FACT: Communication is basic to human existence. A wise man once remarked that the reason the animal kingdom has not been able to overcome man is because of manâ€™s ability to reason and exchange ideas, which is the essence of communication.
INTRODUCTION The Federal Ministry of Information was set up to stimulate the exchange of information and ideas primarily amongst Nigerians, and the world at large to promote good-governance, peaceful coexistence, harmony, growth and development. The Federal Ministry of Information is therefore the nationâ€™s public information organ responsible for policy-making, planning, gathering, processing, packaging and dissemination of information which will project the image and reputation of the Federal Government, the Nigerian nation and her people as a responsible society.
The Ministry also initiates programmes, policies, rules and regulations for the development and maintenance of orderly information systems consistent with acceptable cultural and conventional norms and ethics of the Nigerian people and the global community.
The Ministry provides broad and specific guidelines for the development, management and operation of print and electronic media. The Ministry is also involved in general publicity and mobilization campaigns in respect of Federal Government programmes, policies, and initiatives.
Since 1960, when the late Chief T. O. S. Benson was appointed the first Minister of Information, the Ministry has played its role creditably even during challenging times. The passage of time, however, has dictated the need for a periodic review of the Ministryâ€™s Mandate and Vision.
RE-INVENTING THE MINISTRY
In the last one year, the Mandate and Vision
Ministry have been reviewed in order to re-invent the Ministry in light of the challenges of the moment as well
as to return its focus to the original intent and purpose for setting it up.
“To lead the management of the image and reputation of the people and Government of Nigeria through a professional and dynamic public information system that facilitates access by citizens and the global community to credible and timely information about our nation”. 6
VISION â€œTo enable a dynamic and participatory public information system that fosters and sustains the overall growth and development of the country and its peopleâ€?.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE MINISTRY
The Ministry has 10 statutory Departments and supervises 10 Agencies, namely: - Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) - Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) - News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) - Voice of Nigeria (VON) - National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) - Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) - National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) - Nigerian Press Council (NPC) - Advertising Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria (APCON) - Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) 8
HIGHLIGHTS OF ACTIVITIES OF THE MINISTRY
Highlights of activities of the Federal Ministry of Information include the following: Formulation and implementation of policies for the creation of efficient, effective, reliable and adequate Information as a means of promoting political, socioeconomic and cultural development of Nigeria. Projection of the positive image and reputation of Nigeria. Development of a transparent and effective regulatory environment for the development and operation of the media promotion; Encouragement of investment, and moving Nigeria into the 21st Century in efficient Information delivery. 9
The Ministry through its Domestic and External Publicity channels, along with its Parastatals such as Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Voice of Nigeria (VON) and News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathers, processes, packages and disseminates information to the people of Nigeria and beyond.
The National Archives serves as an information bank by ensuring permanent custody, care and control of all archives of the Federal Government and making same available for research purposes.
It regularly updates Archival materials through processing, documentation and storage of new materials gathered from public and private institutions across the country. 10
The Ministry has regulatory and developmental organs which ensure the existence and maintenance of orderly information systems through policies, rules and regulations that are consistent with acceptable cultural and conventional norms and ethics of the Nigerian people and global community. This is implemented through the activities of the Ministry’s Parastatals, namely: - National Broadcasting Commission(NBC) - Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) - National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) - Nigerian Press Council (NPC) - Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON)
STRATEGIC WORKPLAN IN SYNC WITH THE TRANSFORMATION AGENDA : 2011-2015
The Ministry has developed and deployed a strategic programme and workplan for public information dissemination anchored on various platforms that enable top officials to reach out to the people and get feedback for service delivery as well as specific interventions for public enlightenment. The new strategic workplan was preceded by extensive consultations and deep reflections on the institutional reengineering required to refocus the Ministry, to enable it increase the tempo and variety of activities in order to project a positive image for the Government and the Nigerian Federation. The workplan consists of short-term and long-term objectives, as well as modalities, to enhance the Ministry’s capacity to deliver on its statutory mandate, especially in the context of 12 the Administration’s Transformation agenda.
The strategic work plan includes: Extensive multimedia domestic publicity of Government projects and programmes nationwide, including greater synergy with the MDAs in their media outreach activities. Vigorous and sustained publicity for the country abroad, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission. The re-introduction of Information Units in Nigerian Missions Abroad to coordinate the external publicity of Nigeria, its people and potentials to enhance our nation’s reputation and attract Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) into the country. Transformation of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) to a global brand that is comparable to CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, etc.
Transformation of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), first, as the authoritative agency covering the West African sub region; and ultimately, to a continental status.
Tenacious implementation of the Digital Roll-over project for the broadcast industry.
Enlightenment and mobilizing of the citizenry to personalize, drive, and help realize Vision 20:2020, through a robust collaboration with the Ministry of National Planning.
Peace building and national security awareness campaign to sensitize Nigerians on the current security challenges.
Sustain the Federal Government Special Publications--Nigeria Monthly; and the introduction of a bi-weekly Federal Government at Work, and other thematic publications on special projects, such as Power, Roads.
Revival, replacement, and provision of new facilities for the Ministry’s Information Centres nationwide.
Training and retraining of Information Officers to coordinate the publicity of the activities of all MDAs and Federal Government development initiatives in all the states of the federation. 15
Completion of the Federal Government Press complex in Abuja, and the immediate publication of all outstanding Federal Government Gazettes and statutory publications.
The development of the motion picture industry and the maximization of its potential for job creation, entertainment, and national image projection, through increased professionalization and effective government support for the development of the film industry.
As the chief information manager of the government, the Ministry requires the effective deployment and use of information infrastructure and personnel. One of the tools embedded within the information infrastructure is the social (new) media. Such media not only allows the government to provide information to the citizens more widely and cheaper but also provide a mechanism for sustained interactive dialogue with diverse interest groups both within and outside Nigeria.
Millions of youths use social networking sites to share ideas and carry out conversations on a daily basis. Social media provide effective platform to promote peace building efforts, and other campaign programmes that would help create the conditions for good governance in the country.
The Ministry is currently investing in institutional capacity building to leverage on the new media.
SPECIFIC ACHIEVEMENTS In the period under review, the Ministry has recorded appreciable impact, among which are the following: CAPACITY BUILDING: Under the new dispensation, deliberate efforts have been made to boost staff morale and promote staff welfare in general. After exhaustive negotiations supported by the Federal Ministry of Information, the Salaries, Income and Wages Commission approved new allowances for media workers with effect from July 2011.
The Ministry has continued to boost the capacity of its work force within the Ministry and its Parastatals .
The Ministry has cleared promotion arrears for the period 2008 -2010.
107 staff of the Ministry due to retire in 2012 are to benefit from a preretirement training programme under the auspices of the Ministry. 18
PUBLICITY OF GOVERNMEMNT ACTIVITIES:
The Federal Ministry of Information, through its various news organs, has continued to publicize government development programme/activities through specific media outreach programmes on NTA, FRCN, NAN and VON.
Apart from existing news/current affairs programmes, the FMI through its media agencies introduced additional platforms on Radio and Television specifically for public functionaries to reach out to the public. One of these is the current FRCN 30 Minutes Programme which features Ministers in interactive session with the public every week. The FMI has also organized Ministers and public functionaries to appear on regular television and radio programmes to discuss government policies. These include Radio Link, Tuesday Night Live, One-on-One and NAN Forum. Several Ministries, Departments and Agencies featured on these programmes in the last one year to interact with the public.
The Federal Ministry of Information has utilized the private media, both print and electronic platforms to disseminate information to the public and to get feedback for enhanced service delivery. In this regard, the Honourable Minister visited all major media organizations in the country to seek their support and partnership in managing the reputation and image of our nation and citizens.
Interaction with the Editorial Board of Guardian Newspaper in Lagos 20
The FMI also organized special interactive sessions in Lagos with line editors of media organizations to brief them on the major programmes, policies and activities of government.
When the present Administration reached the 100 days period, the FMI organized media interactive sessions for Ministers to inform Nigerians about their plans, programmes and projects. This was widely reported in the national and international media as well as the social media platforms. 21
Regular Federal Executive Council Briefings:
As part of the Strategic Communication Channeling process, the Federal Ministry of Information gives a summary of the Weekly Federal Executive Council Meeting through Federal Executive Press Briefing which enables Nigerians to be correctly informed about the various decisions, activities and actions taken by the executive arm of Government. ď ś Press summaries of all major decisions taken at FEC Meetings are given to State House correspondents, thereby enabling the media to correctly report the activities of government.
ď ś The Federal Ministry of Information also grants interviews on the weekly Hausa programmes of international radio stations such as BBC, VOA, Radio France International, Radio Deutsche Welle, and Radio Nigeria Kaduna to report all decisions of the Federal Executive Council in Hausa language to the Hausa foreign correspondents as these groups of correspondents have very wide listenership within the country and the West Africa sub-region.
All decisions and pronouncements of the Federal Government are uploaded on the Ministry’s website www.fmi.gov.ng. This initiative enables greater publicity and provides access to factual records of the decisions reached at the FEC meetings and creates an opportunity for reactions or feedback from visitors to the site.
OTHER DOMESTIC PUBLICITY ACTIVITIES The Ministry has identified and designed special campaigns in conjunction with the supervising MDAs to promote and publicize the following: Campaign against Environmental Degradation
Campaign Against Communicable Diseases particularly cholera, measles and polio Promotion of Made-in-Nigeria Goods Campaign for Good Governance and citizens’ participation Promotion of Transformation Agenda and Vision 20:2020 23
SECURITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN In collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser, the Ministry launched a national peace and security campaign to sensitize Nigerians on the challenges posed by increasing acts of terrorism and insecurity. SUCCESSES RECORDED SO FAR: Convened Emergency Council on Information where Stakeholders took specific steps for public enlightenment and mobilization against terrorism and criminality.
The collaboration led to the establishment of Public Security Awareness Committees by State Governments.
Ensured that campaign messages on security reached the grassroots through State broadcasting stations, particularly in the Northern states.
Private media have also joined the campaign against terror. Some newspapers, e.g. the Guardian dedicated weekly pages to security issues.
Consequently, Nigerians have become more security conscious. Churches, mosques, motor parks, and airports, hotels, hospitals and other public places have accordingly beefed up awareness and measures. 24
In recognition of the large following Hausa service broadcast of foreign radio stations have in Northern Nigeria, the Ministry has reached out to these stations through interviews and participation in their popular news and current affairs programmes to enlighten listeners in the North on the dangers of terrorism and insecurity on the development of the region.
This has helped to sensitise the people of the North, and has largely isolated terror groups which seek to use the media to either divide the public or cause fear and panic through threat messages and violent attacks on innocent citizens.
Through strategic communication approach, the Federal Ministry of Information has disseminated messages showing clearly how terror groups have destroyed economic and social progress in Northern Nigeria. This has turned most people in the region against the activities of terror groups. 25
The Ministry’s consistent messaging, to a large extent, has contributed to diffusing Boko Haram’s objective of causing religious acrimony between Christians and Muslims, and between the North and the South.
This approach has completely undermined the deception promoted by the group that their terror campaign is to promote Islam or the interest of the North.
As a result of the vigorous publicity campaigns, elders, political parties, community and opinion leaders in the North have been galvanised to speak out against Boko Haram. 26
Peace Building and Crisis Communication initiatives were made through the Ministry which facilitated access to the media platforms for the youth groups striving to promote dialogue and peaceful co-existence in the North. The youth wings of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Jamaâ€™atul Nasri Islam (JNI) are working with the Ministry to promote Christian-Muslim dialogue against terrorism.
The Ministry has started a pilot programme for peace in Jos in partnership with Civil Society Organizations, (CSOs) and Faith-based groups to facilitate dialogue/reconciliation between warring communities, in order to promote understanding, reconciliation, amity and peace for sustainable restoration of normalcy to Jos and its environs.
The Ministry is building on the example of communities such as Dadinkowa and Maiyango Low-Cost in Jos, which came together in the wake of the ethnic-cum sectarian crisis in Jos to resist the spread of crisis to these areas. For ten years, they have stood out successfully against extremism and hatred in their communities. The Ministry is working to export this model community wisdom and cooperation to other areas in Jos and other parts of Northern Nigeria and the nation as a whole.
The Ministry’s campaign for peaceful co-existence in Jos, Plateau State, is in collaboration with some Non-Governmental Organisations under the auspices of “Citizens Action for Peace”. Under this campaign, a network of peace practitioners was formed and its members trained in Jos.
Consultations were held with Jama’atul Nasir Islam (JNI), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and various youth groups. 28
Various items promoting peace on the Plateau were printed such as Caps, T-shirts, Flyers, Posters and Pamphlets.
Radio and Television jingles on peaceful co-existence in Plateau State were produced. The jingles are currently running on NTA Jos and Highland FM, Jos.
The Pilot Peace Project in Jos will be replicated to other communities in the North to foster unity through joint action to prevent crisis and build peace based on mutual trust, confidence and vigilance against extremism and criminality.
The NTA, FRCN and Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) also produced several jingles on peace and security, which are aired on television and radio stations throughout the country. 29
Other activities involving security issues include the Ministry collaborating with BEN TV based in United Kingdom to host and publicize the efforts being made in Nigeria to fight terror and crime. BEN TV organized a forum in London for Nigerians in Diaspora which was attended by the Federal Ministry of Information. We gave them details of efforts to rationalize the situation. To sustain the media campaign on security, contact has been made with the National Security Adviser for the 2nd phase of the security campaign aimed at galvanizing Nigerians towards being security conscious and creating awareness in the public domain. A programme has been developed for the 2nd phase of the Security Awareness Campaign. The Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) in its quest to promote unity and peaceful co-existence among the people in Plateau State is collaborating with the State Government to produce documentary films for the State titled – “Drums of the Plateau”, “The Home of Vegetables”, “Plateau the Peaceful”.
DEREGULATION OF THE DOWN STREAM SECTOR OF THE OIL INDUSTRY The Ministry, prior to the oil-subsidy crises, had developed a comprehensive multi-media strategy to sell the policy to the public. The Ministry was confronted with a crisis management situation when the policy took off on January 1, 2012, and had to meet the challenges through the following initiatives:
Tour of major media houses to explain the policy and seek their cooperation on public enlightenment. Organized town hall meetings to explain the benefits of the policy. Facilitated appearances on media platforms by various Ministers and the CBN Governor to present the issue in favour of deregulation to the public FRCN and NTA produced and aired enlightenment jingles on deregulation benefits
The Minister undertook advocacy visits to media houses in Lagos namely Punch, Guardian, Vanguard, Thisday, The Sun Newspapers; MITV, AIT and Channels Television Stations. We also visited media organizations in Abuja. These include Aso Radio, NAN, Leadership, Peoples Daily, Trust Groups etc.
Interaction with the Management of African Independent Television (AIT) in Abuja
Organized interactive discussion programmes on NTA, on the Policy and engaged in exchange of ideas and debates with the youths through the social media.
The Ministry, through FRCN, introduced live and audience participatory programmes, which have continued to run weekly.
Using the multi-media approach, the Ministry was able to change the perception about deregulation among the people favourably, even though there was opposition to its timing.
PROMOTING THE VISION 20:2020 AND TRANSFORMATION AGENDA
The Ministry in collaboration with the National Planning Commission has embarked on various communication strategies to sensitize the citizenry on Vision 20:2020 and Transformation Agenda. Arising from this
A two-day Stakeholders Retreat was held in Calabar, Cross River State, in October 2011
A Joint Committee of the two Ministries has developed a draft programme of activities for implementation later in 2012 after the official presentation of the Transformation Programme by the government.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CALENDAR AND DIARY
The Ministry produced and distributed widely the 2012 Federal Government Calendar and Diary for the first time since 2003. This has provided an enlightenment tool to socio-market the Transformation Agenda as well as serve as veritable tools of image projection at home and abroad.
Diary and Calendar of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2012 35
The Ministry is also involved in the publication of a series of sectoral booklets, pamphlets, CDs and documentaries and films on the Transformation Agenda with translations in some local languages for wider publicity.
It also produces the Federal Tenders Journals, which is a one-stop shop for all government procurements, and gives the public opportunity to partake in the bidding process of all government contracts and services in line with good governance provisions.
The Ministry along with major stakeholders, made the last mile push for the successful enactment of the Freedom of Information Act after it had languished for years in the National Assembly without success.
The Minister exchanging views with some media practitioners at the Pan African Conference on Access to Information in Cape Town, South Africa
the passage of the Bill last year, the Ministry through the Nigerian Press Council, organized various workshops in conjunction with the Nigeria Union of Journalists for stakeholders to fast-track the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act. The FOI Act is intended to promote greater openness, transparency, accountability and good governance. The Ministry has collaborated with some foreign governments such as the US and Germany on the exchange of staff to deepen our understanding of the working of the FOI Act.
More training is needed for public servants and media practitioners for the successful operation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. The Federal Ministry of Information has more training programmes lined up in the course of the year.
The Ministerial Platform is an initiative of the FMI designed to promote a national conversation between the people of Nigeria and their government on the development agenda of government and the progress of our democracy.
The Platform which is the first of its kind in the history of our country was approved by the President and the Federal Executive Council.
It fosters in public office holders the understanding that the people are our masters and we must report what we do to them and get their feedback for greater service delivery. It will also foster healthy competition among the MDAs as each strives to perform and prove itself to the people who are already assessing Ministries, Departments and Agencies performances through the platform. The platform is a major plank of our Good Governance Programme to promote accountability, transparency and popular participation by citizens in the governance process.
It is also designed to create synergy and cooperation between public officers and citizens as they reason and work together to promote development and service delivery.
It promotes a participatory multi-media information dissemination and information sharing process between the government and the people on all major programmes, projects and activities of government in order to carry the people along in the execution of the Transformation Agenda of government.
As part of activities to mark the 2012 Democracy Day and the First Anniversary of the Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration, the Ministerial Platform has featured all serving Ministers who presented their score cards to the media and the Nigerian people at home and abroad.
