Minister Calls on Media to Champion Awareness of the Upcoming Citizen Code Charter

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The Minister of Information of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has extended a call for support to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) as the government prepares to unveil a groundbreaking Charter on Citizen Code, designed to define and uphold the core values that unite Nigerians while taking into account the nation’s socio-cultural diversities.

The Minister, who stated this in Lagos on Thursday night at the 2nd NUJ Milestone Recognition of Media Icons in Nigeria, said the Charter would seek to entrench in all Nigerians, a balanced understanding of their rights and responsibilities as citizens of the greatest black nation on earth.

“Just yesterday, I put together a Committee of renowned experts to work on and finalize a Values Charter for Nigeria, in line with President Tinubu’s desire for true and sustained reorientation of national values and attitudes.

“This new Charter, which will be unveiled by the President early next year, will consist of a Nigerian Promise, and Citizen Codes, defining our core values as Nigerians, while taking into full account our ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversities. It will seek to entrench in all Nigerians a balanced understanding of our rights as well as our responsibilities as citizens of the greatest black nation on earth.

“This Committee has two weeks to submit its final report, and your support as the media will make a huge difference in terms of this assignment. Without you, we will not succeed in this vital mission,” he said.

The Minister, who was represented on the occasion by the Director General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Dr. Mohammed Bulama, hailed the leadership of the NUJ for nurturing the idea of recognising the invaluable contributions of the pacesetters and icons of the media profession to the development of the country.

“I am also grateful for the honour extended to me to be the chairman of this year’s edition, presiding over the recognition of industry ‘greats’ like Mr. Ray Ekpu, Chief Henry Odukomaiya, Dr. Danladi Bako and Aremo Taiwo Alimi.

“None of them needs any introduction in this esteemed profession of ours, the 4th Realm of the Estate. These are true icons, pioneers, achievers, record-setters and record-breakers, who have not only made their mark on the industry but also raised generations of successful professionals,” he stated.

While calling on the media to emulate the salient attributes of the icons honoured on the occasion, the Minister urged the media professionals to hold governments, politicians, and leaders to account while also being wholly committed to reporting progress and development, as well as playing their part in enlightening and sensitizing citizens to the potential and manifest the greatness of Nigeria.

“Hold us accountable for what we promise and what we do, but also help us in this collective task of building a Nigeria that works for every one of its two hundred million citizens.

“Continually remind us of our pledges and promises, and even our shortcomings, while also applying the same energy towards amplifying and communicating the programs and policies we are putting in place to transform Nigeria,” he said.

Idris said since the assumption of office by the President, he has been implementing painful but inevitable and ultimately beneficial reforms around the petrol subsidy and foreign exchange, social welfare expansion efforts, MSME support programs, tax reforms, food security initiatives, transportation palliatives, support to State Governments among other initiatives.

He said the Federal Government had launched an SME support programme, the Presidential Conditional Grant Scheme and Palliative Programs, targeting traders, artisans, transporters, vendors, and creatives with grants and low-cost loans, emphasizing that under the 1 million nano-businesses, the smallest businesses in the country will benefit from grants of N50,000 each, while bigger businesses will be eligible to enjoy access to single-digit-interest loans from a 75 billion naira fund.

Rabiu Ibrahim
Special Assistant
To the Honourable Minister of Information and National Orientation
December 8, 2023