The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris has disclosed that the gradual erosion of values over the years has become a source of worry to President Bola Tinubu, and that this was what made him add national orientation to his ministry.
He stated this during an interactive session with members of the Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation at the National Assembly on Wednesday.
The Minister noted that the problems bedevilling parastatals under the Ministry are rooted in their outdated enabling laws, and urged the Senate to review outdated laws in the information sector pending before the National Assembly to enable them to meet the requirements of the modern age.
He disabused the minds of Nigerians that the Ministry is only a propaganda organ of government, noting that strategic communication will be applied in information dissemination for the benefit of all Nigerians.
The ministry’s key mandate, he said, is ensuring that credible and timely information on government activities, programmes, and projects is available to Nigerians
Idris also highlighted areas in which he believes the National Assembly can support the Ministry, including the review of enabling laws of the parastatals, which are already before the National Assembly, an improved appropriation to enable the Ministry to run its enormous mandate, and support in the establishment of the UNESCO-approved International Institute of Media and Information Literacy.
He expressed happiness that the leadership of the Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation is passionate about repositioning the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation and called for continued cooperation from the Senate to enable the Ministry to achieve its mandate.
The Minister used the occasion to inform the Senate of the desire of his Ministry to launch a “National Citizens Campaign,” which will provide an avenue for a robust conversation about citizenship, patriotism, and values.
In his remark, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Emeka Kenneth Eze, commended the Minister on the work he has started and harped on the need for the Ministry to be more innovative and technology-driven and to generate its revenue rather than rely on subventions.
Eze, according to a statement issued by Deputy Director, Press in the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation, Suleiman Haruna, promised that the Committee would work on the pending amendments to the enabling laws and support the Ministry to deliver on its mandates.