ABUJA – The Minister of Information, Sen. Patricia Akwashiki, said the ministry had the manpower/capacity to deliver on its core mandate, regardless of the financial challenges facing it.
Akwashiki made the remark at a meeting with the Chief Executive Officers of parastatal agencies under the ministry in Abuja on Monday.
She stressed that the ministry had the capability to tackle the financial challenges confronting the sector.
While reiterating the importance of the media to the success of democracy, Akwashiki called for adequate funding from government to enable it to deliver on its mandate.
“Much can be done if you have good equipment because we live in a competitive world now, where information moves speedily through the use of new gadgets”, she said.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Folashade Yemi-Esan, said the ministry enlightened Nigerians on how to avoid the spread of the Ebola Disease.
She added that the ministry also used the social media platform and partnered with the office of National Security Adviser to sensitise Nigerians against insurgency in the country.
The Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Ima Niboro, said it was the country’s premier news agency with a huge structure and deployment of personnel across the country.
Niboro said NAN had five offices based in New York, Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, London and Abidjan.
He said the agency initially had seven foreign offices but had to close down some of them due to financial challenges.
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“At a point, we could not maintain offices in New York and Johannesburg because of the challenges. However, we are progressing, knowing well that the job has to be done”, he emphasised.
The NAN boss added that the agency had been able to revive its office in Johannesburg.
“Even the global news agencies such as Reuters, AFP and AP, depend on NAN for their Nigerian news contents”, Niboro added.
Also present at the meeting were chief executives of Nigerian Television Authority, National Broadcasting Commission, Voice of Nigeria, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, Nigeria Press Council and Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board (NAN)