By Lawrence Ekong
Government Information Officers in Akwa Ibom have continued to count their gains, as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has rounded off a 3-day training on Governance Communication for journalists and other media professionals.
The training which drew participants across Ministries, Department and Agencies, took place Wednesday 20th – Friday 22nd April, 2022 at Luton Park Hotel in Uyo. While announcing the end of the exercise, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Akparawa James Edet, charged Information Officers ( IOs ) to deploy the knowledge garnered during the training to improve on the structure and content of their reportage, specifically calling on them to embrace inclusivity and human angles to storytelling which he pointed out as the “new wave” in journalism practice.
“This training was conceived to help media professionals to understand how to strategically communicate governance-based issues to the citizens in order to enhance participation and accountability in government, and from the level of class engagements by participants, I am convinced that the exercise has achieved it’s desired goals. I want to sincerely thank the organisers for bringing on their best hands to this training, and I equally commend the participants for exploiting the opportunity”, he added.
Earlier, the State Team Lead of the organisation, Borve Paago-Imabel, expressed optimism that the efforts of his team would soon yield tangible results in the form of deepening good governance in the state.
Speaking, an Assistant Director of Information, and a participant from the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Uwem Ben, listed the benefits of the training to his line of duties as government information manager, affirming that his horizon has been broadened on the concept of governance communication as well as strategic communication for national development.
Similarly, Mr. Eneawaji Ble, a participation drawn from Akwa Ibom Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (AK- RUWASAN), said the training has enhanced his communication competence, promised to incorporate skills learnt during the sessions to repackage his approach to Information management.
“Through this training, I have seen that the way I used to send out information before now was almost a one-way approach, but now I have been taught that I have to make provisions for feedback and reactions”, he added.
Meanwhile, a communiqué drafting Committee headed by Mrs. Grace Akpan, Director of Public Relations, Ministry of Information and Strategy, was set up during the event, with a charge to identify challenges faced by IOs in the discharge of their duties, at their various MDAs, as well as highlight where their functions have been usurped by unprofessional, in order to make recommendations that would be passed to the appropriate quarters for redress.
Highpoint of the exercise was the presentation of Certificate of Participation to the trainees. The training was executed under a joint partnership between the Ministry of Information and Strategy, and the State Accountability, Transparency, and Effectiveness (State2State) activity of the USAID.