REVEALED: FG budgets N300million to fight negative publicity in foreign media

Nigerian authorities are signing off a N300 million war chest to contest what an official called “negative publicity” on Nigeria in foreign media, as the government faces increasing criticism over its handling of a rampaging terror crisis in three northeast states.

The amount will be spent on “External publicity /media insertions in foreign media: print media, electronic media, media forum in selected cities abroad, engagement with foreign news agencies, production of specialized publicity materials for external audience”, according to the 2014 national budget.

The N300million vote is the ministry’s single most expensive subhead in an array of media campaign lined up by the federal ministry of information. The closest will be the vote for “organizing ministerial platforms and press briefings of national events and post event documentary series”. That will cost N130 million.

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, told lawmakers who scrutinized the budget Tuesday that the high allocation for external publicity was to allow the ministry “respond to some negative publicity about the country in foreign media”.