The activities surrounding the renewed attempt by the office of the presidency in showcasing the good administrative efforts of the Goodluck Jonathan administration via the Good Governance Tour under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Information may have opened a Pandora’s Box that may spell doom for the continued stay of the Information Minister at the Information Ministry.
Information available to 247ureports.com obtained through a top sensitive source within the Presidency reveals the uncloaked perception of Mr. President towards some of the Federal Executive Cabinet members – particularly the Federal Minister of Information, Malam Labaran Maku. The source who is a national player in party politics of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] quotes the President as saying that Labaran Maku as the “most corrupt Federal Minister” following a brief ‘behind-closed-door’ discussion between the source and Mr. President recently.
From discussions with the President, the source understood that the President was livid over the ill performance of the Good Governance Tour – in terms of the limited waves/impact made in the print and electronic media. It was learnt that Mr. President was elated over the idea of a Good Governance Tour when it was initially proposed at the Federal Executive Council meeting by the Information Minister – partly because the Tour would enable uplift a fast dwindling political currency. Mr. President was also pleased the Tour was suggested by a former Information Minister, Jerry Gana.
Pleased with the prospects of having a Tour to showcase the developmental strides of the federal government – of which may result to a good ‘Public Relations’ job for the president, Mr. President immediately bought into the idea – and tapped his men to help make available the necessary logistics to facilitate the Tour. The Information Minister was given the go ahead – along with the authority to approach the various Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies for financial support – and a list of their various projects. The information Minister also approached each state governor for the same.
But with roughly over one month into the tour exercise, the initial elation felt by the President evaporated as the media headlines appear to have not carried the efforts in the manner he [presidency] thought was fitting. “The president was disappointed at the exercise”. Specifically, according to another source within the presidency, the president thought that with the monies raised for the Tour – that the Honorable Minister should have been able to ‘force’ the findings of the Tour into the Headlines of many Newspapers or Magazines. Rather, the Honorable Minister opted to focus primarily on federal government owed media houses for the dissemination of the Tour findings and developments. Of which our source indicates the President was grossly unimpressed.
On the part of the reporters – who had tagged along the entourage of the Tour – as official selected reporters to report on the findings along the Tour – the matter appears uneasy.
The reporters, according to the Tour details, were selected from a wide variety of media houses and embedded with the Tour. They were to receive a daily allowance of N100,000 from the Ministry of Information. Also, to augment their daily allowance, the reporters expected to receive monetized goodwill messages from the various State Governors following the completion of each State tour. But the reporters have yet to receive the monetized messages – of which 247ureports.com gathered were regularly given to aides to the Information Minister for onward transmission to the Minister. But the Information Minister hoards the money without distributing the monies to the Reporters. As a result, the Reporters remain unhappy.
But the Director of Press at the Ministry of Information, Mr. Dama disagrees. In a text message to 247ureports.com, he termed the allegation against the Information Minister false and untrue.
In his words, “There is no truth in these allegations. Mr. Labaran is prudent with the good governance tour expenditure and no reporter has been short changed as alleged. All reporters are being paid their duty tour allowances as and when due as we went on the tour. You can call any one of them on tour team and they will confirm that to you. Again the allegation that the presidency is unimpressed is equally not true. This is because Labaran briefed the Federal Executive Council on the tour two weeks ago and it was adjudged to be good. If the presidency has found any fault with the good governance tour it would have said so and even be reflected on their resolutions for last week that he briefed council but nothing of such was reflected. Please ignore all the lies being spread about the good governance tour. We are ready to open up our books for you to see please”.
Meanwhile, preliminary investigation carried out by our correspondent indicates the Information Ministry to be administered under a less prudent administrator. Our investigation showed the Information Minister as a familiar player in the art of funds misappropriation. Specifically, the 2011 budget for the Information Ministry earmarked N65.68million for upkeep of Utilities at the Main Ministry, it earmarked N261.6million for Maintenance, N69.1million for Other Services, and N5.4million for Repairs – totaling to a grand total of N401.9million for building maintenance and upkeep. However a visual inspection of the building facility [both external and internal] shows a disparity – a structured disparity.
