By Naomi Sharang
To enhance effective service delivery, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Mohammed Idris, has called for the review of laws governing the operations of agencies under the ministry.
Mohammed stated this call in Abuja during an interactive session with members of the Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation.
Some of the agencies under the ministry include the News Agency of Nigeria , Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), National Orientation Agency (NOA), Voice of Nigeria (VON) and Federal Radio Corporation Nigeria (FRCN), among others.
Idris said some of the laws and legislations had become outdated and impeding the operations of the agencies.
He added that the agencies have been unable to compete with their contemporaries because the acts establishing them had become obsolete.
Idris said that some of the legislations were enacted more than three decades ago and no longer relevant to the modern competitive information space.
“We need the massive support of the Senate.
The ministry is very proactive, I have seen more engagements with the committee.
“I crave your indulgence to deepen your engagement so that the ministry will have support in reviewing some of the laws establishing the agencies.
“There is ongoing efforts in amending some of the agencies’ legislations.
We want the committee to look at those legislations again.
“Some of them are quite outdated, some require some form of intervention so that we can have legislations that are fit for the times we are in.
The minister also called for more funding for the public information organs of the Federal Government.
“We need your support in funding, we need your support to increase funding from the Senate.
“It is a key ministry and how it is funded goes a long way for Nigerians to see how they are informed.
Idris assured that the ministry would put in more efforts to fast track migration from analogue to digital broadcasting.
He said: “There is no reason why the Digital Switch Over (DSO) cannot work in this country.
“We have the funding but not much has been done to harness the resources for smooth takeoff of the DSO; we cannot afford to be left behind on analogue”.
Sunday Katung (PDP-Kaduna), said that there was need for the Senate to investigate why the country had yet to latch on the DSO.
“I feel pained that today we would have realised so much with the switch over.
“We stand to make much money if we switch over”, Katung said.
Earlier, Chairman of the Committee, Sen.
Emeka Eze, urged the ministry to live up to its responsibilities of shouldering the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu to bring about purposeful governance to the people.
Eze advised agencies under the ministry to think outside the box in the area of revenue generation to be able to meet some of their obligations.
Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Maharazu Ahmed