Archive | May, 2013

DEMOCRACY DAY MESSAGE BY HIS EXCELLENCY, HON. HENRY SERIAKE DICKSON, GOVERNOR OF BAYELSA STATE

29 May

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28/05/2013

As we celebrate another Democracy Day, it also affords me another golden opportunity to re-emphasize the need for all of us leaders to build consensus and promote better understanding in our Country.
I have said this in time past and will continue to say it; that the times we are in call for fence-mending, bridge-building and repairing of bridges that appear to have been broken down.
That is the only way we can better appreciate the progress we have made as a democracy and the only way we can sustain the democratic structures we have all labored to put in place.
Let me use this opportunity to equally sound a note of caution to some of our brothers and even leaders who appeared to be using the language of war, instead of the language of politics and persuasion which are critical to the peace, stability and progress that we are in dare need of, in our nation at this time.
As we celebrate 14 years of unbroken civilian rule, let us continue to work for the peace and unity of our nation.
Let us rally round and support Mr. President and all our leaders in their quest to build a new Nigeria of our collective dreams and aspirations.
Long Live Our Democracy!
Long Live Bayelsa State!!
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

FLOODING IN PARTS OF YENAGOA: BAYELSA GOVT WARNS LAND DEVELOPERS AGAINST BUILDING ON NATURAL DRAINS

23 May

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23/05/2013
FLOODING IN PARTS OF YENAGOA: BAYELSA GOVT WARNS LAND DEVELOPERS AGAINST BUILDING ON NATURAL DRAINS

In a clear demonstration of concern over flooding affecting some residents of Yenagoa as a result of ongoing road construction works, the state Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah has undertaken an assessment tour of some of the affected parts of the town.

Speaking to newsmen at the end of the tour, the Deputy Governor assured the people that government would put palliative measures in place to lessen their sufferings.

While appealing to the affected residents to show understanding and cooperate with government by clearing their drainages to make for free flow of water, Rear Admiral John Jonah assured them that government was doing everything possible to address the problem.

He directed the commissioner for works and infrastructure and other relevant ministries as well as agencies to work closely with the various contractors to create temporary channels to drain out water from the affected areas.

Describing the landform of Yenagoa and its environs as very low, the Deputy Governor observed that though it is difficult to completely prevent flooding in the meantime, the present administration would engage the services of technical experts to carry out relevant baseline studies with a view to constructing major drainages within the town.

Rear Admiral John Jonah however, warned the people to resist the temptation of building on natural drainages, stating that henceforth, government will not hesitate to deal decisively with those who flout the already existing land development and town planning laws.

“The drainage problem has been a persistent one because people build on areas that they are not supposed to. We have seen some channels that people have built across, thereby obstructing the flow of water. It does not encourage sustainable development and so we will do everything we can to put a stop to that within the confines of existing urban and town planning laws.

“Bayelsans should also help us; you don’t need to dump garbage on drainage path because if you do that your house will be flooded. There are areas we have identified that need immediate intervention for water to flow. But we recall that Yenagoa is a very low line area. And so to avoid flooding totally would be a very difficult task but the report on the areas that we should open up has already been submitted. Having seen the areas with the concerned commissioners by myself, I am going to write a memo to the Governor to make sure the areas are opened up as a temporary measure for water to flow. ”

The Deputy Governor, who visited Azikoro, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN/Osiri in Ekeki, Isaac Boro roads was accompanied by the Commissioner of Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Lawrence Ewrudjakpo, Capital City Development, Mr. Zuwa Konugah, Information and Orientation, Markson Fefegha, Lands and Survey, Furoebi Akene and Special Projects, Fred Obuah.

Others are, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Anapurere Awoli, Chief of Staff Government House, Chief Diekivie Ikiogha and Executive Secretary of Capital City Development Authority, Chief Iboro Ige-Idaba.

