By Dipo Olowookere
The Federal Government on Thursday formally launched an Information App called FGN IAPP, which is aimed at providing authentic reports concerning the country.
Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, who performed the ceremony in Abuja, stressed that government will not allow the media space to be dominated by those who are daily working to discredit it (the government) and obfuscate its achievements.
“We realized early on that in order to get undiluted and factual information directly to the people, we will have to do things differently.
“This is because those who are opposed to this Administration’s Change Agenda, including the corrupt elements in our society who have chosen to fight the government with their ill-gotten wealth, have taken it upon themselves to distort our messages and obfuscate our activities to give the impression that the government is not doing anything,” he said.
In addition, the Minister said apart from using the conventional and the social media, government has introduced the Town Hall Meeting that has so far been held in Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Enugu, Uyo and Abuja and provided a platform for Cabinet Ministers to interact directly with a cross section of Nigerians in a no-holds-barred session.
“Honourable Ministers, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we must not allow those the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti referred to as “Opposite People” to stifle the progress that this administration has made. We must not leave the public space for naysayers,” Mr Mohammed said.
He said contrary to its portrayal in certain circles, the Federal Government is making sure and steady progress.
“A government that has achieved the unprecedented feat of creating 200,000 jobs in one fell swoop cannot be said to have done nothing. A government that has liberated every inch of our occupied territory from Boko Haram and sent the terrorists fleeing should not be portrayed as not doing anything.
“A government that is surely and steadily making our country self-sufficient in staples such as rice and other cereals, a government that has embarked on a massive infrastructural renewal and a government that is boldly tackling an economic recession that was foisted on it by years of profligacy, lack of savings and a sudden crash on oil prices deserves accolades, not vilification,” the Minister said.
He said the Information App will bring about a paradigm shift in the way the government communicates with the citizens by ensuring that authentic and real-time information is delivered directly to them, irrespective of their location.
“Our latest effort in the quest to provide authentic and timely information to Nigerians is the App we are launching today. Irrespective of where you are in the world, from today all you need to do is to download the FGN IAPP, and you will have access to factual and real time information on the activities of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” Mr Mohammed said.
He listed the value-added services contained in the App as including the Tender Journal that is published twice a month to announce available government contracts, the ”BE INSPIRED” Section which makes it possible for any Nigerian, irrespective of his status, age or academic background, to meet top political, business, religious and other leaders and the access to genuine government job vacancies
The Minister said the App also has a Feedback Section that allows anyone so interested to make his or her feelings known about any government policy or programmes.
He therefore enjoined Nigerians both at home and abroad to take advantage of the App and be better informed about the happenings in the government instead of being fed with falsehood and misinformation.
“It is our sincere hope that Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora, and indeed all those who are interested in authentic news about the activities of the Federal Government of Nigeria, will take advantage of the FGN IAPP. We will be fine-tuning the App as we progress in order to make it more responsive and to better serve the people,” Mr Mohammed said, pledging that the Ministry would continue to evolve innovative ways of ensuring that there is no communication gap between the government and the people.
He said the Federal Government will never succumb to the antics of Internet trolls, hack writers and pseudo analysts/experts who work daily to fool unsuspecting Nigerians.
The App Developer, Mr Olawale Wale-Falope, said it is a one-stop shop where Nigerians can get authentic information on all the three arms of government in real-time.
He said there is too much falsehood about Nigeria and that it’s time for the country to speak out so that the world does not judge it based on a one-sided story.
Other dignitaries at the launch included the Minister of Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Uguru; Minister of State for Environment, Malam Ibrahim Usman Jibril, and his counterpart in the Health Ministry, Mr Osagie Ehanire.
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