The Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, on Friday 7th August 2020 appealed to the media to publicize more the efforts and activities of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the aspects of humanitarian efforts, disaster management and social development drives. She asked that there ought to be more collaboration between the media and the Ministry, to ensure strong delivery of information on the activities of the Ministry.
The Minister has also decried the spate of fake news and misinformation about her, her comments, and the activities of the Ministry. Chief among them the recent fake news that she said that every single Nigerian has received palliative from the Federal Government of Nigeria. Same articles also reported that she says she has been to every State of the country to distribute palliative which she shared by herself.
The Minister said that the Ministry has done commendably much to have direct contact with a substantial number of the poor and vulnerable citizens, and said that the media is critical for not just the information about their activities, but also to serve as partners with the Ministry to achieve its goals.
She said this while receiving the delegation of the National and Abuja EXCO members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), led by the National President, Comrade Chris Isiguzo, while on a courtesy visit to the Ministry.
The Minister said that one of the core mandate of the Ministry is to provide effective coordination of humanitarian intervention both nationally and internationally as well as to ensure strategic disaster mitigation, preparedness and response while formulating and implementing policies geared towards equity, fair focused social inclusion and protection.
She said the Ministry has direct contact with the poor and vulnerable citizens of the country and takes this responsibility very seriously. “In order for the Ministry to effectively provide the much needed and desired coordination and leadership, the Ministry must have an effective means of disseminating information and engaging partners, stakeholders and the general public.
“The media is a critical partner in this regard and the role of the NUJ in achieving the mandate of this Ministry is very key.We have over fifty accredited media organisations with this Ministry and this include the print, electronic and digital media. Since the creation of the Ministry, the media has been doing their best in the dissemination of information related to the activities of this Ministry, but more needs to be done” the Minister added.
According to her, “I am optimistic that this meeting will promote cordial relationship and regular engagement with the NUJ as a very objective media body, we want to engage you as credible partners and stakeholders to interface and encourage exchange of ideas to enable your members report programmes of the Ministry from an informed and objective position”.
The President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Comrade ChrisIsiguzo commended Mr President for creating the Ministry that caters for the need of all poor and vulnerable Nigerians especially during this pandemic which has confronted the nation with both health and economic challenges.
He mentioned that the Ministry speaks to the heart of all average Nigerians who are concerned about what happens in and around the Ministry and this is a matter of concern for the Union.
He noted that the Ministry is a very wide Ministry which cut across many aspects of human life, disaster management and social development, therefore needs to improve its relationship with the media for effective communication between the citizens and the Ministry.
The President requested that more access to information about the Ministry should be granted to the journalists as representatives of the citizens and the link between the citizens and the government.
Rhoda Ishaku Iliya, Deputy Director Information August 7, 2020