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BAYELSA PUBLIC INFORMATION MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE HOLDS HER FIRST TOWN HALL MEETING IN YENAGOA

22 May

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AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE CHIEF BOMA SPERO-JACK, CHAIRMAN, BAYELSA PUBLIC INFORMATION MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE ON THE OCCASION OF THE TOWN HALL MEETING HELD ON MAY 22nd, 2013 AT THE BANQUET HALL, GOVERNMENT HOUSE –YENAGOA-BAYELSA STATE

PROTOCOL
It is my singular honour and privilege to address this occasion of the Town Hall Meeting organized by the Bayelsa Information Management Committee. This is the first TOWN HALL MEETING we are holding since His Excellency; Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State inaugurated the Committee about two months ago.
The Bayelsa Public Information Manmagement Committee was inaugurated with the following Terms of References:
1. To oversee the management of public information dissemination in Bayelsa State, through the articulation of appropriate policies and strategies and to work in synergy with all relevant agencies such as NOA, National Orientation Agency, such as NBA, NMA, NLC, NUJ, professional bodies, Women and Youth Groups and other non-state actors.

2. To embark on sensitization of the citizens with a view to effecting attitudinal change in the youths through public enlightenment programmes on radio, television and town hall meetings among other community development training programmes.

3. To bridge the information gap between government and the people in order to reduce the spread of rumours, misinformation and propaganda disseminated by the mischief makers to distract the attention of government.

4. To evolve educational and behavior modification programmes designed to inculcate discipline positive work ethics and change among public servants, youths, women groups with a view to promoting the policies and programmes of the Restoration Government.

5. To re-enforce existing channels of communication to ensure that public information is brought to the people accurately and in a timely manner.

6. To liaise with all agencies charged with information dissemination and to serve as a clearing house among all agencies of government to enhance information flow in the system and any other matters related thereto.

