The newly appointed Minister of information, Dr. Nurudeen Muhammad has promised to strive to fulfill the core mandate of the Federal Ministry of Information in furtherance of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda.
According to a press statement signed by the ministry’s press secretary, Joseph Mutah and dated Wednesday, October 29, 2014, Muhammad’s remarks were made at Rado House, Abuja as he marked his first meeting with the management staff of the Ministry of Information.
Muhammad, who doubles as the Minister of State II for Foreign Affairs, stated that his wealth of experience in foreign service will be put into good use as he would sufficiently manage the image and reputation of the country to the rest of the world, calling on the media to help in promoting the country’s harmony and encourage healthy debates and exchange of information between the government and the people.
He continued by urging the media to shun the deliberate efforts of certain individuals to spread false news ahead of the 2015 general election, advising that truth, fairness and balance be upheld in the reporting of news.
He added that President Jonathan is poised to sign the Freedom of Information Act into law so as to facilitate access to factual information and encourage transparency and accountability.
In his words: “I want to assure this top management of the Federal Ministry of Information that Mr. President is fully committed to the Transformation Agenda and part of it and cardinal in fact to the Transformation Agenda will involve the prompt dissemination of correct information and encouraging healthy exchange of information between the citizens and the government and between Nigeria and other countries.
“As citizens of this country, as stakeholders in the information service delivery in this country, we owe ourselves a responsibility to make sure that our discussions and debates are based on facts and are elevated from pettiness and personalities,” he added.
Muhammad said as a major country in the international community, Nigerians had need to speak of the country in good light instead of rubbishing the country’s image so as to further political goals, pledging to take of from where his predecessor, Labaran Maku stopped, as he plans to bring in new ideas and innovations to overcome the challenges facing the ministry.
Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Yemi Folashade Esan who had earlier briefed on the functions of the ministry said inadequate funds were the only hindrance to the actualization of the ministry’s goals.