ACCOUNTABILITY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE PERMANENT SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND ORIENTATION, MRS. EUNICE AGADA AT THE NIGERIA UNION OF JOURNALISTS (NUJ) CONFERENCE HALL, MAKURDI ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2017
It is my honour to present the accountability briefing of my Ministry to this fourth estate of the realm, who are the watchdog of the society, and without whom this nation and indeed the Nigerian people’s trust in this project Nigeria would have waned. Unfortunately, since the coming of this administration, we are holding this briefing for the first time, because of the realities of the time which you are all aware of. Please, accept our apology.
These briefings are a hallmark of service to the people of Benue State by this administration which is exhibiting transparency and accountability to the taxpayers whose money is held in trust. I want to assure you that the government of Governor Samuel Ortom would continue to sustain the briefings forthwith.
I wish to thank all journalists in Benue State who have painstakingly supported and cooperated with this regime in reporting accurately and objectively the programmes and achievements of the administration as recorded within this short period of its being in power. We are poised to accept all forms of constructive criticism, as this has and will be our cardinal thrust, of “In God we Trust.”
The Ministry of Information and Orientation consists of the following parastatals: Radio Benue, The Voice Newspaper, Benue Television, Benue Printing, and Library Board.
Before the coming on board of Governor Ortom, the Ministry was completely abandoned together with its parastatals, but almost two years after the inception of the government, it has recorded tremendous achievements. These achievements are buoyed by the importance the administration has attached to the dissemination of information in governance.
So, it is not surprising that the Ministry has a swell record of achievements to show in just two years of the Samuel Ortom administration’s life, despite the fact that the state has in the time under review suffered serious economic downturn.
Some of the major achievements recorded by the Ministry include the setting up of an Ultra-Modern ICT Centre duly equipped with trending ICT equipment and gadgets with the capacity to render ICT training to the state ministries, departments and parastatals. Others are the stemming of a monthly publishing of the ministry’s newsletter called Benue-in-News. Also, the Ministry has as well resuscitated the newsletter’s website which has since been floating. To ensure the grassroots are abreast with the developmental strides of this administration, the ministry has embarked on the erection of bill boards showcasing the achievements recorded by the Samuel Ortom-led administration in strategic locations across the state for wider dissemination of information on government’s ongoing and completed projects.
As for our parastatals, the Ministry’s story of achievements is also remarkable. Radio Benue for instance has witnessed unprecedented breakthroughs in terms of reach, non-breaking in transmission on account of the repair of two sets of generators, and 10KW transmitter, etc, which the Governor Ortom administration has purchased for the state broadcast station. I am happy to inform you that the Radio Benue Idekpa sub-station has under gone its first test run and will soon be back on air after several years of abandonment by the previous administration. The return to air of the substation is made possible by the purchase and delivery of 5KW FM transmitter and other state of the art studio equipment and the ongoing renovation of the entire radio station for a conducive working atmosphere. We are working hard to see that just like Idekpa substation, Katsina booster station too is brought back on air. Also, the Ministry has successfully repaired the Radio Benue antenna and three operational vehicles for the Ministry all in the period under review.
Similarly, the AM arm of the state radio has been resuscitated through the purchase of modern and state of the art equipment for the station. It is noteworthy too that Radio Benue has been transmitting on web (streaming), and can now be received on live.radiobenue.com all over the world following the purchase and installation of webcast for the radio by the Ortom administration through the Ministry of Information and Orientation.
The Ministry has also recorded big achievement at the Benue Printing and Publishing Company (BPPC) as massive reconstruction and renovation work is ongoing at the site. This is in addition to the sustenance of the production of The Voice newspaper on weekly bass made possible by the Ministry’s efforts.
As regards Benue Television, the Ministry has in addition to maintaining the 150 KVA generator advanced efforts are on at getting the station to begin broadcast soon. Towards this end, experts have been brought in to test the existing equipment worth over a billion naira at today’s foreign market exchange rate and found most of them to be good. With a little push, the state TV will h it the airwave. Similarly, the Ministry has advanced efforts towards digitizing the state’s library and very soon our efforts will crystallize into tangible results.
Despite the current economic recession, the Ministry is poised and hopes to record more achievements as efforts are geared towards partnering with investors from the private sector.
We therefore call on all citizens of Benue State to continue to support Governor Samuel Ortom administration to deliver on its campaign promises.
Thank you all.