We are countering false information – Minister

Solomon Chung, Lagos

The Nigerian government has revealed that while its communication apparatus works hard to engage and communicate with the people, there are detractors and negative pessimists who often exhibit their tendencies against the good work of the government.

Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed has said that as a result, it placed much premium on communicating directly with the people.

The Minister said this on Friday in Lagos, South west Nigeria during a colloquium tagged State of the Nation organized by the coalition of Nigerian Apostolic Leaders.

“Perhaps the biggest challenge we have faced in our efforts to communicate with Nigerians has been the propensity of a group of naysayers to constantly counter us with fake information, using the Social Media which, as you know, is the most democratized medium in the sense that everyone has access to it. Every day, these groups of people deliberately distort our messages while also suffusing the atmosphere with their own version of information.

What we have done is to counter them using what we call Town Hall Meetings that allow us to speak with Nigerians directly, while also getting the necessary feedback.”

Mohammed said the government had launched sensitization campaigns on the three broad issues that form the plank of the Administration’s policy; the fight against corruption, the fight against insecurity; the need to revamp the economy as well as create jobs and wealth.

In the communication strategy, the government believes in the two way traffic of communication, he said.

“We are aware that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication. It is not enough for a government to talk to the people, the government must also hear from them.”

He said the recently launched Change Begins with Me Campaign was aimed at allowing the government carry Nigerians along in the process of change, on the wings of which the Administration rode to office.

He said the Nigerian government had achieved a lot in the area of fighting corruption and insecurity.

According to him, citizens have been kept abreast and now the campaign has shifted to the economy, and of course the recession.

“Starting from the President to the Vice President and the Ministers, we have all fanned out in an effort to keep Nigerians abreast of the various measures which the government is using to end the recession as quickly as possible.”