Upon inauguration of the Committee by His Excellency, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, the Committee started work immediately. We held several strategy meetings to arrive at a well thought-out work plan in which there are short, medium and long term goals. The work plan we have today is a holistic document for a proactive engagement with all segments of the people.
Prior to the adoption of a work plan, the Committee had to change the perception of the people. Most people referred to us as a Rumour Management Committee. Realizing that rumour is or misinformation is a very little component of the entire information management process, the Committee had to correct this impression and this was accomplished through radio discussion programmes, commentaries, television discussion programmes and massive social media enlightenment campaign. At every given opportunity, the Committee explained the mandate to people who were eager to know if the Committee was established to gag the press or muscle free speech. The aim of this effort is to for government to renew her commitment that renewed its commitment when people are timely and accurately informed about government policies, plans and programmes, it will create no room for misinformation.
Recognizing the importance of the Social Media in influencing perceptions, the Committee established a facebook page called Bayelsa Public Information Management which now serves as a vehicle for effective transmission of accurate information and to ensure a two-way communication between government and the people. To further reinforce this effort, a blog ( http://www.bayelsainformationmgt.wordpress.com was created to provide update on the activities of the Committee in line with her mandate. We have followed this up with the launching of a website http://www.bayelsaPIMC.org. Our collective efforts on the Social Media has paid off as the public now has a better grasp of government policy thrust and her people-oriented programmes. Government information is now communicated to the people in a timely and accurate manner thereby reducing the misinformation index to the barest minimum.
The Committee quickly followed this up with courtesy calls on media organizations and other stakeholders. The general misconception was that the Committee was constituted because of the inadequacies of existing channels and agencies of information dissemination. This is far from the truth as the Committee was established as a clearing house to work in synergy with other agencies of information dissemination beyond the traditional boundaries to ethical re-orientation, behaviour modification and attitudinal change. Such courtesy visits allayed the fears of stakeholders and enabled them to understand the mission of the Committee.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, one of the mandates of the Committee is to obtain information via the hotlines so people from far and near can call to seek clarification on government policies, make inputs into government programmes or pinpoint gray areas with a view to alerting implementing authorities to improve on them. We are making efforts a acquire a secretariat, but while we make such efforts we have set up a mechanism to obtain information/data from the public by employing two secretarial staff equipped with computers and other gadgets presently operating from the office of the Secretary to the Committee. Through this strategy, the Committee has intervened in controversial and knotty policies and programmes such as job creation, taxation, law enforcement, the Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation, the State Universal Basic Education, SUBEB, the Environmental Sanitation Authority, the Free Education programme being implemented by the State Government and Scholarship Board. Other areas include pension administration, Students Bursary Payments, Due Process, security matters and government’s plans to resuscitate state-owned parastatals to create windows of employment opportunities, wealth creation and poverty reduction in line with the Restoration Agenda.
To build synergies with the MDAs, the Committee has already written to relevant MDAs in the State to provide updates on their activities with a view to having ready answers when and where necessary and to bridge the information gap between what goes on in the MDAs and the people. We believe that this will also reduce the spread of misinformation.
Precisely, on April 17th, 2013, the Committee organized an interactive session with Civil Society and Media Organizations. This session was revealing, as most of the earlier misconceptions were laid to rest. The interactive session further consolidated the position of the Committee in her resolve to execute its mandate. Since that event more persons are now ready to put calls through the hotlines without concealing their identities. This has paved the way for more understanding between stakeholders and government.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are aware that one of our Terms of Reference is to change the attitude of our people and one of the strategies we have adopted is the mounting of billboards with subtle messages that will attract the attention of visitors including Foreign Investors. Whereas some of the messages are targeted at value re-orientation and character molding, others address the issue of behaviour change, restoration of our cultural heritage, and the need to verify information before disseminating it. By the grace of God, in the month of July, 2013, this exercise will be taken to the grassroots with town hall meetings and other sensitization campaigns such as the one we are organizing today.
The Town Hall Meeting today is the first the Committee is organizing and all segments all segments of society, traditional rulers, political appointees, civil servants, NGOs, CBOs, Women and Youth Groups and other relevant agencies were invited to attend. We are confident that the former National President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists Comrade Sani Zorro who is as Guest Lecturer, will do justice to the topic “Effective Information Management: A Tool for Sustainable Development”
We have drawn up effective strategies to bridge the information gap and already several NGOs, CSOs and CBOs have indicated interest to work with the Committee. The Committee seeks the partnership and active collaboration with all stakeholders, professional bodies, civil society Organizations and CBOs and the Committee is guided by transparency, objectivity, truth and fairness.
We will carry the message of change from Yenagoa to Akassa, Emakalakala, Otuan, Lobia, Odi, Kaiama, Nembe and from Ekeremor, Sagbama, to Trofani and to all corners of the State. We shall revive the culture of establishing information centres in all the Local Government Headquarters and train champions in information management. We shall be as proactive as ever to initiate Focus Group discussions to ensure a healthy exchange of ideas, clear ambiguities and ensure free flow of information between government and the people. We shall use the Committee to reconfigure the architecture of delivering value and re-engineering the concept of governance along the lines of managing information in the benefit of the citizenry.
Let me thank His Excellency, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State for providing this opportunity for the Committee to serve. We know that embarking on this exercise is capital intensive but any resources spent to enlighten our youths and get them to appreciate the laudable policies, plan and programmes of government is worth the while. Please call the HOTLINES: 07030992208; 08101259810; 08101259782 to clarify stories, clear ambiguities and obtain accurate information about what government is doing.

I urge everyone here to be attentive and participate actively in the discussion and brainstorming exercise as the TOWN HALL MEETING progresses.
You are welcome and thank you for your attention.

Chief Boma Spero-JACK
Chairman, Bayelsa Public Information Management Committee

GOV DICKSON WANTS BAYELSA PROFESSIONALS ABROAD TO INVEST IN THE STATE AND SUPPORT DEVELOPMENTAL EFFORTS OF GOVT

21 May

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21/05/2013

Bayelsans in the diaspora have been urged to come back home and explore the enormous potentials of the State by investing in various sectors of the State’s economy.

They have also been told to apply the knowledge acquired during their sojourn abroad to support the developmental efforts of Government as well assist in developing their communities.

