LAI Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture, has debunked report in the social media that N3.4bn was budgeted for the national reorientation campaign “Change Begins With Me”.
Mohammed, spoke on Friday, October 28, in Asaba, Delta State, at the opening of the National Council on Information, said that the report was a ruse and a good example of challenges posed by democratisation of the technology of information dissemination.
The minister clarified that the alleged N3.4bn budget was more than the overall annual budget of the ministry which, he said, was less than N2bn.
He said: “Anyone can wake up and decide to become an online newspaper publisher, an online television station owner, an online radio station operator, a purveyor of news, photographs and videos.
“They use the numerous social media platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, Skype, Twitter and Instagram just to mention a few.
“They spread whatever information that catches their fancy without engaging in the rigours of accuracy, fact-checking and fairness imposed by the traditional media.
“But there is another problem: They have their own public, and this public believes whatever information they put out.”
The minister said the matter has been worsened by the traditional media and seasoned writers who regurgitate the falsehood without cross checking the facts.
He enjoined government media managers not to despair by the development, but up their game by keying into the same evolving new information and digital technology.
Mohammed urged them to train their personnel on new technology and acquire state-of-the art technology as well as deploying uncommon commitment and passion to what they do.
The minister noted that ministers or commissioners in charge of information, and all other stakeholders in the business of government information management, must be the true agents of change.
He said that as agents of change they must understand and sustain the concept through the “Change Begins With Me” campaign, aimed at “bringing back those time-tested values that once defined us as a people.”
The minister thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, members of his Executive Council and the people of the state for the hosting of the meeting.
The 46th meeting of the National Council on Information, which has the theme “Leveraging on Information and Digital Technology to Sustain the Change Agenda of Government,” is being attended by commissioners of information from the 36 states and the FCT and critical stakeholders in the government information circle, including heads of federal and state governments media organisations.
— Nov 7, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT