By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris has said that President Bola Tinubu is sincere to Nigerians and the Labour unions in alleviating the hardship being faced in the country.
Idris made this known during his address at the Business Lunch Organised for him and other Ministers by the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
He said, during the recent negotiation with labour unions, the government delegation had to get back to the president when labour unions were adamant that the least they will take is N40,000.
“After back and forth for about two hours, and because we want to be truthful to Nigerians, we decided that some of us should go back and discuss with the president before we continue negotiation.
“We went back to him and after analytical discussion, the Federal Government felt it was comfortable with N35,000.
“President Tinubu said if we can pay, please we should pay, but if we know that can not pay, we should not go and make a promise that we cannot fulfilled.
“This shows that the President is very sincere about his intention to make this wage increment to labour and the Nigerian workers a reality.
“As colleagues, I urge you to report it the way it is. When you are not clear, ask questions, I will be here to explain and clarify.
“There is need to restore credibility in government information and communication so that people can start to see the need to believe and trust the people they elected into positions of authority,” he said.
The minister promised to address the issue of alleged censorship and sending away some reporters that covers the Presidential Villa.
He also said that the government is working on tax incentive, adding the media will also be involve.
“It is in my interest that the media should breath. The President also wants the same thing for the media in the country.
“The president has given us a marching order in the area of national orientation and that will be in the front burner of our activities. The negative narrative of the past will be changed.
“We will restore the integrity of public broadcasting, and President Tinubu has assured me of his unconditional support. Let us be patient, it will certainly happen,” the minister said.
Speaking in same vein, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Mr Dele Alake said it was regrettable that the society is filled with fake information.
“However, it is our duty to give correct and accurate information. There are so many narrative that are not true and they do damage to our psyche and mentality of the society.
“Such negative narrative desecrate our values as a nation. Analytical minds and knowledge is lacking among our colleagues. Some are emotional and easily carried away.
“Sometimes, we are guilty of this by association. I appeal to all of us to improve. Let’s elevate this association so that those coming behind would be proud,” Alake said.
Earlier, while some members of NPAN advocated for revival of National Orientation Agency and the restructure of national broadcasting, others complained that the media was shocking and needed help, incentives and press freedom.
The News Agency Nigeria reports that the event attracted personalities from the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Nigerian Guild of Editors, members of NPAN and many others from across the country. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Sadiya Hamza