Information managers of the Nigerian government have been urged to live up to their responsibilities of promoting government policies and activities.
The initiator of a magazine publication in Nigeria, titled the 'Presidential Diary', Dr Abubakar Jimoh made this call Abuja, on a Voice of Nigeria Programme: 'In the News' .
Dr Jimoh stated that, the magazine, which would be launched on the 17th of October, as one of the ways of celebrating its 2nd year edition. was part of his contribution to enlightening the public on the achievements of government and to drive up support for its policies.
The initiator of the magazine, who is also the Director, Special Duties of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, stated that the magazine was birthed as a result of the need to close the yawning gap in terms of information dissemination in the country.
I believe there is a very wide gap between the citizenry and the government in terms of access to information. I also believe that there is a need for all information Managers in Nigeria especially those working in government institutions to rise up to the clarion
call for us to support the information machineries of government, this is because the President of this country, President Muhammadu Buhari means well for this country.
Dr Momoh explained the link between democracy and national development.
'When you talk of democracy, you talk of democracy and National development. At the core of this is information dissemination. Information dissemination is an effective instrument geared towards mobilizing the citizenry to begin to participate in supporting the government to be able to deliver on its mandate, its electoral promises and its party manifesto'.
Asked how he gets material for the magazine, Dr Momoh answered that he has well seasoned journalists in the employ of the publication.
'We have a formidable team of versatile, seasoned journalists who are on the editorial board of the Presidential magazine and they agreed that support government in every way possible. Even myself as a PR man, I also leverage on my contacts within and outside the country to also help with getting materials, so that people can be supportive
of the change mantra of the present administration.
The NAFDAC Director revealed that the idea to start the magazine was not an easy one because of several constraints he encountered in his bid to begin.
'When I conceived the idea as a civil servant, funds were major constraint, so I decided to sell the idea to one of my friends who accepted to help in funding the maiden edition of the magazine which was published about two years ago. Another friend took that edition to
the President who was both impressed and encouraging, and that was all the tonic I needed to continue the work.
Dr Momoh, said that through the magazine, government is made aware of the concerns of the citizens and of the country and is able to come up with strategies to resolve those challenges.
'As information officers, there is a way to draw government attention to issues affecting the people they are governing. One can do this objectively and not mischievously. If you have been reading past editions of the magazine, you will see how we have been doing this.
He stated that the Presidency is in support of restructuring of the country even though it disagrees with the methods agitators are clamoring for it to be done.
'Restructuring and the economy are in the key burner right now in this country and the Presidency is in support of re-structuring, but what they are saying is that people should not hide under re-structuring to try to unbalance the government by causing unnecessary crisis here and there. The Presidency is of the view that Nigeria must remain one indivisible entity'.
Dr Momoh advised Nigerians to own and personalize government programmes, so as to contribute their individual efforts to the growth and development of the country at last.
He added that the magazine is usually given out free of charge in order for everyone to be able to get a copy.
'We want all well meaning Nigerians to key into our project so that production can be kept going'.
Dr Momoh, who said the magazine is enjoying massive support from President Muhammadu Buhari as well his wife, also said that he is galvanizing for mass media support in their drive to achieve the goals of the magazine.
Source: Voice of Nigeria