The Kano State Government has paid more than N500 million inherited advert debts in the last eight years.
The outgoing state Commissioner for Information and Internal Affairs, Muhammad Garba, disclosed this on Friday in Kano while handing over affairs of the ministry to the Permanent Secretary, Sani Yola.
Mr Garba explained that the debts were incurred from advertisements placed in various media, which he inherited on assumption of office.
According to him, the ministry was revived during his tenure, which resulted in the promotion of more than 35 officers to the position of directors as well as the elevation of five practicing journalists from the ministry to the position of permanent secretaries in the state service.
Mr Garba added that the state-owned Triumph Publishing Company was also resuscitated by acquiring new printing machines for the company and ensuring the publication of its own newspapers, among other things.
He also said that the State Government had constructed 24 shops at the Secretariat of the State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, as well as the modernisation of the council’s Conference Hall to enable it generate revenue to finance its services.
The commissioner said it was also to his credit that no journalist was arrested or harassed during his tenure, which contributed to the good working relationship between the outgoing administration and journalists that flourished during the period under review.
Mr Garba said he had done his best in discharging his mandate, praying that whoever succeeds him “will do more than we did”.
He commended working journalists in the state for their cooperation and understanding, which contributed to his success in managing the information affairs of the state.
Receiving the handover notes, Mr Yola commended the outgoing commissioner for the competent manner in which he ran the affairs of the ministry and the guidance the staff of the ministry received from him.
In his remarks, the chairman of the state Council of the NUJ, Abbas Ibrahim, also thanked the commissioner for influencing the 24 shops and modernisation of the union’s conference hall, among other gestures.
Similarly, the chairman of the correspondents’ chapel of the NUJ, Ibrahim Garba, commended the commissioner for the robust support and cooperation members of the chapel enjoyed during his tenure.