Governor Seriake Dickson who made the call while inauguration a 25-member Diaspora Mobilisation and Contact Committee in Government House, Yenagoa, noted that Bayelsa is in a hurry to develop and attain enviable heights in all critical sectors of human endeavour.

He therefore charged the committee to encourage diaspora professionals to partner with government in bringing about the needed human capacity and infrastructural development in the state.

“We have come to the stage in our development that we want to mobilise the resources of our people because our human resources are the most important resources at our disposal. Earlier, in the life of this administration, we knew that we were going to get to this point. That was why I appointed the Chairman of this Committee, Mr. Charles Preye Zuofa, as Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Mobilization. But I knew that just appointing one person would not be able to get the job done because of the magnitude and importance of the assignment”.

Governor Dickson reiterated his administration’s vision of making Bayelsa the melting-pot of all Ijaws and urged the members of the committee to be good ambassadors of the state by promoting the cultural heritage of the Ijaw man.

Apart from wooing donor agencies and non governmental organisations to partner with the state in the provision of medical supplies and other relief materials especially during emergencies, the committee is also expected to develop synergy for inter and intra cultural harmony as well as promote exchanges at all levels.

The committee’s terms of reference, according to the Governor, also include building capacity for investment opportunities for corporate investors from Bayelsa in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.

“You are to project Bayelsa as a tourist attraction to the diaspora community, friends and investors as well as encourage the teaching and learning of the Ijaw language, history and culture amongst our children in the diaspora”, he added.

Responding, Chairman of the Diaspora Mobilisation and Contact Committee, Mr. Charles Preye Zuofa assured the Governor of the committee’s readiness to work together with the restoration team to actualize its agenda.

The Chairman conveyed the appreciation of the delegation of the Bayelsa Diaspora community who attended the 2013 Boro Day Anniversary, saying they were impressed with the ongoing infrastructural development in the state.

The committee has Tarela Diffa-Umeri as its Secretary while Mr. Lancelot Anyanya, Amagbe Kentebe and Inemo Samiama are to serve as members.

Other members of the committee representing are United States based Francis Kabiowei Udisi, Dawari Long-John, Dr. David Ogula, Dr. Beniah Oye, Cordelia Neiketin-Tawari, Joseph Ebiware, Matthew Sikpi, Mrs. N. Akamande and Mrs. Regina Onyeibe.

Members of the committee resident in the United Kingdom include Mr. Rowland Ekperi, Moa Anyamah, Professor Prince Efere, Peter Okorodudu and Funkezi Koroye-Crooks, while Mr. Shedrack Fubara is based in Canada.

Pere-ere Owonaro, Juliet Pog’sosia and Dr. Kemekeyi Oti are based in Holland, France and Germany with Esther Boro and Justice Joffa in the Scandinavia and Ghana in West Africa respectively.

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BAYELSA PUBLIC INFORMATION MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE ORGANIZES A STAKEHOLDERS INTERACTIVE SESSION

20 May

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TO ALL CHAIRMEN OF LGAs & THEIR KEY FUNCTIONARIES IN BAYELSA STATE: INVITATION TO TOWN HALL MEETING

The Bayelsa State Public Information Management Committee is organising a Town Hall Meeting to interact with all the key stakeholders in the State. This event is part of the activities drawn up in the work plan to achieving the mandate of the Committee to bridge the information gap between members of the public and government agencies. The Meeting is designed to work in synergy with all critical segments of society so they can buy-in and establish ownership of government policies, plans and programmes.
The theme of the meeting is: Effective Public Information Management: A tool for sustainable development.
The Guest Speaker is Mr. Sani Zorro former President, Nigerian Union of Journalists.
The stakeholders invited for the meeting include elected and appointed government officials, the lawmakers, top civil servants, Local Government Chairmen, traditional rulers, labour unions, the media and members of the civil society groups.
You are invited as Guests to witness and participate in the brainstorming session among the key stakeholders.
Date: Wednesday, 22nd May, 2013
Time: 10 am
Venue: Banquet Hall, Government House – Yenagoa