The event is being broadcast live on NTA, FRCN and AIT, and also streamed live on the social media networks to ensure global participation of Nigerians in the Diaspora and the global community through an interactive Question and Answer format.
This is part of our policy initiative to realize the good governance goal of the Transformation Agenda by making Government functionaries accountable to the people. They do this by reporting to the people their policy direction, achievements, aspirations and challenges facing various social sectors of our economy and society.
Participation in the Ministerial platform programme has been phenomenal and unprecedented as Nigerians in far- flung corners of the world from Australia, China, Europe, the Americas and all parts of Africa have sent in questions, comments and ideas.
The proceedings of the Ministerial platform are being collated for publication and circulation in soft and hard copies to the public at home and abroad.
After this Maiden Edition of the Ministerial Platform, the Federal Ministry of Information will review and update the format to ensure the wider participation of Organized Civil Society, the private sector, professional guilds and organized labour in future editions to make the national conversation on the nationâ€™s development process and governance more participatory.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MR. LABARAN MAKU, HOSTING THE MINISTERIAL PLATFORM PROGRAMME WITH L-R MINISTER OF WATER RESOURCES MRS. SARAH OCHEKPE, MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT MRS. HADIZA IBRAHIM MAILAFIYA, MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT DR. AKINWUMI AYODEJI ADESINA AND MINISTER OF STATE, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT, ALH. BUKAR TIJJANI IN ATTENDANCE
As part of its drive for participatory information dissemination and promotion of good governance, the Ministry has planned a Media Tour to monitor major projects that have either been completed or are ongoing as stated by the various Ministers at the Ministerial Platform programme. It will involve visiting the six-geo political zones of the Federation and the FCT.
This is part of the Ministry’s facilitation of accountability and transparency in Government to build trust between the government and the people.
The Tour is also aimed at sensitizing communities to take ownership of projects located in their domains, and to monitor the implementation of such projects and guard against vandalism by unscrupulous elements. 44
The Tour will remain a permanent feature of our public information strategy. It will also ensure proper monitoring of performance of contractors and other service providers who are entrusted with execution of Federal Government Projects for the welfare of the people in all parts of the country.
During the Tour, members of communities where projects are located will be encouraged to ask questions and seek explanation from the MDAs on the projects.
The Federal Ministry of Information will organize town hall meetings at the end of the tour in each of the six (6) geo-political zones to enable serving Ministers from each zone to interact with stakeholders on the progress the Federal Government is making in each zone and to get feedback for improved service delivery.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MR. LABARAN MAKU, ALONG WITH THE MINISTER OF POWER, PROFESSOR BARTH NNAJI, LISTENING TO AN OFFICIAL OF PHCN DURING AN INSPECTION TOUR OF OLORUNSOGO AND KAINJI POWER STATIONS
ACHIEVEMENTS OF PARASTATALS NIGERIAN TELEVISION AUTHORITY (NTA)
The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) is Africa’s largest television network with 103 Stations spread across the Federation. 6 Nos. High Definition OB Vans with 10 Cameras each and 6 No. Flyaway Satellite News Gathering (SNG) equipment were acquired by the NTA to upgrade its equipment from standard to High Definition Also, the Editing Facilities and other broadcast equipment at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) at the National Stadium have been upgraded from Standard to High Definition. NTA is now positioned for High Definition Broadcasts and signal distribution to guest broadcasters. 47
NTA-Startimes Direct to Home transmission platform now operates in eight cities, namely: Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Kano, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Onitsha and Benin.Plans are underway to expand it to 8 other cities this year. Also the NTA will soon launch mobile television service in 6 cities.
The NTA completed 6 new Community Stations in Argungu, Akwanga, Oturkpo, Ankpa, Idah and Langtang. The stations are used to mobilise rural communities and ensure that information on Transformation Agenda is disseminated to all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. 48
FORMER NASARAWA STATE GOVERNOR ALHAJI ALIYU AKWE DOMA (OON) COMMISSIONING NTA AKWANGA
Migration from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting.
The NTA in partnership with Startimes, a Chinese Company, has developed plans and is executing same to achieve digital television broadcasting in the country before 2015.
The initiatives include the Local Manufacture of set up boxes and their distribution free to the public, who will pay instalmentally over a period.
The programme will be achieved through private sector funding without government’s direct financial involvement.
The Federal Ministry of Information has asked for special incentives for the manufacture and supply of broadcast equipment to facilitate the smooth implementation of the digitisation programme.
