Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has tasked the media in the country on effective and purposeful reportage to move the sector forward.
Umar-Farouq gave the charge at the opening of a two-day sensitisation workshop organised by the ministry for media practitioners in Abuja.
”We rely on the media for enlightenment on consequences, hazards and warnings on disasters and alerts the government for rescue and interventions, hence the need for effective collaboration between the Ministry, humanitarian actors and the media.
“Let me acknowledge the important role of the media in educating, informing, creating awareness, sensitising and acting as the watchdog of the society.
“The media is one of the critical partners of the ministry. Its role in the dissemination of the mandate, policies, activities, programmes and achievements of the ministry to the public cannot be over emphasised.
“The ministry was mandated to tackle disasters, develop and empower Nigerians, among others.
“These mandates cannot be achieved without the partnership of key stakeholders, the media inclusive,” Farouq stressed.
According.to her, the ministry, since inception, has recorded a number of achievements in the area of coordination, partnership, interventions, cooperation, sensitisation and prompt emergency response.
She commended journalists for partnering with the ministry since it was established.
Umar-Farouq emphasised that It was gratifying to note that there were over 60 journalists accredited with the Ministry which indicates the interest media organisations have in the humanitarian sector.
”I must state that this workshop was organised to expose you to the operations of the ministry, the functions of the various departments and the modus operandi of National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), for effective reportage of the humanitarian sector.
“It is expected that at the end of the workshop you will all be acquainted and well informed about the ministry and the key humanitarian terms as well as how to effectively report humanitarian issues.
“It is obvious that the sector deals mostly with the vulnerable, poorest of the poor and persons with concerns in the society. Reporting such issues requires special skills, which you will become familiar with in the course of this workshop,” Farouq said.
She urged all journalists covering the ministry to exhibit professionalism in their reportage and adhere to the ethics of the profession.
“Always verify information with the ministry and balance your stories before going to the press. The ministry is ready to partner with the media to achieve its mandate.”
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Alhaji Bashir Alkali, said;”our doors are always open to journalists whenever they require information on its activities”.
Alkali said no fewer than 60 journalists from different media are to benefit from the two-day workshop.
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