Thank you,

Chief Boma Spero-Jack Chairman, BPIMC

Cmr. John Idumange Secretary, BPIMC

SOJOURNING THROUGH THE BAYELSA PUBLIC INFORMATION COMMITTEE

19 May

SOJOURNING THROUGH THE BAYELSA PUBLIC INFORMATION MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
By: Idumange John
Wikipedia defines Information management (IM) as the collection and management of information from one or more sources and the distribution of that information to one or more audiences. This sometimes involves those who have a stake in, or a right to that information. Management means the organization of and control over the planning, structure and organization, controlling, processing, evaluating and reporting of information activities in order to meet the objectives and expectations of citizens.
For any organization to have stamina, integrity and credibility, Information must be made available and shared at all levels. In governmental administration, open, transparent and timely information sharing helps to simplify policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. Government owes the people a responsibility to explain the policies, plans and programmes. This is why government needs to keep, organize and manage information to address the needs, desires and aspirations of the citizens. In fact good governance thrives on good information management.
Upon inauguration by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, the Bayelsa Public Information Management Committee saw the challenge of managing information in the State as stipulated in the terms of references. The veritable starting point was to hold a strategy meeting to fashion out a well thought-out work plan in which there are short, medium and long term goals. The work plan adopted by the Committee is a robust commitment for a proactive engagement with all segments of the people.
Foremost on the work plan is sensitization campaign. No sooner the Committee was inaugurated than the nomenclature was misunderstood to mean Rumour Management Committee. This wrong perception was corrected through radio commentaries, television discussion programmes and the social media. At every given opportunity, members of the Committee explained the mandate to people who were eager to know if the Committee was established to gag the press or muscle the free speech. The Committee considered that rumour or false information is infinitesimal aspects of the vehicle of transmitting information to the people hence the Committee renewed its commitment to timely and accurately inform people about government policies, plans and programmes, thereby leaving no room for misinformation.
For purposes of reach and communicating with the youths, the Committee established a facebook page called Bayelsa Public Information Management which now serves as a vehicle for effective transmission of accurate information and to ensure a two-way communication between government and the people. To further reinforce this effort, a blog was created to upload the day to day activities of the Committee. This has paid off as the public is now aware of and has a better grasp of government policy thrust and her people-oriented programmes. More importantly, the modalities of implementing such policies were communicated to the people in a timely and accurate manner. This has reduced the incidence of peddling false information.
The Committee quickly followed this up with courtesy calls on media organizations and other stakeholders. The general misconception was that the Committee was constituted because of the inadequacies of existing channels and agencies of information dissemination. This is far from the truth as the Committee was established as a clearing house to work in synergy with other agencies of information dissemination beyond the traditional boundaries to ethical re-orientation, behaviour modification and attitudinal change. Such courtesy visits allayed the fears of stakeholders and enabled them to understand the mission of the Committee.
One of the mandates of the Committee is to obtain information via the hotlines so people could call from far and near to seek clarification on government policies, make inputs into government programmes or pinpoint gray areas with a view to alerting implementing authorities to improve on them. The Committee therefore set up a mechanism to obtain information/data from the public by employing two secretarial staff equipped with computers and other gadgets presently operating from the office of the Secretary to the Committee. Through this strategy, the Committee has intervened in controversial and knotty policies and programmes such as job creation, taxation, law enforcement, the Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation, the State Universal Basic Education, SUBEB, the Environmental Sanitation Authority, the Free Education programme being implemented by the State Government and Scholarship Board. Other areas include pension administration, Due Process, security matters and government’s plans to resuscitate state-owned parastatals to create windows of employment opportunities, wealth creation and poverty reduction in line with
