By Chimezie Godfrey
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has called on the media to partner with the Ministry in achieving its mandate for the wellbeing of Nigerians.
The Minister made the call at a media parley with Heads of media organisations, in Abuja.
She said the Ministry was created by President Muhammadu Buhari, to provide coordination and cohesion with government’s efforts in stemming the tide of humanitarian emergencies, while institutionalising government efforts towards social protection and inclusion, as well as ensuring strategic disaster mitigation, preparedness and response.
“In order for the ministry to effectively provide the much needed and desired coordination and leadership, it must have a means of effectively disseminating information and engaging partners, stakeholders and the general public.
“The Ministry will impact directly on the socio-economic well-being of millions of Nigerians and the development of the country.
“It is therefore imperative to effectively communicate the Ministry’s mandate, vision, core values and activities to the Heads of the media outfits so that they understand clearly the policy direction of the Ministry and the huge impact it has on Nigerians”, she stated.
Farouq disclosed that the Ministry is developing a communication strategy aimed at effective and consistent public engagement and communication interface with the general public, and promises that the media would play an important role in the implementation of that plan.
She urged the media to remain committed to reporting accurate and helpful information that would serve to promote peace and unity, bearing in mind that those who are affected by humanitarian disasters and social issues deserve respect and dignity in spite of their situations.
She urged the media to cover disasters, humanitarian crisis and social issues in a balanced manner, realising that their stories could significantly change lives.
The Minister commended the media for their efforts and contributions to professional reportage of humanitarian, disasters and social issues.
Earlier, in an opening remark, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Tijjani Umar, who has just assumed office, said he would deploy the wealth of experience gathered as a seasoned administrator both in the Civil Service and the Sports sector to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
He said the Minister has a strong management team and with the support of the media, a robust Ministry would be established that the nation would be proud of.
Responding on behalf of the media executives, the Director General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Leman Mansur, noted that the interactive session with the media was a fruitful one as they were better informed about the mandate, vision and mission of the Ministry.
He then pledged the support of the media in achieving the mandate of the Ministry.