16 June 2016
The Nigerian government plans to hold a summit on National Rebirth, Values and Ethics during which the National Re-orientation Campaign, tagged: “Change Begins with Me’’, will be launched.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in Abuja on Thursday that the summit would restate the commitment of the present administration to ensuring good governance, providing adequate security and revamping the economy.
This, he explained, had become necessary in order for government to deliver the change for which Nigerians yearned.
He said that contrary to the belief in some quarters, the executive and legislative arms of government were working harmoniously to improve the social and economic well-being of Nigerians.
The minister made the remarks when he received the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs in his office.
The committee was led on the visit by its Chairman, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi.
“If the spokesman of the Senate wants to meet the spokesman of government, that says a lot about the trust, understanding and also the confidence between the two arms of government.
“This visit will also show the world that the so-called feud between the executive arm of government and the legislative arm is only the figment of their own imagination,’’ he said.
“It proves once again that this government, each arm of the government, is working in tandem. They recognise security, the economy and good governance as the sole pillars of any government,’’ Mohammed added.
The minister said upon assumption of office, he adopted creative and pragmatic approach to bridge the communication gap between the government and the people in order to deepen democracy and inspire trust and confidence among the people.
“We realise the importance of information to the deepening and sustenance of democracy; and to that extent, we have evolved means to ensure that there is no communication gap between the government and those that are governed.
“We put people right in the centre of our communication strategy. We know that the moment that gap exists then you create opportunity for mischief-makers, misconception, half-truths and downright falsehood,’’ he said.
Mohammed identified town hall meetings as a deliberate strategy adopted by government to communicate with the people directly to inform them about the policies and programmes of the government and at the same time get feedback on their perception of government.
In his response, Senator Abdullahi said though the challenges confronting the nation were surmountable, there was the need for greater value re-orientation.
He sought the collaboration of the minister in the efforts to promote actions that would bring about positive change in Nigeria.
“As managers of the information and communication space of two critical arms of this democratic government, permit me to note that we need, more than ever before, to proactively work to promote and canvass for the urgent need to ensure genuine and sincere actions anchored on rule of law, due diligence and due process.
“In doing this, we must promote confidence building through genuine co-creation, co-action, co-operation, collaboration and co-ordination,’’ Abdullahi said.