The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Dr. Ifeoma Adaora Anyanwutaku has charged all Resident Information officers in MDAs to increase their productivity in delivery of the Ministry’s mandate, especially in this critical period of electioneering campaigns.
Information Officer in the Ministry, Ojo Olubunmi who confirmed the development to our correspondent via a Press Statement, quoted the Permanent Secretary as saying that “officers must wake up to the awareness that 2022 is a critical year for government,” adding that “all information officers must prove their prowess by being committed to delivering the mandate of the Ministry, especially as it relates to galvanizing the general public towards eschewing hate speech, fake news and misinformation.”
Dr. Anyanwutaku, who gave the charge at the bi-monthly meeting with Resident Information Officers on Tuesday 17th May, 2022, at the National Press Centre, Abuja, said the mandate of Resident Information officers (RIO) is hinged on efficient and effective service delivery, noting that they are image makers of the establishment to which they are deployed.
“They are expected to professionally project the policies, programmes and activities of the MDAs, albeit that of the Federal Government of Nigeria for inclusive governance,” she added.
The Permanent Secretary expressed concern that a lot has gone amiss in the delivery of the functions of Information Officers, stating that there is urgent need to address the challenge.
According to her, some RIOs have reduced their roles in their respective MDAs to that of Press Managers and mere Protocol officers: “For the avoidance of doubt, all your service delivery as Resident Information officers should be hinged on the mandate of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, which is to lead in the management of the image and reputation of the people and Government of Nigeria through a professional and dynamic Public Information System that facilitates access by citizens and the global community to credible and timely information about our nation. This mandate, she said, fully encapsulates what the role and productivity of any officer in the various MDAs should be.
The Permanent Secretary further admonished the officers to be disciplined, give feedback to the Ministry on activities of their MDAs.
The Directors and Heads of Unit were enjoined to design a workable schedule of duty for subordinate officers to increase productivity as well as keep them abreast of new trends.
The Permanent Secretary issued a directive to the Director of Public Communication and National Orientation to ensure that discipline and order are restored within the shortest possible time.
In her remarks, the Director, Public Communications observed that this is her maiden meeting with Directors and Heads of Press since she took over as the Director in January, 2022.
Mrs. Offie lamented the inadequate representation of the Ministry by way of reports and publications, and implored the Permanent Secretary to come to the aid of officers by assisting in training for optimal service delivery.
Mrs. Offie commended the RIOs that are up to date in reports from their organizations, while encouraging others to emulate them.
Directors in the Ministry highlighted challenges that are being faced at their various duty posts and recommended measures by which the challenges could be tackled in order to create more conducive working environment for all.
In conclusion, the need for training and re-training of officers was emphasized and agreed upon with the Permanent Secretary giving her word to make it happen.