The Lagos State Government has resolved to henceforth utilize citizens’ journalism strategy to further communicate the activities of government and the numerous people-oriented programmes being carried out by the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in the State.
Rising from a 2-day retreat approved by Governor Ambode for the second stream of Public Affairs Managers in the State, the information managers unanimously agreed that such a strategy would go a long way in further giving the citizens a sense of ownership of the initiatives of government at making life more comfortable for them.
According to a Communiqué issued at the end of the retreat held at Golden Tulip Hotel , Festac, Lagos, Public Affairs Officers in the employment of the State would henceforth use this communication model largely to disseminate information to the the generality of Lagosians located in the grassroots, who over the years have complained of inadequate information on government programmes and projects.
In his closing remarks, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Folarin Adeyemi noted that the strategy was arrived at to complement Governor Ambode’s policy of inclusiveness where no one would be left behind.
According to the communiqué, the information managers further resolved that Information Technology tool should further be utilized to disseminate the State Government’s programmes to the people of the state due to its immediacy and diverse publics at the local and international levels.
Adeyemi said as a result of the novel economic policies provided by present administration in the State coupled with the promotion of 24/7 economy, it has become imperative for Public Affairs officers to largely use Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the discharge of their duties to the citizens of the State like their counterparts in the developed nations.
According to him, the theme of the retreat ‘Public Sector Information Management in Challenging Times’ was deliberately chosen to equip officers with needed skills and strategy of communicating government activities to the diverse residents of the State.
Similarly, the information officers were encouraged to leverage on the availability of the robust online platforms of the State Government to regularly upload government programmes from inception to completion stage, due to its immediate advantage and wider reach to the people.
The resolutions were said to be geared towards the proposed Citizen Information Centers to be established across the State, where information about activities of government would be easily accessed and thereby having a well-informed citizenry.
Besides, Adeyemi disclosed plans by the present administration to create Bureau Offices where reports of various activities of government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) will be reported live from all the rural communities through the bureau offices and divisional offices in all the 57 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) across the state.
“Undoubtedly, the quality of papers presented at the retreat has positively impacted on the skills of Public Affairs Officers who are now more poised than ever to publicise all the programmes initiated and executed by this administration to the people of the State,” Adeyemi said.
Earlier, one of the facilitators, Mr Qasim Akinreti , an Online Journalist, commended the improved information management system in the State, stressing that the establishment of an ICT Department in the Ministry would go a long way in encouraging interactive online presence for the State Government as well as create an avenue for information managers to engage citizens directly when issues arise.
Similarly, Dr. Bolu Folayan who presided over another session tagged ‘Pathway to Public Affairs Management, maintained that creative thinking in handling information management and regular engagement of the public through prolific writing and counseling has become indispensable to the journalism profession.