The Ebonyi State Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Orji Uchenna Orji says the ministry has re-strategized to overrun fake reports by detractors of government and feed the public with the correct happenings in the state, opting for grassroot driven information dissemination.
Mr Orji who stated this during the monthly Performance Evaluation exercise for the Staff of the ministry and its Parastatals in Abakaliki said the training and re-training of the Public Relation officers and the Area Information officers of the Ministry was to ensure they were equipped to lace-into the e-governance initiative of the State government.
According to the Commissioner, the essence of the Evaluation Exercise was not only to find ways of switching the Public Relation and Area Information officers into the e-governance system of the state government, but to also equip them towards optimal performance in their duties of disseminating accurate information on the activities of the state government as well as mobilizing the citizenry to imbibe positive values and patriotism through available channels of Communication.
He re-stated his determination to put every arsenals to tackle the menace of fake news against the government from detractors, by overrunning them in both the Social and conventional media through a robust and sharp edged grass-rooted information dissemination.
Mr Orji re-stated his commitment towards establishing a Reward System that will continue to encourage high Productivity among staff of the Ministry, reminding the Area Information Officers that it was the mandate of their Parent ministry and by extension their responsibility to popularize government policies at the grassroots, where they are resident, as well as to ignite behavioural and attitudinal change through a two-way information dissemination flick.
He reminded the Information officers that the outside press were hugely dependent on the information that emanates from them, as reliable source of government news, and promised to equip, train and re-train them to ensure their remain on top of their schedules at all times.
Earlier in his speech, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Ken Uhuo appreciated the proactive nature of the Commissioner, Orji Uchennna Orji, especially in his sharp-edged initiatives towards enhancing the performance of the Information officers as well as taking the entire Ministry higher in its ‘image making’ functions and responsibilities.
Mr Uhuo expressed optimism that by the time, the Ministry’s Public Relation officers and the Area information officers were adequately equipped and motivated to work as promised by the Commissioner, they will be no vacuum for fake news merchants to fill.
He charged the information officers as well as the entire staff of the ministry and its Parastatals to tap from the goodwill of the State government through the Commissioner, who according to him was readily available with good initiatives to drive to fruition the e-governance initiative of the Engr David Umahi led Administration.
Also speaking, the General Manager of Ebonyi Newspaper and Publishing Company, Mr Larry Oyims advised the information officers to always partner with the ministry’s Parastatals; The State Newspaper and the Ebonyi Broadcasting Corporation, EBBC in their reportorial engagements as they were not only service Agents of the State Ministry of Information but major spindles on which the ministry’s responsibilities were propelled.