THE newly approved 2017 budget by the National Assembly indicates that the lawmakers slashed the travelling, refreshment and miscellaneous expenses appropriated for Ministry of Information and Culture to from N661 million to N541 million.
The ministry had in the budget estimate proposed to spend N661,006,782 on travelling and transportation, refreshment and miscellaneous in the 2017 fiscal year.
The amount is part of the N49,464,302,080 billion allocated to the ministry from the N7.441 trillion Appropriation Bill for 2017 passed by the National Assembly last Thursday.
The reduction showed that N120 million was deducted from the original budget estimate for the three items.
A breakdown of the amount showed that N254 million is allocated to travelling and transportation as against N273,706,901 earlier allocated; N257 million for miscellaneous, against N347 million earlier allocated, while N30 million is allocated for refreshment as against N40 million earlier allocated in the fiscal year.
Vanguard reporterd that its checks showed that N14 million was allocated to printing of security and non-security documents, against N50 million earlier proposed for scanning and keeping of official records. N30 million was also approved for electricity charges in the fiscal year.
It added that its findings further showed that from the total allocation, N1.9 billion will be spent on capital projects, against N8,380,248,826 earlier proposed out of N6.303 billion, while N4.356 billion is for recurrent expenditure of the ministry.
Other areas expected to take the chunk of the allocation of the ministry include, purchase of fixed assets and maintenance services, which will cost N179 million and N75.9 million respectively, while N94.3 million and N59.5 million will be spent on security services and materials and supplies. The ministry also in the year in view is expected to spend N4.2 million on financial services and N41 million on utility services.
Also for the year, N50 million has been earmarked for construction and provision of recreational facilities, while another N50 million is allocated to the anniversary celebrations. Similarly, N1.3 billion will go into governance and institutional reforms.
For monitoring and evaluation, research and development, the ministry is to spend N88.6 million and N170 million respectively for the year in view.
Part of the capital projects contained in the budget include acquisition of tangible assets, which got N1.6 million allocation from the capital allocation.
However, N97 million and N140.8 million were earmarked for purchase of motor vehicles publicity and advertising in the ministry.
Meanwhile, the total allocation for the whole of the ministry and parastatals is now N50,367,338,362 as against N49,464,302,080 earlier allocated to the ministry.