The 38th meeting of the National Council on Information and Communications was held at the Hill Station Hotel Jos, Plateau State on Thursday, November 29, 2007. The meeting, with theme “Information Communication Management and Democracy” was attended by 180 delegates from 31 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

1.1 The meeting of officials to prepare a frame work for the council meeting had earlier been held from November 27th to 28th 2007 under the chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Information and Communications, Mr. Otaki M. Oyigbenu MNI .

1.2 The Plateau State Executive Governor, Da Jonah Jang, who declared the meeting open, reiterated the power of the media in galvanizing opinion in line with its traditional function of information, education and entertainment. In addition, he stated that the Information and Communications sectors were institutions that ensured societal balance being gate keeper, mirror and an agenda setter.

1.3 On his part the Plateau State Commissioner for Information Mr. Nuhu Gagara informed participants that information is power, the management and control of this source of power is very critical. He therefore called on the participants as information managers to view their roles beyond informing and enlightening the public but essentially as shapers and moulders of society.

1.4 In a key note address the Honourable Minister of Information and Communications Mr. John O. Odey informed Council that the emergence of a bigger and more strategic Federal Ministry of Information and Communications has necessitated the re-designating of this meeting as the National Council on Information and Communications.

1.5 The Minister pointed out that the seven-point agenda of President Yar’Adua

administration the Vision 20-2020 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are for the information and communication sector critical road map to greatness.

1.6 Lectures were delivered by the following guest speakers Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Prof C. Angaye on “Information Technology Tools for Enhancing Delivery and Democratic Dividends”, a former Minister of Information and Culture, Prince Tony Momoh, on “Public Communication for Effective Social Mobilization” and Professor Ike Nwosu on “Information/Communications management to foster service and democracy” and Eng. Ernest Ndukwe, EVC/CEO NCC on “Communications as catalyst for Nigeria’s economic development”.

1. 7 Goodwill messages were also received from the Chairman Senate Committee on

Information, Senator Ayogu Eze, Chairman Senate Committee on Communications,

Senator Sylvester Anyanwu, Chairman House Committee on Communications, Hon. Jerry Manwe, as well as Chairman House Committee on Information and National Orientation, Hon. Dino Melaye.

After exhaustive deliberation, Council resolved that:

i. The Nigerian Television should indigenize its programming through the propagation of issues relevant to local communities using NT A state and community stations and encourage the sector to grow operating as NTA’s third carrier operating with the same prominence as NTA Network and NTA International.

ii. Manufacturers of digital equipment be encouraged to establish factories in Nigeria

through the granting of tax holidays and other incentives.

iii. The UNESCO model curriculum for journalism education for developing countries be domesticated to evolve a standard curriculum guideline for journalism education in the country.

iv. Government at all levels and other relevant stakeholders join in the fight against the illegal importation and distribution of pornographic films, which have been adjudged to be greatly responsible for the moral decadence in our society

v. State Governments should participate actively in the 2008 Zuma Film Festival scheduled for 4th – 8th May 2008 by using the platform to showcase their socioeconomic investment opportunities, art and cultural values and documentary films.

vi. State Governments should establish their own state-owned Archives Departments to preserve their records in accordance with the National Archives Act.

vii. States and relevant stakeholders should partner with the federal government to benefit from the exchange of Notes between Nigeria and Japan for the improvement of Medium Wave Radio Band Project for the promotion of literacy education for rural dwellers as well as in the public enlightenment campaign on the importance of educational broadcasting.

viii. The FMIC provide guidelines on the Seven point Agenda to enable state governments and privately owned media and other information and communications sectoral partners to collaborate with the present Administration to use the Agenda to develop Nigeria as one of the top 20 countries in the World by the year 2020.

ix. All state governments and organizations who invite foreign journalists to cover projects and events in Nigeria should partner with the FMIC in order to protect the nation’s security, by obtaining due clearance.

x. State governments be called upon to link up with the National Web Portal www.nigeria.gov.ng managed by the FMIC and ensure they send in timely information about their states to the Web office.

xi. The Federal Ministry of Information and Communications should serve as the repository of all records and actions of the President and the presidency as a whole to ensure proper collation, storage and distribution of information locally and abroad.
This should be replicated at the State level.

xii. A call be made for adequate funding of information structures and information management systems at both the federal and state levels to ensure creation of mass public awareness on government policies and programmes.

xiii. The on-going public service Reforms should be holistic in terms of manpower development and application of Information and Communication Technology (lCT) as a strategy for good governance and sustainable development.

xiv. Federal and State Ministries should upgrade all Public Relations Units to full fledged Department to build professional carrier of information officers in the Public Service and to adequately promote the nation’s image at home and abroad.

xv. The NIPR should develop training and Education Programmes for information managers that will make career in the public relations field relevant to the public service.

xvi. There should be full liberalization policies for the operations in the media industry through the provision of an enabling environment.

xvii. Communication strategies be formulated to effectively mobilize all the relevant stakeholders for the realization of the objectives of the MDGs.

xviii. Multimedia approaches be deviced to re-awake and restore reading culture amongst all Nigerians especially the Youths.

xix. Support be garnered for Mr. President’s Power and energy initiative through sensitization and enlightenment of the Nigerian populace.

xx. States in the Niger Delta region should co-host a global summit on Peace and Development Journalism as an agent of peace building and sustainable development in the region.

xxi. States and every organization should only use the standardized National Anthem and the public as well as corporate bodies to hold the national flag in high esteem.

xxii. All Federal, State and local Governments’ classified publications be handled by Government Printing Presses with a recommendation that memos be presented to respective Executive Councils for ratification.

xxiii. Investors with sufficient expertise in the information and communications sector be encouraged to stimulate growth in the broadcast industry.

xxiv. There should be provision for additional networks for commercial and private tiers of broadcasting in line with the democratic culture and government’s economic reform policy.

xxv. States and local Governments should always provide adequate funding for massive public enlightenment and mobilization of the people on government policies and programmes.

xxvi. The Press remains a major catalyst for promoting the positive values of our society in order to make Nigeria remain a strong and peaceful society.

xvii. The presence and goodwill messages by key members of the legislature with oversight functions on information and communications at the Executive Session of the Council be recognized and viewed as a sign of effective collaboration aimed at repositioning the information and communications sectors for accelerated national development.

Council expressed immense gratitude to the government and people of Plateau State for their warm hospitality in hosting the 38th Session of the National Council on Information and Communications
The next National Council on Information arid Communications will hold at Yenagoa, Bayelsa State in June 2008


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