Lai Mohammed Defends N3.4bn Report on Change Agenda, Charges Social Media on Objective Reporting
By Barth Ndego
LAGOS NOVEMBER 2ND (URHOBOTODAY)-The Ministry of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed on Friday at the 46th meeting of the National Council on Information (NCI) holding in Asaba, Delta State challenged the social media to responsible journalism practice, regretting its rumor on Federal Government alleged N3.4billion expenditure on change Agenda since its inception, as falsehood.
The Minister who commended the Delta State Government for hosting the event has as its Theme: “Leveraging on Information and Digital Technology to sustain the change Agenda of government”, said; “It is unfortunate that social media reported rumor of FG spending N3.4bn on the change Agenda Initiative, our family and friends believe in the social media, but we as a government is not despaired by its rumor making rounds. As agent of change, we must understand the substance of change” adding that to ensure a paradigm shift in the change activities, all Nigerians must be at the forefront of the campaign.
He said the democratization of the new information technology has passed serious challenges in the recent times, lamenting that social media without engaging in rigorous facts checking, cross checking facts, public stories to cause disunity and improper information dissemination.
His words; “The Theme “Leveraging on information and Digital Technology to sustain the change agenda of government” reminds us on the task on how balance our information and in what I called the paradox in digital technology, we in the business of information managers are agents of change and we must cash in on the new technology facilitate the job of information managers” saying that Nigeria can make the difference by bringing out facts, rather fictions to make the best out of difficult times. Urging Nigerians to strive to stay ahead of pack (i.e. dissemination of information), the minister disclosed that information is least budgeted for, but most expensive, adding that Nigerians must key into the digital information as part of the change agenda. He said: “We must as information managers be proactive and not retrogressive, we must get used to the tenets of information of governments, such as Radio/TV and we can make the difference”.
Earlier in this welcome address, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah said the 46th meeting of the National Council on Information (NCI) will provide human engagement, social texture and the application of various new media platforms in the honest pursuit of Governments Change Agenda.
He said: “Digital literacy have implies people having the primary ability to use information and communication technology to their advantage, in this gathering of image makers, there is need to fashion out ways on how we can take advantage of our digitals literacy”. The Commissioner lauded Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for digitalizing the Radio and Television organs of government adding that state government was committed to providing prosperity for all Deltans as part of Dividends of Democracy.
Declaring the event open, the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa said information management should be given same professional recognition, adding that with professional activities, ministry of information is the office of government dissemination organ and should be given the respect it deserves.