The local manufacturing of equipment is expected to generate over 80,000 jobs in the next 2 years, and many more jobs as the industry expands. 50
NTA HIGH DEFINITION OB VANS WITH 10 CAMERAS
NTA STARTIMES HEADQUARTERS IN ABUJA
FEDERAL RADIO CORPORATION OF NIGERIA (FRCN)
The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) has 32 new FM stations projects out of which 25 have been completed, while seven are at various stages of completion.
The FRCN has increased the number of public accountability programmes in its local and network programming to allow more Nigerians participate in governance through questioning public and elected officials directly on topical issues.
News and Current Affairs programmes that are already on stream include the popular Radio Link, Issues of the Moment, Ministerial Platform, Play of the Week, and Perspectives.
FRCN has continued to provide a veritable platform for grassroots dialogue on government policies, programmes and activities. The FRCN Zonal Stations in Kaduna, Ibadan and Enugu regularly hosted government functionaries for live audience participation programmes in Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa. The programmes provided strong platforms for contribution of Nigerians from across the six geo-political zones to the national discourse under the coordination of the Federal Ministry of Information.
Re-orientation of the corporationâ€™s workforce to its new role as a bulwark for sustenance and defence of democracy in Nigeria. 54
Completion of 7 FM stations across Nigeria. The stations are: Bronze
FM Station Atlantic FM Station Globe FM Station Peace FM Station Pyramid FM Station Pride FM Station Harvest FM Station
– – –
Benin, Edo State Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State Bauchi, Bauchi State Maiduguri, Borno State Kano, Kano State Gusau, Zamfara State Makurdi, Benue State
VOICE OF NIGERIA (VON)
The Voice of Nigeria is the external broadcast arm of Radio Nigeria and is received globally. VON broadcasts in eight (8) languages to different parts of the world. They include: English, French, Hausa, Arabic, Swahili, Fulfulde, Yoruba, etc. It is the major instrument of propagating Nigeria’s image abroad. The ultra modern transmitting station of the Voice of Nigeria (VON) was recently commissioned at Lugbe, Abuja, and it allows effective transmission of its programmes simultaneously to every part of the world. The Station with its state-of-the-art transmitters and revolving antennae, represents the biggest single investment in radio broadcasting in Africa (in the last 20 years). Nigeria is the 1st African country and the 7th in the world to acquire this sophisticated technology. 56
VON has also established strategic collaboration and partnership with global radio broadcasting networks worldwide e.g. Radio France Internationale (RFI); Radio Deutsche Welle (DW); South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC); (Channel Africa) and also with organisations such as UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank.
The VON Bureau in South Africa has been completely renovated and fully equipped.
VICE PRESIDENT, ARC. NAMADI SAMBO CUTTING THE TAPE AT THE COMMISSIONING OF VON’S NEW TRANSMITTING STATION AT LUGBE, ABUJA. 58
VON’S COMPLETE ROTATABLE ANTENNAE
VON’S TRANSMITTER 60
VICE PRESIDENT ARC. NAMADI SAMBO AND MINISTER OF INFORMATION MR. LABARAN MAKU BEING SHOWN ROUND THE TRANSMITTING STATION
VOICE OF NIGERIA (VON) VONâ€™s Digital Radio Studio at Radio House was also completed and commissioned by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, to improve quality of sound and production output of its programmes.
NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA (NAN)
The News Agency has expanded its editorial operations with the creation of more desks, including Education, Gender, Health, Tourism and Judiciary in addition to the existing General News Service (GNS), Economic News Service (ECONEWS), Sports News Service (NANSPORTS), NANFEATURES, NAN-PHOTO Service and Multimedia service.
NAN’s clients increased from less than 100 to 250 this year aside the clients for NANmobile (SMS) service¸ NAN PR-wire, NANPhoto, NAN On-line advertising, NANweb News.
The daily production of audio and video clips has been greatly aided by the construction of an ultra-modern recording studio at NAN’s Abuja corporate headquarters. The construction of the Multimedia studio has reached advanced stage.
Nineteen new office buildings were commissioned, including the ones in Lagos, Kogi, Kwara, Katsina, Yobe, Zamfara, Anambra, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Benue, Abia, Plateau and Akwa Ibom states.
In a bid to get new Events Management product properly rooted, the Agency inaugurated 1,500-seater ultra-modern Media Centre in Lagos. It plans to build similar facilities in Kaduna, Kano, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Ibadan. 63
For better rural news coverage, NAN opened 20 District Offices in major towns outside of state capitals. Such towns include Aba, Onitsha, Zaria, Badagry, Warri, Ijebu-Ode, Biu, Azare, Okiti-Pupa, Eket, Nsukka, Kafanchan and Mubi.
