By Olawale Ajimotokan
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has challenged the newly-appointed Chief Executive Officers of some agencies under the watch of the Ministry to consider their appointment by Mr. President as a call to national service.
He gave the charge in Abuja yesterday at his maiden meeting with the CEOs, where he tasked them to work hard to justify their appointments.
Mohammed specifically urged them to key into the nine-point agenda of the Administration, identified to guide the policy directions over the next few years and to achieve national development.
“You must consider your appointment by Mr. President as a call to national service, and you must work hard to justify it. A starting point is for you to ensure that the activities of your agencies key into the nine priority areas of government.
“Of particular relevance to your various agencies, especially those in
the culture and tourism sectors, are priorities one, which is to build a thriving and sustainable economy, and two, which is to enhance social inclusion and reduce poverty,’’ Mohammed said, adding that the Ministry of Information and Culture is already working on these areas through its reform of the Creative Industry and the efforts to put in place a standard Audience Measurement System.
Describing the new CEOs as round pegs in round holes, he said they were carefully selected based on their respective track record of achievements, competence and years of dedication to duty.
He said the CEOs are joining a government that is doing so much with so little, especially at a time of dwindling resources due to the sharp fall in the price of oil and the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global economies.
He said in spite of the challenges, the government had remained steadfast in carrying out massive infrastructural renewal in the areas of roads, bridges, rail and power, among others.
Responding on behalf of his colleagues, the General Manager/CEO of the National Theatre, Prof. Sunny Ododo, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointments and assured that he and his colleagues will consolidate on the gains so far recorded by the Minister, and strive to make the Creative Industry an enviable component of the Nigerian economy.
The new CEOs who attended the meeting are: Mr. Buki Ponle, Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria; Mr. Olalekan Fadolapo, Registrar, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria; Prof. Sunny Ododo, General Manager/CEO, National Theatre; Mr. Francis Nwosu, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council; Mr. Ado Muhammed Yahuza, Executive Secretary/CEO, National Institute for Cultural Orientation and Mr.
Ebetan William Ivara, Director-General, National Gallery of Arts.
Others are: Prof. Abba Isa Tijjani, Director-General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments; Mrs. Oluwabunmi Ayobami Amao, Director-General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization and Mr. Nura Sani Kangiwa, Director-General, National Institute for
Hospitality and Tourism.