The Head of the Civil Service in Rivers State, Mr Rufus Godwinss has tasked information officers in the state Ministry of Information and Communications and media practitioners in the state to continually seek to update their knowledge in order to properly report and present events to the public.
Speaking at a one-day training workshop organised by the ministry, Mr Godwins said the need to update their skills and knowledge had become more important because of the sophistication and knowledge of the readers and audience.
Mr Godwins, who was the special guest of honour at the event, which took place at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Port Harcourt last Tuesday, noted that as a bridge between the ministry and the public, information officers should always strive to be abreast of policies of government and issues of governance in order to properly inform the public accurately.
“Don’t report fake news. Avoid stale news. Strive to be very knowledgeable by updating yourselves constantly. The people rely on you and the burden of responsibility is yours to prove by accurate reportage of events and your carriage in the discharge of your duties”, he said.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Rivers State House of Assembly Committee on Information, Hon Enemi George Alabo advised journalists to concentrate on building their capacities as that will ultimately impact positively on their understanding and reportage of events.
Alabo, who was the chairman of the occasion, said the responsibility to market and constantly promote Rivers State and Port Harcourt as a brand and destination for investment rests on the shoulders of the information officers.
“We must be careful about what we report, how we report things about the state. We should all work together to drive this new narrative about the state which your ministry is rightfully driving.
“Therefore, equip yourself sufficiently by reading widely, because everyone has the potential to do great things to help humanity and the larger society”, he urged.
The lawmaker, who represents Akuku-Toru Constituency in the House, urged journalists to concentrate more on reporting about people rather than politics and power, noting that the real power belongs to the people, who are the reasons for governance.
He commended the permanent secretary for organising the workshop and urged that it be made more regular as the benefits were enormous.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim had reiterated the need for the workshop which he described as a veritable tool for the advancement of Information
officers and media practitioners in the state.
He expressed regrets that the last workshop of this kind by the ministry was over eight years ago, a situation, he said, must be reversed, as there was constant need to update and improve the knowledge of information officers in the ever changing world.
Also speaking at the event, the state chairman of the NUJ, Stanley Job Stanley, commended the permanent secretary and the ministry for organising an inclusive workshop for the benefit of journalists in the state.
He appealed to parastatals under the ministry to also organise routine workshops in their various organisations as the importance of such cannot be over-emphasised.
Papers were presented by Prof. Godwin Okon on “News Writing and FoI Act”; Dr C. I. Ochonogor on “Features Writing”; Prof C. U. Omegu on “Interview Techniques” and Dr Richard Amadi on “Writing Press Release”.
In a post workshop interview, participants expressed satisfaction with the exercise, noting that it has been most beneficial and rewarding.
They commended the permanent secretary for putting together the workshop and called for more, and assured to put in practice what they had learned from the workshop.
Over 60 participants attended the workshop from the Ministry of Information and Communications, Parastals under the ministry and the NUJ.
By: Kiadum Edookor
Monarch Tasks NDDC On Due Process
The Mingi of Nembe Kindom and former Minister for Petroleum Resources, His Royal Majesty, King Edmund Dakoru, has called on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to follow due process in all its activities for the development of the region.
He said he was not interested in who was right or wrong, but only cared about the development of the region through due process.
The Nembe monarch in Bayelsa State disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents last Friday, shortly on arrival from Abuja.
He noted that the Niger Delta people had become enemies to themselves even when the creation of the NDDC itself had not yielded the desired development in the region.
He said that the setting up of the board of the commission was long overdue since two years ago.
“The question is, are we getting enough from both NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs? The answer is No, we are not getting enough.
“It is ourselves that is our own enemies, and we later turn to blame other people. They have given us NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta, and what have we actually done with it.
“We are not getting enough from the establishment of the commission and the ministry because we are not following the enabling law, and in years to come, they will say: “We gave you NDDC and Ministry of Niger Delta, and what have you done with them”, Dakoru said.
On the regulation of the social media, especially the Twitter, the former minister frowned at the way it is being currently used by the citizenry, and said there was nothing wrong if government in its wisdom decides to regulate it.
According to him, government in every nation has the right to decide what is good for its own citizens.
