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Budget Defense: Legislators advocate National Light’s facility upgrade

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FOLLOWING the presentation of the annual budget for the 2020 Fiscal Year inAnambra State by  Governor Willie Obiano, and the consequent commencement of the budget bilateral interaction and defense, which kicked off on Monday; lawmakers have advocated the need for more facilities for  Anambra Newspapers And Printing Corporation, Publishers of National Light Newspaper, Ka Ọ DịTaa, an  Igbo Newspaper and SportslightXtra.

  This formed part of the major areas of concern at the budget defense exercise between the state’s Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment and the members of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, headed by  Obinna Emenaka, representing Anambra East Constituency.

  Speaking at the event, Chairman, House Committee on Information and Communications and member, representing Aguata 2 Constituency,  Okechukwu Okoye, said it was unfair to say that the state’s sole print medium has no single vehicle.

  He harped on the need to channel well-deserved attention and support to the organisation, just as was done to her sister agency, Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) in order to make her more viable and fit to withstand the competitive media environment.

  In a reaction to questions bothering on the operation of the organisation, the MD and CEO of National Light Newspaper, Sir Chuka Nnabuife said, though the firm had been doing well, they need more modern equipment, especially for printing, as some machines currently under the possession of the organisation were outdated, which is not in tandem with digital and technological advancement currently defining the market in such a competitive environment as Nigeria.

  On his own part, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C.Don Adinuba, noted that print media are globally threatened, as many people now prefer to read online from their phones, tablets and computers, being one of the major harms the internet has done to print media industries.

  Responding to the question on how he intends to improve the functional capacity of the staff under his ministry, Adinuba, who disclosed that the ministry has a total of 232 staff, and 178 as information officers, explained that they have organised and continued to organise series of training and retraining programs for the staff, while also revealing that a team from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will be coming next year to train ABS Staff.

  Addressing newsmen, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Emenaka, said the legislature was resolved to giving ndi Anambra the best and quality representation, while also assuring that they will pass budget that will effectively impact on the living standard of the citizens and enhance more infrastructural and economic developments of the state, which the governor has always expressed as his heart’s desire.

  It would be recalled that Gov. Obiano, on September 26, laid a budget proposal of N137.1b on the floor of the state’s House of Assembly for the 2020 fiscal year, in which he said N78.3 billion will be spent on capital expenditure, translating to 57 per cent of the total budget, while N58.69 billion covering 43 per cent is for recurrent expenditure.

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