By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has urged the newly-appointed Chief Executive Officers of agencies to be accountable to government in order to achieve national development.
He told them too see the appointment by the Mr. President as a call to national service.
Mohammade who gave the charge in Abuja at the weekend during the maiden meeting with the CEOs, stated that they must work hard to justify their appointments.
The minister who specifically urged them to key into the 9-Point Agenda of the administration, identified to guide the policy directions over the next few years and to achieve national development.
He said “You must consider your appointment by president as a call to national service, and you must work hard to justify it. A starting point is for you to ensure that the activities of your agencies key into the 9 priority areas of government”.
He stated that “Of particular relevance to your various agencies, especially those in the culture and tourism sectors, some the are priorities are Expand business growth,entrepreneurship and industrialization;expand access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigerians; Build a system to fight corruption, improve governance and create social cohesion; Improve security for all among others.
Mohammed added that the Ministry of Information and Culture is already working on these areas through its reform of the Creative Industry and the efforts to put in place a standard Audience Measurement System.
Emphasising on the new CEOs,he said they were carefully selected based on their respective track record of achievements, competence and years of dedication to duty.
The minister stressed that,the CEOs are joining a government that is doing so much with so little, especially at a time of dwindling resources due to the sharp fall in the price of oil and the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global economies.
He said in spite of the challenges, the government has remained steadfast in carrying out massive infrastructural renewal in the areas of roads, bridges, rail and power, among others.
He told the CEOs that in the next two to three weeks,”I will expect from each of you a report on where you plan to take your individual agencies to, and the road map for achieving such. This will form the basis for your period assessment. But I have no doubt that you will succeed and justify your appointments”,he said.
Meanwhile,responding on behalf of his co -MD and CEO,the National Theatre, Prof. Sunny Ododo, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointments and assured that he and his colleagues will consolidate on the gains so far recorded by the Minister, and strive to make the Creative Industry an enviable component of the Nigerian economy.
The new CEOs who attended the meeting are: Mr. Buki Ponle, Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria; Mr. Olalekan Fadolapo, Registrar, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria; Prof. Sunny Ododo, General Manager/CEO, National Theatre; Mr. Francis Nwosu, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council; Mr. Ado Muhammed Yahuza, Executive Secretary/CEO, National Institute for Cultural Orientation and Mr. Ebetan William Ivara, Director-General, National Gallery of Arts.
Others are: Prof. Abba Isa Tijjani, Director-General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments; Mrs. Oluwabunmi Ayobami Amao, Director-General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization and Mr. Nura Sani Kangiwa, Director-General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism.