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Media experts describe Maku’s monitoring tour as misplaced priority

by Editor

March 5, 2013 | 2:52 pm
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Media experts have assessed the current controversy trailing the Good Governance tour led by the Labaran Maku, minister of information, saying the tour of projects in various states is at variance with the responsibility of the Ministry of Information.

The experts agree that though the ministry has the function of informing the public on government activities, but say monitoring projects already tagged ‘good governance’ is not under the purview of the ministry.

A Lagos-based public relations consultant who prefers anonymity says the tour is irrelevant and unnecessary, as “it is not under the jurisdiction of the Labaran Maku ministry. Ascertaining how various governments are performing is out of the ministry’s focus and waste of money.”

According to another media practitioner with office in Ikeja, Lagos, the assignment does not sit well with Ministry of Information portfolio, as there are agencies that are responsible for project monitoring.

In his own view, a media expert with a growing PR agency, advises government officials to channel their energy into providing benefits to the people instead of wasting time trying to celebrate any little that is achieved. “Monitoring those projects does not fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Information,” he says.

Noble Laureate, Wole Soyinka recently expressed his disenchantment over the Good Governance Tour. Speaking in Benin City, Soyinka commended the Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole who refused to accede to requests to support the team’s visit to Edo State.

Speaking at a seminar in Benin City recently, Oshiomhole said he was not prepared to waste the state’s limited resources on an unnecessary project conceived and promoted by the Federal Government.

“It is not proper to use Edo State tax payers’ money to finance a Federal Government programme,” the governor said, and “if they pay me a courtesy visit, I will receive them, but I don’t have a dime to spend on them because I do not need them to come to tell Edo people how I built roads and schools. My achievement speaks for me.”

He said Maku’s team had sent in a proposal requesting him to provide accommodation, feeding and logistics for over 120 delegates when they visit the state, saying he opposed the proposal when it was tabled for discussion at a Governors’ Forum meeting sometime ago.

Also, the Coalition of Registered Political Parties (CRPP) in Edo State had kicked against the Maku-led Good Governance Tour to states, describing it as a jamboree.

CRPP, in a communiqué at the end of its quarterly meeting, said it was in agreement with the Edo State government on the issue. It reads, “We agree with the Edo State government that there is no need for the so-called Good Governance Tour of states, particularly Edo State. We see it as a wasteful exercise, which has nothing to offer the Nigerian masses.

“The one done by his predecessor, Jerry Gana bore no fruit. Instead, the assessment was a deceit. He scored our state government, then led by Lucky Igbinedion, as the most industrialised government in the federation, whereas we the citizens knew quite well it was a deceit.”

However, Maku whose team insists that it will go ahead with the tour in spite of criticism, said: “The tour is a programme designed by the Federal Ministry of Information in collaboration with the National Planning Commission and the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Performance Monitoring. The programme was endorsed by the 36 state governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the National Economic Council, to publicise the development programmes and projects of all tiers of government in the country.

“It is a non-partisan tour involving the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ); the Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU); leaders of women and youth organisations; National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS); National Council of Women Societies (NCWS); leaders of non-governmental organisations; operatives of security agencies; representative(s) of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat, and reporters from the nation’s print and electronic media.

“The tour became necessary following observations about how the issues of development were completely relegated to the background in the media in preference to quarrels by politicians, which is unhealthy to our democracy.”

 

DANIEL OBI

Media Business Editor


by Editor

March 5, 2013 | 2:52 pm
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