NCI Communique

COMMUNIQUE ON THE 42ND MEETING OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON INFORMATION (NCI) HELD AT THE TRANSCORP METROPOLITAN HOTEL, CALABAR, CROSS RIVERS STATE, ON FRIDAY, 28TH OCTOBER, 2011
PREAMBLE

The 42nd Meeting of the National Council on Information was held at the Transcorp Metropolitan Hotel, Calabar, Cross River State.  The meeting with the theme: “National Vision 20:2020 – SHARING IN THE VISION” was attended by 417 delegates from 33 States, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The meeting began with a two day stakeholders retreat in conjunction with the National Planning Commission on selling government developmental programme, Vision 20:2020 and transformational agenda to the people of Nigeria through the development of appropriate communication strategies.

1.1    The meeting of Officials to prepare the framework for the Council meeting was held on Wednesday 26th October, 2011, under the Chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information, Mallam Salihu Aliyu Gusau.

1.2    In a keynote address, the Honourable Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, while welcoming members to the meeting, underlined the theme of the meeting which is “National Vision 20:2020 Sharing the Vision” and expressed the hope that the scope and principles of the Vision will be properly addressed.  He noted that while the National Planning Commission (NPC) has the mandate to provide a strategic blue-print for the achievement of the Vision, managers of the information sector should strive to develop enlightenment strategies to drive the Vision.  The Minister identified the low-level of investment in the information infrastructure in the states as part of the problems to be addressed.  He called for the harmonization of information dissemination between the Federal, States and Local Governments.  He called for a joint good governance monitoring tour as part of a programme to promote good governance and carry the people along by showing what governments at different levels are doing for the people.  He also called for the establishment of a synergy between public and private media.  Mr. Maku further appealed to state governments to invest in security awareness because the country will progress faster in a situation of peace.  He noted that Nigeria will migrate digitally by 2015 when the international deadline is realised.  Finally, he called on Council to address one of our major challenges which is attitudinal. He thanked our hosts for their hospitality and wished the Council fruitful deliberations.

1.3    Earlier, the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, welcomed participants to Calabar.  He called for a synergy between the public and private media.  He also drew attention to the security challenges which he said must be addressed for peace to reign.

1.4    In his welcome address, the Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, commended the Honourable Minister of Information for his passionate speech, he underlined the critical role the media should play in connecting the people to the government.  He called on the meeting to ensure that the rule of law as a key to sustainability of good governance is upheld.  He described the theme of the meeting as apt and called for a breakdown of the Vision to enable the people understand it. 

1.5    Finally, he welcomed participants to the most peaceful state in the country and a home of entertainment.

1,6    After exhaustive deliberations, Council resolved as follows:

      i) that Servicom should be part of the National Policy on Information with the States urged to   
         implement the Service Charter of Servicom;

      ii) the adoption of Nigeria’s country Code and Image on the Internet for security.  All state
          governments should urge the implementation of Code Top Level Domain before the next
          Council meeting;

    iii)  state governments are encouraged to make adequate provision to develop their archives in
         order to keep records. Every state in addition to what the Federal Government is doing should
         develop record keeping;

    iv) Federal and State Governments to embark on sensitisation of all sectors/groups of the
         country on the Freedom of Information Act;

     v) encourage all the states to establish film offices to serve as agents of transformation;

    vi) that states should be encouraged to attend the workshop on audio-visual archiving to be held 
         in Abuja at a date to be announced;

    vii) that consequent to the recent de-merger of the Communication arm of the Federal Ministry of
          Information there is the need to streamline the draft Communication Policy in order to avoid
          policy overlap and rename it as the National Information Policy;

   viii) that the sensitisation awareness campaign be stepped up; unusual events be quickly
          reported to the police and; exemplary models be publicised, while investment on peaceful
          awareness be encouraged;

     ix) note that in order that Nigeria meets the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) global
          deadline for changing from analogue to digital broadcasting by 2015, state governments are
          encouraged to work together and increase their level of investment to benefit from this
          change;

      x)  that a good governance media assessment tour by a joint team from the Federal, States and
           media to monitor projects of all tiers of government across the country to be initiated by the
           Federal Ministry of Information and that a time table should be drawn up immediately;

     xi)  that the Federal Ministry of Information will also set up a committee to issue a template for
           project monitoring;

    xii)  that states should highlight the changes of environmental degradation, sanitation and
           develop strategies in conjunction with the Ministries of Health and Environment for people to
           plant and stop cutting trees, and maintenance of public hygiene;

   xiii)  a committee was set up to address all matters sorrounding the issue of petroleum subsidy
           transfer and to workout an effective communication strategy for selling deregulation.

The Committee members are: from Imo, Anambra, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Oyo, Ondo, Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Yobe, Sokoto and Kano State. 

   xiv)  that a memo be sent to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to initiate an Executive Bill to
          amend the Constitution to enable National Broadcasting Corporation to collect radio and
          television set fees from the public on behalf of public broadcasters;

    xv) council expressed its profound gratitude to the government and people of Cross River State
          for their hospitality and successful hosting of the 42nd NCI meeting.

1.8    The next meeting of the National Council on Information is to hold inn Osogbo, Osun State in September/October, 2012.

COMMUNIQUE COMMITTEE

Federal Officers
1.    Bayo Atoyebi                –    FMI            2.    P. O. Ogbonnaya         –    FMI        
3.    Olufela Oshunbiyi          –    FMI    

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