Media Aides to the 25 local government council chairmen in Niger State have been asked to exhibit a high sense of professionalism while managing the image of their bosses.
The State Vice Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Comrade Uriah Gana, gave the charge when the media aides paid a courtesy call on the leadership of the Union at IBB Pen House Minna on Thursday.
Comrade Uriah Gana, who spoke on behalf of the Council Chairman, Comrade Abu Nmodu, also told them to always cross-check facts before giving out information to the public.
He said that as image makers, the media aides should work towards bridging the communication gap between their bosses and the people at the grassroots.
Comrade Gana emphasised the need for them to always provide easy access for journalists to their bosses, as doing so would enhance relationships with newsmen.
He then called on them to avail themselves of the services of International Institute of Journalism domicile at IBB Pen House, to receive training on modern techniques of journalism.
Earlier, the State Secretary of the Forum, who is also the Press Secretary to Tafa Council Chairman Markus Sakoma, said the visit was to identify with NUJ and seek the support and cooperation of the Union to enhance their activities.
Sakoma announced that plans were on to organise an induction course for the media aides, adding that the State Chairman of NUJ, Comrade Abu Nmodu, has been selected as a keynote speaker at the occasion.
In an effort to enhance the image of the government and effectively communicate its activities in the state, the Niger State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Hon. Binta Mamman, recently engaged information officers from various ministries, departments, and agencies for effective information management.
This robust engagement, which took place in her office, was aimed at fostering better coordination and collaboration among information officers to ensure accurate and timely dissemination of government activities in the state to the public.
She explained that her ministry recognises the crucial role information officers play in shaping public perception, and therefore it is their responsibility to ensure that the positive image of the government is sustained.
Hon. Binta therefore emphasised the importance of their role and encouraged them to work collectively towards a common goal with efficient synergy.
The commissioner then admonished the officers to adopt a proactive approach to sharing government's initiatives, achievements, and policies with the public, disclosing that the ministry was collaborating with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to develop a working website for all ministries in the state, which will be domiciled and managed by the Ministry of Information and Strategy.
She recognised and appreciated the challenges they are facing in terms of having the required working tools and therefore assured that all the requirements would be captured in the next year’s budget.
She added that the ministry will be creating social media handles, such as Facebook and Twitter, among others, for all information officers to post the activities of their various MDAs.
During the meeting, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Hajiya Aishatu Nuhu Yerwa, expressed dissatisfaction with the attitude of some of the officers towards their primary assignments and therefore warned that such behaviour would no longer be condoned.
The meeting highlighted the government’s dedication to improving its image and enhancing public perception, while officers took turns asking questions and expressing themselves.