The Committee has already written to relevant MDAs in the State to provide updates on their activities with a view to having ready answers when and where necessary and to bridge the information gap between government and the people to reduce the spread of misinformation disseminated by mischief makers to distract the attention of government.
Precisely, on April 17th, 2013, the Committee followed this up by organizing an interactive session with civil society and media organizations. This session was revealing, as most of the earlier misconceptions were laid to rest. The interactive session further consolidated the position of the Committee in her resolve to carry out its assignment. It was an endorsement of why the Committee was set up and what it sets out to do. Since that interactive session more persons are now ready to put calls through the hotlines without concealing their identities. This has paved the way for more understanding between stakeholders and government.
As part of the sensitization exercise deigned to change the attitude of the people, the Committee is mounting billboards with pungent messages that will attract the attention of visitors including Foreign Direct Investment. Whereas some of the messages are targeted at value re-orientation and character molding, others address the issue of behaviour change, restoration of our cultural heritage, and the need to verify information before disseminating it. This exercise will be taken to the Local Government Areas of the State. Ultimately, youths will be positively affected by such messages on the billboards, banners and other public enlightenment materials.
To reinforce its relationship with the civil Community, a Town Hall Meeting with stakeholders has been proposed for May 22, 2013 to be held at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa. About three hundred persons are expected to attend the event. All segments of society, traditional rulers, political appointees, civil servants, NGOs, CBOs, Women and Youth Groups and other relevant agencies will attend. The meeting will open the floodgate for further interactive Town Hall Meetings in all eight LGAs of the State. His Excellency, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson will be Special Guest of Honour while the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Orientation will be the keynote Speaker. The Town Halll Meeting will also feature a Guest Lecturer who will discuss Effective Information Management: A Tool for Sustainable Development.
The Committee has laid out programmes to adopt a bottom-up approach to information management and to adopt a collaborative approach to deliver on its mandate. One of such strategies is the sensitization of the citizens with a view to effecting attitudinal change in the youths through public enlightenment programmes on radio, television and town hall meetings among other community development training programmes. The Committee has fashioned out effective strategies to bridge the information gap between government and the people in order to reduce the spread of rumours, misinformation and propaganda disseminated by the mischief makers to distract the attention of government. Already stakeholders have bought into and established ownership of the strategy to re-enforce existing channels of communication to ensure that public information is brought to the people accurately and in a timely manner. Several CSOs have indicated interest to work with the Committee in executing its mandate.
It was for this reason that the Committee seeks the partnership and active collaboration of all stakeholders, professional bodies, civil society Organizations and CBOs, adding that every segment of society is important. The operations of the Committee are guided by openness, objectivity, truth and fairness. The Committee according to the Chairman will embark on enlightenment campaigns and adopt a bottom-up approach in information management. The Committee will also establish information centres in all the Local Government Headquarters and train champions in information management.