See below for enclosed photographs depicting the disparity in earmarked funds and the dilapidated utilities and associated structures.
The total 2011 budget for Information Ministry was N30.4billion. Click Summary_Information Comm to view the 2011 Budget for Information Ministry.
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I don’t care about about all these gossips. What I know is that the Minister of Information is working. He is one of the redeeming features of Jonathan’s administration.
I place him among the elite club of performing and sincere ministers like Adeshina-Agric, Okonjo Iweala-Finance, ex Power Minister Barth Nnaji, Stella Odua-Aviation.
Maku radiates this humble and sincere personality that you cannot wish away.He comes across as a down to earth information Minister.
You need to see the way he handled questions during the Nassarawa Town Hall meeting which I watched live on air. He answered all questions thrown at him from the social media world. He drew my attention to so many ongoing federal projects in the state vizFedral secretariat complex, TETFUND classroom blocks and lecture theatres at college of Education, New CBN complex, New federal University Lafia, NTA Akwanga, Lafia-Ubi-Awe road, KARU power sub station etc
I prefer this tour more than the wasteful projects like sloganeering and propaganda of “good people. Great Nation”
First, this reporter betrayed his sinister motives by demanding monetized goodwill messages. What does that mean?
Aren’t the tour supposed to be a national service intended to showcase the activities of govts at all levels? Why demand or agitate over monetsised goodwill messages? So the Governors really give bribes to record a good showing by journalists?
For me, these so called Monetised goodwill messages is bribery. and a reporter with integrity should not been seen making a fuss over such publicly.
Secondly, the reporter failed to disclose to us how much was voted for this tour so that common men like us could make reasonable criticisms over it. It is not just enough to say the Minister embezzled without any concrete evidence of figures in support.
Every scandal has a figure attached to it either rightly or wrongly. You could hear 20 billion scam or 4 Billion scam etc.
There was no such thing in that report against Maku. So I don’t know how they came about such allegations of misappriopration.
Thirdly, it was almost laughable and betrayed the reporter’s bias that Maku is being accused of misappriopration of a 2011 budget which was done by Akunyili. It would have made more sense if tt were 2012 budget.
That nothwitstanding, every toddler in Nigeria now knows that appriopriation is different from releases. Even if you have been granted 5 billion and passed by NASS in the budget, it doesn’t amount to release. A minister is actually assessed based on the releases made to him not on mere figures stipulated in the budget.
It is appalling and utterly disheartening the depths that certain elements will go to tarnish the image of an innocent man. Hon. Maku has always been honest, prudent and sincere. This report is entirely false, misleading and borne out of a desire to distract the minister from his good work and paint him in a bad light. It is on record that Mr. Maku is the best minister of information since the rise of social media and greater mobile internet penetration and he has gone about his duties excellently. The ongoing NGGT has contrary to this report received extensive coverage in the print and electronic media and even moreso, made a huge, appreciable and commendable impact across various social media platforms like facebook, twitter, BBM, Youtube, to mention a few. This brazen attempt by fifth columnists to tarnish the image of the honourable minister is ill-concieved, unwarranted and baseless.
what i can say to this reports is that one day Nigeria will be better place to live..but one thing that must be out of this nation is the habit of dog will not fight dog…MORE Entertainment news and celebrity lifestyle here at http://www.gistyinka.com
This is clearly a CPC/ACN man writing this rubbish. Whether we like this govt or not, wether we like Maku or not there is slow but sure progress going on in Nigeria. Now that their boko haram agenda is failing they r choosing the path of cheap blackmail. All this will fail. I implore the minister and indeed the FGN to remain focused, though I am not a good supporter of PDP
The person that wrote this article should be really ashamed of his or her self. Am sure this is the hand work of some faustrated and spineless swine. Maku is still the best information minister Nigeria will ever have, he carries out his duties with all sincerity and hard work. The good governance tour, is one of the best things this country will ever experience, as it give room for communication between the people and the leaders.
i don’t know what these people means by information minister working. They confuse noise making as working. Nigeria’s Informations minsters are the most unprincipled i have ever seen, except one, but certainly not maku.
Think of it how many info minsters pass out with their credibility intact. As some body said: “if you want to kill a politician give him information minister.