Abuja (Nigeria) – Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that public media (government-owned) organizations will be restructured and reinvented in order to position them to compete favorably with other privately own medium in the country.
The minister made this known in Abuja on Monday when he received on courtesy visit members of the National Executive Committee of the Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU).
He said for the public media to compete with others, there need to restructure, and reinvent them because that is the only way it can compete favorably with other broadcasting outfits.
On the issue raised by RATTAWU on the low patronage of public media, Mohammed said the government media organizations have to be retooled to provide compelling contents that will make them attractive to viewers and advertisers.
The Minister further noted that, public media organization under his watch would not deny access to the political opposition but emphasized that the media, especially the broadcast outfits, should always adhere strictly to the provisions of the Broadcasting Code in the performance of their duties.
He assured that the Federal Government was committed to the diversification of the economy through an organized and coordinated approach to mainstream culture, tourism and agriculture into the economy.
“Agriculture is one area where our diversification is going to be felt but what we have done is that we are not just talking about agriculture in the abstract. We are picking a few crops and a few items that we intend to be self-sufficient in and these items are today taking a large chunk of our foreign exchange. So in diversifying in agriculture, we are linking it to the entire economy,” he said.
Mohammed told the RATTAWU executives that he has been studying the minutes of their meetings with the government on improved remuneration package for its members and promised to continue to engage the stakeholders in that regard.
Earlier, the President of RATTAWU, Dr. Yemisi Bamgbose commended the Buhari administration for the successes it has so far recorded in the fight against corruption and insurgency; he urged the government to extend the same vigour to revamping the nation’s economy.
He also spoke on the need to diversify the economy, improve the remuneration of media workers, curb the instability in the leadership of the public media and ensure their independence.
The RATTAWU president also called for the review of the law that empowers Local Governments to collect radio license fees because, saying, the third tier of government has no input in broadcasting.