“Government is doing what it is supposed to do to protect the social reputation of the people by regulating the social media and the unnecessary spread of lies.
“It is not about the social media itself, but the way people use it is the issue, and if government in its own wisdom decides to regulate it, I do not think that there is anything to question”, he said.
By: Corlins Walter
Diri Promises Bayelsans Better Deal
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, Saturday re-echoed his administration’s readiness towards bettering the lots of the state through developmental projects and policies.
Governor Diri stated this in Yenagoa, during a live broadcast on radio stations across the state to commemorate this year’s June 12 Democracy Day celebration which was monitored by The Tide.
In a statement made available to newsmen by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, shortly after the broadcast, the governor was quoted saying:
“Democracy was about the people, Nigeria had come a long way with 22 years of uninterrupted civilian rule. We’ve also observed that the nation’s Democratic journey had not been very smooth but it’s worth celebrating. The urban renewal programme and other projects as well as policies of the prosperity administration were part of the efforts to accord the state a facelift, making it better and more attractive to tourists and investors”.
Speaking against the backdrop of the ongoing demolition of illegal structures in the state capital, the governor stated that it was in line with his administration’s urban renewal policy, noting however, that since the demolition commenced, sanity had been restored in some of the major markets in the state, regretting that the shanties in such areas were hide-outs for criminals.
In the same vein, governor Diri has made clarifications on the Federal Government’s infrastructure development refund to the state.
He said the actual amount the state received was N27.5 billion and not N38.4 billion as was earlier speculated, just as he explained that the total refund due the state was N38.4 billion.
Diri however maintained that the Federal Government has said the release would not be possible in the next four years and therefore offered the state a second option of a discounted amount of N27.5 billion through the Debt Management Office, DMO which he said the state has since received last December, 2020.
“The Federal Government infrastructural refund had been committed to constructing critical capital projects; the Yenagoa- Oporoma road in the state’s Central Senatorial district, the Sagbama-Ekeremor road in the Western district,and the AIT-Igbogene ring road project were being constructed, with the refund”, he said.
“We’re also constructing the dualised Glory Drive-Onopa road, the Nembe unity bridge and we’ve done and will continue to do the installation of street lights in the state capital and other projects”, he added.
On open grazing, Diri maintained that he was not counteracting the Federal Government’s stance on resuscitating grazing routes, saying that his administration has, however, put in place a legal framework to ban open grazing.
Diri mentioned that the southern governors had adopted same instrument as part of measures to forestall, farmers/herders fracases.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Police Nab 126 Suspected Criminals In C’River
The Cross River State Police Command has arrested 126 suspected criminals in the Northern and Central Senatorial districts of the state.
Sixty-eight suspects were arrested in the Northern senatorial district while 58 were arrested in the central senatorial district of the state.
Speaking to journalists in Calabar, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Sikiru Akande, said “My officers who are in the central senatorial district have carried out similar operations and they have 58 different suspects while those in the North have about 68 different suspects
“In the Southern senatorial district, we have 109 criminals arrested from different areas. We want to restore peace which is the mandates of the current police administration and we are to use all tactics to ensure that peace is restored in our region”
CP Akande said in every armed robbery, there is cultism, in every kidnap, there is cultism, cultism emboldens the heart to do and undo and in most cases, these people use cultism for nefarious activity because cultism is an impressive instrument in the society
Following the arrests of many suspects, The Police boss said efforts are on top gear to curb cell congestion, especially as the courts are still on strike.
He said, “We are going to use the opportunity to screen them to the last person so that if it is possible for us, we put of the fire that is likely to come from that area
“We will profile them and send them back to their different communities to police the place Now that we have their pictures, now that we have their fingerprints, anything that happens in that area, they will be held responsible
“We have a template, criminals before now don’t have identities, now they do, we are going to profile them we are going to send them back to their community with a digital monitoring capacity. What we want to do is that we want to use them as forces against future criminality because what we have now is a large number of people from different parts of the city.
‘If anything happens in their areas, they are going to be the first suspect to be pick up. If they don’t want to suffer, they will maintain peace. The numbers of creeks created by these individuals are too much. Those who stay around these areas, when they see strange face say something” he stated.
By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
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