Information minister charges online publishers to promote positive reports on Nigeria

The minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris (m); President of GOCOP, Maureen Chigbue, by his left and other dignitaries on the occasion

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has charged online publishers to promote positive reports on Nigeria in the online news space, saying it is crucial to the socio-economic growth and development of the country. 

The minister stated this while addressing members of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) during its 7th Annual Conference in Abuja on Thursday, October 5, 2023, with the theme: Roadmap for socio-economic recovery and sustainability. 

Idris explained that one strategic component of the roadmap for socio-economic recovery and sustainability should be the projection of the country in a good light, adding that by so doing, foreign direct investment and other developmental plans of the country would be achieved.

He said: "If you say you want foreign direct investment, you want Nigeria to grow, and you want every good thing that happens to all great countries in the world to happen in this country, you must be prepared to project your own country; nobody else will do it for us.”

The minister therefore urged GOCOP to carry out its responsibility with patriotism and professionalism, noting that the good things happening in the country far outweigh the bad things, and they should be projected.

“As Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, you have this great responsibility to ensure that you report only the truth and to help government officials to also tell the truth; it is your responsibility and you have to uphold it."

The minister urged the Guild not to relent in its quest to sanitize and get rid of fake news carried online and to continue to sustain its peer review system and disciplinary measures against erring members.

Idris reiterated the government’s commitment to return credibility to the business of government in the country while urging Nigerians to be optimistic with the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is working assiduously to chart a roadmap for the socio-economic recovery and sustainability of the country.

“You have to trust the person you have elected, and that's the only way you can hold him accountable when he goes overboard,” he said.

He promised to tell Nigerians as it is at all times, saying such would build credibility and trust in government. 

On her part, the president of the guild, Maureen Chigbo, said the Guild would continue to ensure that it upholds professionalism which its members are known for, adding that not all online publishers are members of the guild due to its insistence on a mechanism to check and sanction erring members who do not play by the rules.

“We will continue to work towards making sure that our members are professionals because professionalism is our watchword.”

The event had in attendance Special Adviser to the President on Policy Coordination, Hadiza Bala Usman; Registrar JAMB among many other dignitaries.
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