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Today, the Ministry of Information and Communications has beefed up to incorporate the widely accepted ICT in meeting up with its new and additional mandate and responsibility.
It is a fact and an indisputable truism that the activities, impacts and strives of the Ministry, which was hitherto seemingly “sleepy” have come alive, radiating in, around and beyond the State, thus the Ministry has played its role well as manager of the state information sector’.
Conscious of the importance of the Website, the ministry upgraded the State’s website to an enviable standard among the comity of states in the country. The efficient management of the site has enabled the State meet up with the needed DLIs during 2018/2019 SFTAS IVA.
The Ministry also set-up a committee to fashion out the Roadmap for ICT and digital economy renaissance in the State. The Committee is still working on the document.
In tandem with her continuous determination of the State Government to deploy ICT mechanism for development and keeping the staff competent at the task, the Ministry organised a free online digital skills training for the State Information Officers and Reporters in the State Radio Corporation and ‘The Graphic’ Newspaper. The free tuition and certificated course covered relevant contents to improve the skills of the officers on contents development, social media optimisation and management, marketing and digital analytics among others.
The Ministry designed and launched an online directory known as Confluence Business Directory. Confluence Business Directory otherwise known as cbdkogi is a unique platform designed exclusively to connect all businesses to the world. It gives local, national, and international business exposure. It is the first of its kind by any State Government in the Country today.
The Ministry also came up with a debutant magazine called Doing More Magazine. The magazine showcases the giant strides of the GYB administration.
- The Ministry has also carried out the repositioning of the parastatals under the Information and Communications Ministry for optimal performance. For instance, the establishment of e-graphic for the first time in the history of the publishing company is a great surge to the output of the corporation.
- It is on record that the corporation in the past had solely produced the analogue weekly hardcopy with little or no success in news timeliness and comprehensive circulation. At some point, the weekly newspaper barely made two editions in a month and the corporation was at the verge of folding up for the paucity of funds until the intervention of the ministry.
- Also worthy of note among the achievements of the Ministry was the revamping of the Government Printing Press, thus making it commercially viable in a bid to meet up with the State Government’s revenue drive for rapid development of the State.
- The State Printing Press has been strengthened with the machines overhauled. It has started the printing of ‘The Graphic’ newspaper. Presently, The Graphic is not only on stand every week but has been able to come out with its online edition. The corporation is now at its best in the world of highly competitive e-paper news reportage and publication.
- The Press printed both sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the 2019 Local Government Elections in the State.
- For the State to run an all-inclusive government, the ministry under the watch of Evang. Fanwo also launched a novel radio programme tagged “State of Kogi,” an audience radio interactive programme. This has been a great avenue for interaction between the government and the people. It has also gone a long way to cement a robust relationship between the government and the people of the State.
- In the same vein, a periodic “Twitter” interaction between government officials and the people has been launched to promote accountability in the State. Through this avenue, the general public do ask questions with prompt responses from public officers. This programme has further bridged the gap between the government and its people.
- Furthermore, the Kogi State Open Governance and Accountability Systems (KOGAS), an online application with the same motive of ensuring accountability has been launched. The platform is available and open to all Kogites as a forum for scoring each sector of the State based on its performance. The first innovation of its kind in the country, the platform will fast track effective feedback mechanism for government and promote efficient service delivery to the people.
- Projecting the State Government and the people of the State positively remains a cardinal obligation of the Ministry with the ” INVEST IN KOGI” campaign; a programme geared towards making the state attractive and enticing for both foreign and local investors. “INVEST IN KOGI” is to showcase the tourist potentials of the State and to guide would-be investors on how best to liaise with the State and go about their businesses unhindered.
- The State Broadcasting Corporation has been strengthened to meet up with modern broadcasting. People orientated programmes have been put in place and efforts are being intensified to launch a 24/7 online platform for the organisation.
- In the quest to sell the noble objectives of the present administration to the younger generation, the Ministry promoted a new drive for the resuscitation of the Press and Information Clubs in Kogi Schools. The Commissioner personally visited some of the schools to give moral support and encouragement to the students. By this effort, the Information and Communications Ministry has done a good job in bringing back the cultural values of the people, reorientating the younger generation on the need to imbibe good conducts.
- Similarly, conscious of the menace of drug abuse and its negative effects on the populace, the Ministry under Fanwo launched a “Drug Abuse Whistle-blower Policy” in collaboration with the state command of NDLEA. This initiative has been fruitful. The State Directorate of NDLEA reported that the step has helped to stem cases of drug abuse. The state-owned media are being used to air series of jingles and other forms of campaign messages against the use of illicit drugs at no cost. To drive home the war against drug abuse objectives, the Commissioner directed the management of the state-owned media to alot one hour of radio transmission and a top corner advert in ‘The Graphic’ newspaper for the campaign against incessant use of illicit drugs. The same campaign was carried to tertiary institutions in the State. At the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja where the Ministry joined efforts with the Institution in the fight against drug abuse, Hon. Fanwo commended the management for the numerous development programmes made available for students to enhance their productivity.