Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday at the maiden edition of the retreat for public officers in Lagos State, charged information agencies in the State to ensure they effectively build public confidence in government policies and programmes.
The Governor, who was represented at the event by the State’s Head of Service Mrs. Olabowale Ademola, said that the retreat was organized among other reasons to afford public affairs officer 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 declarations.
He therefore 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”.
Governor 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 the Governor, “Considering the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos, one critical area that public affairs officers must be ready to contend with is crisis management”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde, 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.
He also noted that the retreat will help participants in outlining strategies for a rejuvenated public sector information management.
The Commissioner urged public affairs officers to use the occasion of the retreat to interact, rub minds on contemporary issues and challenges that affects the profession as well as acquiring knowledge and forge new network necessary for the growth of the profession.