder why the likes of kay soyemi, wahala, Maria, amazing2012, rommel, tundemess/tunsj/julius always flee from reports like this.
    Could it be the clowns are the so called ‘enforcers’ captured in this padded budget to enable them come here every day defending the indefensible and abusing non e-zombies??
    All pointers indicate the slaves have sold their souls to the DEV!L for a mess of porridge.
    Hypocrites!

    • Say the truth

      The internet hyenas and e-rats will not run their mouth now.

    • Martins

      See the useless Lai Muhammed internet warriors; Night Crawler, women leader, progressive, frontman, Caltu, dpfrank, StackCrawler, Peace_3 etc

      • Equano2016

        This is their budget 🙂

        • progressive

          It Nigerians budget not people like you who don’t want to tell nigerians the truth

        • okenwa

          Abi, new yam eaters on the loose.

      • progressive

        What are you saying is this what you at thought to do you need to be up doing youve Iost your senses

        • Gary

          No, he hasn’t, e-rat. You folks come online to decry corruption under the previous government only for you to engage in the same malfeasance. Lai Mohammed wants to raid the public treasury to pay you media mercenaries. Ole, barawo…corrupt entities who sell their souls for money. Go hide your heads in shame. Your Oga has unwittingly exposed all of you to shame and ridicule.

    • progressive

      Clueless get your facts very well and stop lying e goats

  • Tanko na Mata

    What a disgrace! Shebi this was what made the Executive go in the dead of the night to ste@l that shambolic 2016 budget of CHAINS from the NA!
    What is wrong with these people??

    • progressive

      This is a budget of change a budget that will make nigerians to be happy

  • musa aliero

    This government wants to spend the people money!abiut N1.3 billion naira to deceive us, and spread falsehood while subverting the truth! This is the first government that is budgeting the people’s money on their own propaganda

    • progressive

      Which people’s money you must be sick what about the money that your pad leaders embezzled why didn’t you tell them to refund the money they stole

  • Nigerian Builder

    By the time these guys finished looting Nigeria, the case of Osun state will be a child play.
    I have warned my nation before now that the bubu administration is a highly sophisticated looting syndicate that will surely undermine Nigeria.
    Last year one senator was lamenting that an awesome sum 500b was budgeted for what they called compulsory cash transfer to the poor without any explanation on how the money is going to be disbursed, till date ,no poor Nigerian have received a dime of the official looting and yet no body is asking any question.
    Is it not outrageous that a government that was making too much fuss that Jonathan spent 400 million via olisa metu to launder the image of government ,is now officially inserting 1.3 b to use to bribe media houses to keep lying to Nigerians about buharis fumbles while citizens are dying for buharis gross incompetence in handling Nigeria.
    May Gods punishment be visited on all those who brought this terrible calamities on Nigeria.

    • progressive

      You all came from corrupt party that is the main reason you are all crying fowl just because you don’t have money to steal again

  • Gary

    Lai Baba!! You wan chop your own for 2017! Go on soun -na where person dey work, he go chop, abi? And your online army of propaganda E-rats have to be paid-Rommel, Ralph, Emeka, Jasper, Orafindiya, plus the paid writers and columnists on retainership don’t work for the Salvation Army after all. They have bills to pay and must thus be accommodated in the national budget.

    Una do well o. The country is broke and in recession but there’s still enough money to spend trying to convince Nigerians that Buhari is God’s gift to the nation and the next best thing to sliced bread.

    • Night Crawler

      You are saying trash,, wake up from your slumber

      • Gary

        Me slumbering? So this is the best defense you e-rats can muster on behalf of your boss trying to loot the treasury to finance propaganda?
        It is a useless, clueless and corrupt government that requires media misinformation to sell itself and its policies.

        Everything said about the allegedly corrupt Jonathan government is what Buhari’s government has now adopted. Just with greater incompetence, nepotism and autocracy. OBJ and Yar Adua did not not run propaganda operations and were confident of their vision to let their policies speak for themselves. GEJ started the nonsense by bringing on Doyin Okupe as Presidential attack dog and took us down this rabbit hole of propaganda as policy tool. Rather than stop with the elections, Lai Mohammed and Aso Rock have turned it into state policy. Confident enough to brazenly make it a line item in the budget for the Information Ministry. Talk about impudence!

        Nigerians were truly bamboozled by the APC.

    • progressive

      Bigot are you saying that the government should tell the masses on what they have been able to achieve I think you need to think straight all this propaganda won’t help you you pdp e rats needs to go on recourse you are all daft

      • okenwa

        Yam eater, what is the real work of information ministry?

  • Gary

    Where are the resident E-rats on PT to defend this budget line? Guys, your Garri is on the line so come out and shout that this is corruption fighting back. Or your default position that GEJ did the same thing for which EFCC arrested, detained and charged Metuh and Abati. The latter did so for electioneering but Lai and his web army need it to muddle the waters that they run a government bereft of vision and competence to move Nigeria forward. And all the propaganda in the world cannot hide incompetence and cluelessness. For you cannot give what you do not have.

    • progressive

      It a pity that most of you are not well informed you are just here blabbing you are just been sent out ad goats to come and be commenting rubbish on here

      • Burning Spear

        DOES THE RUBBISH U POSTED MAKE ANY SENSE TO YOUR EGIONAL HEAD———–EVEN JEHOVAH GOD IS SICK AND TIRED OF BINGO BUHARI NOT TO TALK OF THE HUMANS HE CREATED IN HIS OWN IMAGE

      • okenwa

        Its time for guys to eat the yam.

  • Burning Spear

    Give Liar MohAMED –40 trillion dollars he would never be able to rebrand bingo buhari—the man is beyond —–redemption————-Now under the full control of Satanic forces–there is nothing any can do to fix buhari and the Apes in APC

  • asuevie

    Lia Mohammed will only succeed if the economy improves, if not he should be prepared to answer the EFCC in future govt.

  • Otile

    Death to government lairs.
    Death to government propagandists.