By ROTIMI IJIKANMI
ABUJA- The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says he holds biannual interactive sessions with foreign media to positively project Nigeria’s image and ensure access to authentic information about the country.
The minister stated this on Tuesday in Abuja while presenting the achievements of his ministry at the 26th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023).
Mohammed said his ministry equally embarked on robust engagements with critical stakeholders in Nigeria’s information sector to exchange ideas on the programmes and policies of the administration and bridge any communication gap.
According to the minister, the interactions with the global media, particularly in London and Washington enabled his Ministry to provide them with first-hand information and background briefings about topical issues in Nigeria.
He said it also helped to clear any misconception arising from lack of credible information and as well build a rapport with them.
Mohammmed also gave the instance of when the Federal Government proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and designated it a terrorist organisation, adding, ”there was the need to justify the actions to the global audience.”
The minister said through the interactions with the foreign media organisations, he was able to do so and it went a long way in shaping the global perception of IPOB.
“The ministry also provided ample information to the foreign media at the height of the farmers-herders crisis.
“This made them realise that the hot contest for increasingly-scarce natural resources, like water and grazing fields, rather than religious and ethnic considerations fuelled the crisis.
“We believe this played a major role in changing the perspective of the
international community on the issue,” he said.
Mohammed said a critical component of the foreign interactions was the side meetings with international think tanks.
According to him, the interactions had been invaluable, especially in policy formations in global capitals with regards to Nigeria.
In his engagements with information stakeholders at home, the minister said he leveraged on the extant rapport to keep Nigerians better informed.
Mohammed said regular meetings were institutionalised with organisations such as the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He said he also held meetings with National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Radio and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU), On-Air Personalities, Online Publishers and Social Media Influencers.
As parts of the engagements, the minister said, he embarked on a tour of media establishments across the country.
He said his ministry rallied the indigenous language newspapers as a platform to take government messages to the grassroots.(NAN)