By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON, Kaduna.
The National Council on Information (NCI) has urged the Federal and State Governments to fast-track action on rural internet connectivity and organise training in all the 774 Local Government Areas on the use of e-media to facilitate rural and urban connectivity.
This was part of the resolution contained in the communique issued at the end of the meeting held at the Event Centre, Asaba, Delta State between October 27 to 28, 2016.
It recommended that the menace of herdsmen should be downplayed while emphasis should be placed on what unites Nigerians rather than what divides us.
The Council also resolved that both the Federal and State Ministries of Information and Culture should mount aggressive campaigns through relevant media messages aimed at making people, especially the youths, to embrace the acquisition of skills as a gainful means to make a living and thus, contribute to the economic development of the country.
“Also, the National Directorate of Employment should be involved in the campaign as well as other relevant MDAs e.g Education, Youths Development.
“That all State Ministries of Information should collaborate with the National Film and Video Censor Board (NFVCB) centres nationwide to carry out massive National Sensitization Campaign against unwholesome movies.
“To encourage States to activate their all media platforms as veritable tools to promote government policies, programmes and key into the “Change Begins With Me”
“That in line with its mandate the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) will provide necessary guidelines to states in their effort to set up the film offices and listed benefits accruable to states,” it stated.
The NCI also wants adoption of the “Change Begins With Me” as a way of life and support the campaign for its successful implementation and sustainability.
Similarly, it backs the carrying out of coordinated enlightenment campaigns on government efforts to rehabilitate the North-East in order to counter negative media reports on the welfare of displaced persons in the IDP camps.
“To encourage the media to make attractive, the agricultural sector by promoting mechanized farming and showcasing successful farmers, promote the creative industries and the uniqueness of tourism as an important sector which is evident in its ability to employ skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled manpower.
“To sponsor public enlightenment campaign programmes through radio, television, newspapers, and social media in the area of mineral resources exploration and exploitation in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Steel and Solid Mineral Development.
“To encourage governments at all levels to enter into public/private partnerships to mitigate the economic burden on stakeholders affected by the Digital Switchover (DSO).
“To direct State radio and television stations to air jingles produced on the campaign against illicit drug use and trafficking provided by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture free of charge as a social responsibility to the people” it said.
The NCI wants both Federal and State Ministries of Information should mount aggressive campaigns to checkmate the spread of Haemorhagic fever ailments. That media should take the lead in collaboration with Ministries of Health and Environment.
Furthermore, it advocated that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other relevant stakeholders should support the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and State Ministries of Information in the financial inclusion campaign being championed by the bank for wider awareness.
“That Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government should obey the Act (Decree 16 of 1990) establishing the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and ensure that all Information Officers are properly registered with NIPR as a model for corporate bodies to follow.
“To encourage the Federal and State governments to embark on massive enlightenment campaigns on dry season farming in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“To ensure that broadcast challenges through technology are addressed through effective and transparent policies.
“To endorse and support the collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture with the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies to formulate a new National Information Policy.”