Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Communications, John Ogar Odey has said that effective and efficient information management remained vital to the overall administration and development of the country.
The Minister stated this on Tuesday at the National Assembly, Abuja when he briefed the House of Representatives Committee on Information and National Orientation on the activities and operations of his Ministry.
Aside from stating the various departments, divisions and units of the Ministry and their respective functions, the Minister pledged to do everything possible to apply modern tools of information dissemination and communication to enable Nigerians understand and internalize government programmes and policies.
The Minister used the opportunity of the occasion to state that his Ministry would collaborate with members of the House Committee, the private sector and other stakeholders to formulate and implement a programme for the Nigerian image project tagged The Heart of Africa.
Mr. Odey averred that the Heart of Africa project was primarily designed to promote national brand assets as well as come to grips with biased reportage and negative issues confronting the nation. He then promised that the project would be re-designed and repackaged to positively project the nation’s image within and outside the African continent.
The Minister equally highlighted some challenges of his Ministry especially capacity building or training in Information and Communication Technology and office accommodation and solicited the co-operation of the House to facilitate his duties.
He further promised not only to adequately educate and inform the people on government policies and programmes but to also ensure efficient postal services and proper feedback mechanism to Nigerians.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Information and Communications, Melaye Dino Daniel on behalf of his colleagues thanked the Minister for his superb presentation of the activities and functions of his Ministry.
Daniel also pledged that his committee would collaborate with the Ministry to facilitate the actualization of the seven-point agenda of the present administration.
Meanwhile, some members of the Committee made suggestions on community radio broadcast, image project, establishment of television / cinema viewing centres and the recently concluded television reality show – “Big Brother Africa 2” which was condemned on ethical and moral grounds.
The Committee finally summoned the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), M-Net and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) to appear before it over the alleged broadcast of obscene scenes in the just concluded “Big Brother Africa”.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Otaki Oyigbenu, directors and representatives of the chief executive officers of parastatals under the Ministry accompanied the Minister to the National Assembly.