ABUJA (Nigeria) – Nigeria’s new Minister of Information, Patricia Akwashiki has pledged to attract more funding to the Ministry to enable workers execute their work effectively.
A statement by the Ministry’ Press Secretary, Joseph Mutah said the Minister made the pledge while addressing the heads of parastatals and agencies at their maiden meeting in Abuja.
The statement said Minister noted from the briefings of the heads of parastatals and agencies, inadequate funding had been the major challenge to their operations.
The Minister however urged them to be more creative by churning out programmes that would attract additional funds even outside of government’s coffers.
“I know we have a lot of problems, it is the general song everywhere. Once we don’t have enough revenue to go round, we are bound to have problems but I know that it is also in times of trouble and problems that people show their best.
I believe we can look inward and outward as the case may be to get other sources or other means of improving ourselves and generating monies and revenues for us to work,” she said.
The Minister was of the opinion that if the Federal Ministry of Information was properly funded, there would be constant and sustained public information on government’s activities and programmes even before the electioneering.
She stressed that as a deliberate policy to guard against misinformation by the political opposition, public information organs in the ministry should be given the wherewithal to saturate the media space with factual and verifiable information on government’s achievements and programmes and compete favourably with other private outfits.
Senator Akwashiki pledged her readiness to work with the heads of the parastatals and agencies to adequately inform the public on activities of government and also to improve the image of the country.
While presenting her brief, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. FolasadeYemi-Esan, said despite the paucity of funds, the ministry initiated and implemented the Ministerial Platform and the National Good Governance Tour, as two key programmes, which showcased the landmark achievements of the Jonathan Administration.
She said during the Ministerial Platform, ministers interacted with Nigerians about their stewardships on a multi-media platform to encourage feedback while the National Good Governance Tour was the physical verification and inspection of projects by the media and civil society to showcase ongoing and executed projects of government across the country.
Dr. Yemi-Esan said the Information Ministry also utilised the Social Media as a veritable platform for public communication and interaction.
She pledged the preparedness of the management and staff to work with the new minister to actualize the mandate of the ministry.