Irked by contradictory statements attributed to government officials, Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has said it is only the Ministry of Information that is the official organ for the dissemination of government information.
The governor, who took a swipe at those who issue contradictory information from government emphasized, “the Ministry of Information is the officially designated organ of managing and disseminating government information; it is supposed to be the clearing house for all government information.”
Governor Okowa made the clarification in an address he delivered at the 46th meeting of the National Council on Information held in Asaba, Delta State, recently.
He bemoaned situation where government officials dish out contradictory information, disclosing, “we have seen situations where heads of other ministries and political appointees made public pronouncements that contradicted the official government policy leading to confusion in the minds of the public and loss of confidence in government’s information machinery.”
“I believe the Ministries of Information should serve as sensors of stakeholder and public opinion on and about the policies, programmes and performance of the government through periodic perception audits.
“The intelligence gathered is very useful in ascertaining the impact and acceptability of government policies and programmes, as well as helping to gauge the public mood, and their perception of the government or governor,” Dr. Okowa asserted.
Nigeria’s Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, during the meeting said, “information managers have to be at the forefront of reshaping our country to the time-tested values of old.”
Twenty nine Commissioners of Information and their Permanent Secretaries, including key functionaries in the information sector in the country, attended the meeting which lasted for three days.