NAN re-opened two foreign offices in Abidjan in addition to the ones in London, Johannesburg, and New York . A new office was also opened in Addis Ababa.
The Agency entered into news sharing agreement with the German News Agency (DPA) on May 16, this year, in addition to the ones with Reuters, AFP, XINHUA, PANA and, of late, the Italian news agency, AGI.
It recorded more than 400% rise in its General News Service (GNS) output from average of 80 to 250 local and foreign stories daily. Average daily output of 100 digital colour photo news to print-media clients. 64
The Agency has grown from text-only to multi-media (audio and video), and has launched its NAN Media Wall to boost information about its services in Nigeria. The screens are billed to be installed in all airports for a start. They will also be installed in major hotels and public places.
In line with government’s policy on training, the Agency committed more than 10% of recurrent allocations to staff training and no fewer than 600 staff have been trained since 2011.
NAN is the 1st News Agency of choice in Africa and is poised to extend its reach globally.
COMPLETED NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA (NAN) WAREHOUSE AT DAMATURU, YOBE STATE
THE NIGERIAN FILM INDUSTRY
The Federal Government is committed to the sustained development of the film industry in Nigeria and the promotion of the role of Nollywood, Kannywood and Yoruwood to reflect better technical output and high quality films which will project Nigeriaâ€™s cultural values and the image of Africans at home and in the Diaspora.
In order to strategically reposition the Nigerian Film industry and make it globally competitive, five draft bills/legal instruments packaged by the Federal Ministry of Information, have been vetted by the Federal Ministry of Justice and have been submitted to the Secretariat of the Federal Executive Council. The draft bills are: (i) Establishment of a Motion Picture Council of Nigeria (MOPICON) (ii) National Film Development Fund (iii) National Film Village Development (iv) Revised National Film Policy (v) Review of the Nigerian Film Corporation Act to enable it become the Nigerian Film Commission As soon as the FEC approves these policy initiatives, the process of legislation/implementation will commence. 69
Our mission is to professionalise the film industry, boost investment and expand its scope, make it competitive and to enhance the quality of our films to the best global standards. This will make Nigeria a global player and destination in this very crucial industry in the nearest future.
The policy initiatives we have developed will also make our film industry create hundreds of thousands of job opportunities for young people and contribute significantly to GDP.
Presently, the film industry is estimated to generate about N50 billion annually. 70
NATIONAL FILM AND VIDEO CENSORS BOARD
Successfully introduced the framework for film and home video distribution and exhibition that facilitated the structure and attracted bankable investments in the film industry.
Undertook several strategic international roadshows that positively highlighted the industry globally and paved the way for co-production agreements with practitioners in Hollywood.
Gave global exposure to industry practitioners via strategic exposures and training at National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, as well as in London and Los Angeles.
Built the only digital film preview theatre complex in Lagos.
Raised the profile of the film industry in Nigeria thereby making it an industry of national strategic importance by which status and visibility the Federal Government committed a $200 million fund for the entertainment industry. 71
Within the period under review, Film and Video Censors Board has achieved the following: Video Labelling System: Which addresses the challenges of regulating content in the digital era by applying a system of identification that ties each content with title. Shared Responsibilities: This is an initiative which acknowledges the role of states in regulating film and theatre and seeks a common platform whereby NFVCB partners with each state in censorship as well as monitoring and enforcement. Classified Tags: This symbolises the seal of judgement of NFVCB on each film and serves as advisory to consumers. Specialized Training and Software Development: The Board is the only classification Board that develops its programme software for classification processes and following this, initiated specialised IT processes training for personnel. 72
Digital Nollywood/Entertainment project: This is the infrastructure for warehousing and distribution of Nollywood content across time and space without contents exposure to physical works that attract privacy.
Acquisition of corporate headquarters: NFVCB has moved to its new corporate office which is conducive for business.
NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION ď ś
The National Broadcasting Commission has ensured that the principles of political broadcasting are strictly adhered to in terms of equity, fairness and balance in the coverage of political parties through jingles on radio and television. This no doubt has gone a long way in elevating the integrity of elections.
The NBC is leading the migration from analogue to digital Broadcasting before the deadline of 2015. Consequently, various sensitization programmes have been carried out to create awareness and understanding among various stakeholders.
