Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Former Minister of Information and Culture, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, has advised information managers in all tiers of government to be proactive in performing their duties.

Oyovbaire gave the advice on Thursday at the opening of the technical session of the 46th meeting of the National Council of Information. The event is holding in Asaba.

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He said that the internet and ICT had made the dissemination of news on issues and events almost instantaneous.

He said because of this, it had become necessary for government media aides to communicate government decisions and policies to the public as early as possible.

“We should always endeavour to tell the truth as effectively as possible. This will let the civil society know what the government is doing. And this must be done even when the policy appears to be harsh.”

The former minister said that the civil society should not be the first to interpret government policies and decisions.

Oyovbaire further called for adequate funding of the information ministry to enable it to discharge its duties effectively.

Ayotunde Adesugba and Patrick Uka agree

Mrs Ayotunde Adesugba, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, also hammered on the topic. She said that media aides should fashion out strategies to exploit, harness and also take advantage of the social media.

“This must be done at all tiers of government in a coordinated, effective and result-oriented manner.”

She said that the theme of this year’s meeting which is “Leveraging on Information and Digital Technology to Sustain the Change Agenda of Government,” was apt as well as timely.

“We are well aware that as information managers, we have a crucial role to play in communicating and also publicizing the ‘change’ agenda. We also have a role to play to publicize other policy initiatives of government aimed at transforming the nation.”

The Delta Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Uka, also emphasized the need for media aides to take advantage of the social media to disseminate information about government programmes.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, will officially declare the three-day meeting open Friday.

NAN