There is no gainsaying the fact that within the short period of its existence, the Committee has been proactive as expected, taking enviable strides in the consummation of its mandate. Plans are underway to follow through on all Town Hall Meetings and Focus Group Discussions to ensure a healthy exchange of ideas, clear ambiguities and ensure free flow of information between government and the people. Indeed, the Public information Management Committee has reconfigured the architecture of delivering value and re-engineering the concept of governance along the lines of managing information in the benefit of the citizenry. With the dynamism of its Chairman Chief Boma Spero-Jack and the enthusiasm of his vice Lady Gesiere Brisibe-Dorgu, information management can only be better.

John Idumange
is Secretary, Bayelsa Public Information Management Committee

NDTV APPEARANCE

TASK BEFORE THE PUBLIC INFORMATION MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE IN BAYELSA STATE

19 May

Task before the Public Information Management Committee in Bayelsa State
By: John Idumange
Information management is an umbrella term that encompasses all the systems and processes within an organization for the creation and use of corporate information. Just as oxygen enlivens the human body so does information gives life to any system. In fact, information is the live-wire of democracy and the elixir of good governance. Accurate information is the vehicle through which the policies and programmes of government are articulated and conveyed to the citizens with a feedback loop for policy packaging and review. Like the arteries in the human body, when there is a clog in the flow of blood, the victim suffocates. Similarly, when information flow is interrupted in any administration, the essential corollary is a chimney that emits half-truths, misinformation or outright falsehood.
Translated to governmental administration, information is a two way thing. The policies and programmes of government are communicated to the people from the urban areas to the grassroots, but when there is no feedback, such communication cannot be said to be effective. Once communication is not effective, it creates room for innuendoes, disinformation and in extreme cases, utter propaganda.
Recognizing the indispensable role of information management, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson inaugurated the Public Information Management Committee on Wednesday 20th March, 2013 at the Executive Chambers of the Banquet Hall, Government House Yenagoa. Governor Dickson also seeks to make an enabling law to legitimize the functions of the Committee as a body that should serve as a clearing house for information dissemination.
The Committee was charged with the responsibilities of overseeing the management of public information dissemination in Bayelsa State, through the articulation of appropriate policies and strategies and, to work in synergy with all relevant agencies, professional bodies, Women, and Youth Groups and other Community-Based Organizations. The Committee is to embark on sensitization of the citizens with a view to effecting attitudinal change in the youths through public enlightenment programmes on radio, television and town hall meetings among other community development training programmes.
The Committee is saddled with the task of evolving educational and behavior modification programme to inculcate the virtues of discipline, hard work and positive work ethics in all segments of society. This objective will be pursued by re-enforcing existing channels of communication to ensure that public information is brought to the people accurately and in a timely manner. To this end, Committee serves as a clearing house among all agencies of government to enhance information flow in the system.
Successful information management is underpinned by strong leadership that defines a clear direction of how things should go. In practice, most information management systems need the active participation of all. Though not a ‘silver bullet’ solutions that promise to fix everything, the Committee has started to create much-needed awareness about the benefits of existing government policies as a basis for civil society engagement. This is accomplished through radio discussion programmes, press briefing and courtesy visits. Gradually, community engagements standards are set to enable the Committee collaborate with NGOs, CBOs and Civil Society on cross-cutting issues verging on government policies, plans and programmes.
The starting point is to create a clear vision of the desired outcomes of the information management strategy. This will be followed by a communication plan that describes target audiences, methods and mode of operation.
Efforts must then be put into generating a sufficient sense of urgency to drive the deployment and adoption of new systems and processes. Stakeholders must also be engaged and involved in the project, to ensure there are support at all levels of the society.
Three strategies are being deployed. First is the use of the mass media, including the social media infrastructure, to sensitize the people on the benefits of deploying accurate information to address policy issues. Secondly, the Committee seeks to hold town hall meetings to bridge the gap between the perception of what government and what the priorities of the people are. This will serve as a kind of need assessment that will show a roadmap on policy implementation. The third strategy is to gather a database through the hotlines. Here, people are free to express their views about how they feel about government policies and programmes. The feedback mechanism is very critical to feel the pulse of the people.
To convey accurate information to the public in a timely manner, the Committee is forging synergies with the MDAs with a view to publishing and updating the public of their activities. For that reason, the Committee has a facebook page, a blog and a website, which is being designed to collate data, process and interpret them for purposes of policy making and implementation. The overarching goal is to keep the public in the know about government policies and programmes to avoid misinformation.
The public information Management Committee sues the cooperation of Government officials and provides the necessary information for public consumption. Programmes designed to re-orientate the youths will be mounted to inculcate in them the right attitude to work. This will be achieved through radio and Television programmes as well as periodic town hall meetings. Whereas, government at all levels reinforce transparency practices at all tiers of government. In the final analysis, the task of public information management can only succeed with the active collaboration of all stakeholders. It is the people that will demonstrate the value of the information management strategy and build momentum for future activities.
As the silent revolution gathers momentum, and as Governor Henry Seriake Dickson continues to deliver value and quality of life services, the Public Information Management Committee is irrevocably commitment to promoting, supporting and articulating the policies and programmes of the Restoration Agenda.
It was Martin Luther King Jr who said many years ago that “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus”. The Committee is a molder of consensus for good governance. Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better. With all segments of society represented in the Committee, it is our sincere conviction that this body of 15 dedicated people has the commitment, enthusiasm and perspicacity to change the perception of Bayelsa people through accurate information management.

John Idumange
Is Secretary, Public Information Management Committee

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