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Obaigbena, Ogunbiyi task govs on transparency, accountability, vision

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Chairman of THISDAY and ARISE NEWS, Nduka Obaigbena, has tasked returning and newly elected governors to define their goals from the word go, cultivate the spirit of transparency and accountability.

The renowned publisher said governors must define their goals and have vision for each ministry under their administrations adding that they must make transparency and accountability their watchword.

Obaigbena made the charge on day two of the ongoing induction programme for newly-elected and returning governors at the State House Abuja while speaking on “Strategic Communications” as a member of media panel of the induction programme organised by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).

The session was anchored by former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba.

According to the President of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the media had remained partners in progress in Nigeria’s 20 years of unbroken democracy, he added that with common access to the media as a result of technological advancement, the media’s landscape had been altered.

He also stressed the importance of the governors regularly briefing the media on their activities, pointing out that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) empowers the press to hold public officers accountable.

Obaigbena also charged them to ensure that they maximally make use of the media during disasters and as well reject falsehood when reported by journalists, insisting that they must define their purpose in power, set agenda and think.

“As we celebrate 20 years of democracy in Nigeria, the press remains a partner in progress. The world of media is changing because every citizen has access to media. Technology has changed media’s landscape.

“The purpose of this session is to discuss things you must do as governor. First, you must define your vision. What is your vision or mission for each ministry? Every ministry must have vision. Your primary responsibility is to provide security. Next is transparency and accountability, ensuring that resources of the state are well managed.

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“Of course, you must communicate. Briefings everyday, briefings every week are not out of place. If journalists report false reports, you must fight back. The constitution gives the press the power to hold governors to account. When there is disaster, stay ahead of news. Define your purpose. Set agenda. Think,” he said.

A former Managing Director of Daily Times, Yemi Ogunbiyi, also advised the governors to set agenda, uphold such agenda, keep advice and be accessible.

According to him, as good as media involvement in their administrations might be, it cannot be alternated with good governance, reiterating that if they care to succeed, good governance must be their major priority.

Ogunbiyi said: “Set your agenda. Keep agenda. Keep advice. Make yourself accessible as much as possible. Sometimes it is difficult to reach out to governors, commissioners. You need the media, cultivate them. No amount of media coverage is as good as good governance. The most effective weapon of succeeding is good governance.”

A Commissioner with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Sunday Dare, who spoke on the impact of the social media, explained that social media were the offshoot of digital media, advising the governors to pay diligent attention to social media.

He also advised them to shut down fake Facebook accounts opened in their names and likewise set goals and engage competent journalists when need be.

Dare said: “Digital media gave birth to social media.  Pay attention to social media. There are no gate keepers any longer. There are no editors on social media. Clean up multiple Facebook accounts. Let there be situational government, goal setting and communication competence. Sit down with competent journalists and bring them together going forward.”


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