A National Policy on Community Radio has been articulated and the licensing regime will commence soon under strict regulatory oversight by the NBC. NAN has 10 functional zonal offices for effective coverage of the country in the following areas: Abuja Benin Enugu Ibadan Jos Kaduna Maiduguri Lagos Sokoto Uyo
NEWLY INSTALLED MONITORING EQUIPMENT OF NBC
ADVERTISING PRACTITIONERS COUNCIL OF NIGERIA (APCON)
APCON, in fulfilment of its mandate to regulate and control the practice of advertising in Nigeria, has continued to deliver on this mandate. Highlights of its achievements in the last 12 months include:
Monitoring and supervision of sales promotion programmes of companies with a view to ensuring that they do not exploit consumers or deceive them in any way. By the end of the first quarter 2012, a total of 4,842 adverts and promotions were vetted.
Certification of advertising courses and inspection of facilities in selected tertiary institutions. 77
BON/APCON Round Table Conference held to sensitize the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria on the need to be conversant with the provisions of the Code of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotion as well as seek co-operation in promoting compliance.
Sectoral collaboration/workshops which discussed emerging professional practice/social issues and their consequences.
The Ministry is currently processing a proposal by APCON for a Business Support Group, to be supervised by APCON, that would work with government on public awareness and other government public enlightenment campaigns. 78
NIGERIAN INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS ďƒ’
Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), which regulates the practice of public relations in Nigeria and promotes ethical practice is being repositioned to deliver on its mandate.
A new Governing Council was inaugurated recently for the Institute to fashion out creative and innovative ways of promoting and regulating public relations practice in the country.
THE NEWLY INAUGURATED GOVERNING COUNCIL OF NIPR
Information management is crucial to the success of the Transformation Agenda, the development of the country and consolidation of our democracy. Funding remains a major challenge to the Ministry’s efforts. For many years, the Ministry’s budgetary envelope suffered a drastic decline mainly due to low programme ideas. Yet both the government and the country need sustained image and reputation management. There is an urgent need, therefore, to enhance the budgetary allocation to the Ministry. Happily, President Jonathan recognizes the imperative for a robust public information management and this resolve has been reflected in the Ministry’s 2012 budget, making some provision for the first time in three years for publicity of government activities. 81
The Federal Ministry of Information has repositioned itself to facilitate regular conversation between the government and stakeholders in the polity to enhance citizens’ participation, and to defeat divisive tendencies which often induce violence and tensions in the polity along sectional and sectarian lines. This will strengthen our unity of purpose as a nation.
The Federal Ministry of Information has focused attention on the all important issues of good governance, accountability, transparency and citizens’ participation in the governance process.
We will continue to do this through a healthy national conversation that focuses on development, welfare of the people and the unity of the nation.
The Federal Ministry of Information under the present dispensation has continued to facilitate a conducive atmosphere for freedom of the press as a critical ingredient in the development of our democracy. 82
President Goodluck Jonathan has remained an ardent believer in press freedom, being the President who made history by supporting and signing into law the Freedom of Information Act. My caution as always is for the media to focus on development while robustly holding leaders accountable to the people for their stewardships. In doing so, the media ought to appreciate the fact that the nation is under threat from violent terror groups which seek to destroy the civil, social and constitutional foundations of our society. The media cannot remain neutral when the whole nation comes under attack by anti-people and anti-democratic forces of evil. The media must take clear side with the people and their elected government to confront such clear threats to the nation. 83
Also the media must not forget only too soon the trials we all went through under military rule. We must therefore insist that partisan politics must imbue the essential elements of civility, decency and due process which all actors must respect.
When the media look the their supporters to take openly promote violence contests, we inevitably democratic system.
Also while holding office holders to rigorous account for their actions and stewardships, the media must not take the place of the politician and lend their platforms to the active and blatant promotion of partisan interests to the detriment of objectivity and fairness to all in the democratic enterprise.
other way while political actors urge the laws into their own hands, and and anarchy in pursuit of electoral promote the destruction of our
Politicians may set up media outfits to promote their individual ambitions, but professional journalists have a duty to negotiate the minefield of partisanship in order to safeguard the sanctity of the hallowed tenets and principles of the profession.
Journalists like judicial officers of the Third Realm must resist the pressure to subdue their conscience to the whims and caprices of partisan political actors.
Finally, all of us in political offices must hold media freedom as sacrosanct no matter how uncomfortable we may feel sometimes about media reports. This will help us to focus our eyes on the ball of good governance and service delivery.
As seen in recent times, we should avoid the tendency of those who saw nothing wrong with suppressing press freedom while in government, but who have now become irreverent social critics, emergency revolutionaries and darlings of the press now that they are out of government.
It is therefore always better to maintain our calm in the face of partisan adversity and focus on service delivery which alone is the path to good governance and national development.
Overall the media have done quite well in supporting the democratic process. I look forward to continued partnership with the media to promote the image and reputation of our people and our great nation in the years ahead. Thank you, and God bless the Media, the People and Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 86