The Nigerian government will continue to listen to all shades of opinion and groups in the country as part of efforts to bridge the information gap between it and the people.
Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said this in an interactive session with newspaper columnists in Lagos on Thursday .
Muhammed thanked the Columnists for their efforts, saying it takes ”passion, dedication and commitment to continue to write regularly on topical issues.”
“The Buhari government is willing to listen to critics with a view to improving the lot of Nigerians, ” the minister told the columnists.
“Even when some of the Columnists have been critical of the Buhari’s administration, we have taken away something positive from your write-ups…You have a big role to play in deepening the understanding of issues, especially as they concern governance, by the citizens,” Mohammed stated.
Acknowledging the role of columnists as opinion moulders, the minister advised them to be temperate and above board in their write ups.
He assured them that the government was committed to putting smiles on the faces of Nigerians through the provision of jobs, rapid infrastructural development and a revamp of the Nigerian economy even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.
”The good news is that there is no shortage of dedicated, hardworking, committed and patriotic people within and outside the government, nor is there a shortage of ideas, to surmount these challenges. We also have purposeful leadership, being provided by President Muhammadu Buhari… And as a member of this Administration, I can tell you that the government is working hard to put our country on the path of sustainable growth and development.
”The government is committed to diversifying the economy away from oil, which has been the mainstay of our economy for decades. The government is committed to putting our people back to work, as has been shown in the current budget, in addition to massive social intervention aimed at lifting millions out of poverty, ” Muhammed explained.
On the need to re-orientate Nigerians on the change mantra, the Minister said that the government would soon commence a massive campaign to mobilise Nigerians on the need for everyone to be a part of the change process.
”In the days ahead, we will launch a national re-orientation campaign, tagged ‘Change Begins With Me’, aimed at achieving a paradigm shift in the way we do things. We are soliciting your support for these campaigns, ” the minister stressed.
Meanwhile, the information and culture Minister has commended the owners of the first gender focused radio station in Nigeria for their ingenuity and concern for women and the family institution.
He gave the commendation when he visited the station at Arepo, Ogun State on Thursday.
The minister assured them of government’s readiness to partner with organisations willing to support and empower women as well as other vulnerable members of the society.