Buhari Orders Resuscitation Of Federal Information Centres, Crackdown On Piracy | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari Orders Resuscitation Of Federal Information Centres, Crackdown On Piracy

Posted: Jul 14, 2015 at 6:10 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chesa Chesa, Abuja


President Muhammadu Buhari has given the Ministry of Information the go-ahead to resuscitate information centres in states and in Nigeria’s foreign missions, as part of efforts to boost the country’s image abroad.

He also directed the ministry to intensify efforts at combating intellectual property piracy to ensure copyright owners earn what is due to them.

The President gave the directives in Abuja on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 when senior officials briefed him on the activities and challenges of the Ministry of Information, led by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Sade Yemi-Esan.

Emerging from the briefing, Yemi-Esan told journalists that the President wants the ministry to intensify publicity to enable every Nigerian know about government’s policies and programmes.

“We talked, especially about the National Press Centre that is not working up to a level that we expected. We also talked about the federal information centres.

“You will recall that we have centres in every state of the federation that are not working optimally; we also brought that to the? fore. The centres are one of the strengths of the ministry.

“We also talked about external publicity and the possibility of re-opening the federal Information services abroad.

“At different fora, the President has said that he wants to improve the image of Nigeria, and one of the ways we can do that is by the re-opening of these centres abroad.

“So, he was all for it and he said that we will work together to ensure that we do that,” the Permanent Secretary said.

?She further disclosed that Buhari “raised concerns about piracy in Nollywood and he has instructed us to work harder to ensure that the producers of Nollywood films get what is due to them and that we reduce piracy to the barest minimum.”

?Yemi-Esan said the President frowned on the practice of owing media professionals’ salaries, even as she added that the welfare of every Nigerian journalist was one of the major concerns of the ministry.

The Permanent Secretary added that she briefed the President on the unlicensed radio broadcast by Radio Biafra.

“We also gave a report on that. Right now, the signals from Radio Biafra have been jammed successfully by the National Broadcasting Commission.

“The commission is also working with security agencies to get those that are behind that radio because it is an illegal radio; it is not licensed by anybody to be on the airwaves in Nigeria,” she said.

Similarly, ?the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, led by the Permanent Secretary, Fatima Bamidele, briefed the President on its activities.

After the meeting with the President, she told journalists that the challenges of the Niger Delta Ministry, including funding, were part of the discussion; she disclosed that since August of 2014, the ministry has not received any capital per head; thus grounding a lot of projects.

“We have been receiving budget, equally from 2012 till date but if you recall adequately, releases from the federal coffers are limited to about 50 per cent for most ministries.

“This is invariably has led to accumulation of liabilities for my ministry and other ministries,” she stated.

Bamidele also pointed out that “our mandate is first to ensure the economic empowerment of the people.

“This we have done through the empowerment of women and youth in the Niger Delta; we have trained at least 4,000 people in agriculture, maritime activities and ICT.

“Part of our mandate is to ensure we have peace in the region and to reduce militancy and restiveness amongst the youth.”