Akinwunmi Ambode, the Lagos State governor, has charged information agencies in the State to ensure they effectively build public confidence in government policies and programmes.
The governor spoke on Thursday at the maiden edition of the retreat for public officers in Lagos State, where he was represented by Mrs. Olabowale Ademola, the State’s Head of Service.
He said the retreat was organised among other reasons to afford public affairs officers opportunity to reassess the effectiveness of the information machinery of government, identify areas where they can improve and proffer solutions.
Ambode, while speaking on the importance of centrality of information to human existence, noted that the right to information is an inalienable rights guaranteed by the United Nations (UN) declarations.
He described the prompt approval to redesignate Information Officers in the state’s civil service to public affairs officers as not just doing needful and necessary but also an attestation to the unflinching commitment of his administration to human capital development.
While promising to sustain the development, he said that “the tripod policy thrust of security, infrastructure development and job creation cannot be effectively implemented without properly disseminating, reinforcing and linkage by a strategic and dynamic information machinery.”
Ambode, who said that the various information organs of the state have the capacity to perform more than they presently also urged public affairs officers to perform optimally in order to be more visible and relevant so that the people can key into the various reforms the administration is undertaking in the area of traffic control, taxation, employment generation and public security.
According to him, “Considering the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos, one critical area that public affairs officers must be ready to contend with is crisis management.”
Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, in his welcome address, explained that the acceptance and subsequent hosting of the retreat by the governor was borne out of his belief in the responsibilities entrusted in the Ministry of Information and Strategy and its officers to be well equipped and prepared for the challenges in present day public information management.