By Paul Odenyi, Head, Press Unit, NOA.
INFORMATION MINISTER URGES STATES, LGA TO FUND NOA PROGRAMMES IN STATES
The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has appealed to states and local governments to support the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in its mobilization and sensitization work in order to bridge the communication gap between government and the citizens.
The Minister made this appeal in Jos, Plateau State, at the end of the Extraordinary Meeting of the National Council on Information attended by State Commissioners of Information, saying the Agency’s capacity to mobilize support for government policies, programmes and activities remain effective.
According to him, states and local governments appear to have left the burden of carrying the Agency for the federal government with the consequence that some of the activities of government at both the state and local government are not captured in the sensitization and enlightenment programmes of the Agency. For him, no government agency has better machinery than the NOA for mobilizing citizens to support government programmes, policies and activities.
Mohammed had earlier in the meeting warned Nigerians of an impending crisis in the face of unchecked hate and divisive speeches, noting that Nigerians risk the loss of their freedoms if the current ugly trend of hate speeches is allowed to snowball into a war situation.
In his words, “If we allow our country to be plunged into crisis just because of the antics of an irresponsible few, neither the journalists nor any other professional will be able to practice their profession”. He was however optimistic that with improved funding for NOA, the Agency will be better empowered to mobilize Nigerians against hate speeches and fake news. He also urged Nigerian celebrities to exhibit patriotism by volunteering to become national peace ambassadors in order to effectively influence and stir the youths away from anti-peace tendencies.