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See journalists as partners, Abah tells information officers


ABUJA – The Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr Joe Abah, on Wednesday in Abuja urged information officers to regard the media as partners in progress, rather than adversaries.


Abah said this at a workshop organised for Information Officers on Communicating the Public Service Reforms.


He said that members of the public needed to be adequately informed on government policies that would better their livelihood.



“The public discourse in Nigeria is often dominated by politics; this means that many citizens are not aware of government efforts to improve their lives.


“Thankfully, the press are becoming more balanced in their reporting, also being willing to publicise good news rather than just focus on bad news. Their professionalism and patriotism is to be commended and supported.


“I urge resident information officers to treat members of the press as partners in progress, rather than as adversaries.


“This means that as public servants we must be available to answer questions when they are asked by the press.


“We must be available to explain government policy; we must respond to freedom of information requests.”



He said that information officers must be willing to respond to freedom of information requests and engage in proactive disclosure.


“Public service is after all public, rather than private,” he said.


Earlier, the Director, Public Communication, Federal Ministry of Information, Mr Emmanuel Agbegin, said that the workshop was designed to give the resident information officers deeper understanding of public service reforms.


He said that would equip them with the best approach to communicate the reforms to members of the public.


“The world is not static and modern methodologies on every subject, including reforms, are being propagated daily to improve citizens’ welfare and make the world a better place,” he said.


Agbegin said that competent information officers from the federal ministry of information had been posted to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for effective communication between the MDAs and the public.

“These offices are our outlets for information to the media and the outside world,” he said.  (NAN)

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