Let me formally welcome you all to this launch of the Federal Government of Nigeria Information App, or FGN IAPP, aimed at keeping Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike better informed of the activities of the Federal Government as well as getting the necessary feedback. I want to sincerely thank our partners, L-Cube, for their resourcefulness, diligence and determination which have made this App a reality. In particular, the doggedness and perseverance of L-Cube’s Chief Executive Office, Mr. Olawale Wale-Falope, contributed in no small measure to bringing us here today.
2. The introduction of this App is in line with my pledge, on assumption of office just a little over a year ago, to leverage the unique power of Information and Culture to drive the Change Agenda of this Administration, with the view to ensuring that Nigerians take ownership of the agenda to bring about a paradigm shift in the way we do things. It is also in line with the mandate of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, “to lead in the management of the image and reputation of the people and policies of the federal government of Nigeria through a professional and dynamic public Information system that facilitates access by citizens and the global community to credible and timely information about our nation”.
3. 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.
4. That explains why, in addition to using the conventional and the Social Media, we introduced the Town Hall Meeting that has so far taken us to Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Enugu, Uyo and Abuja and provided a platform for cabinet Ministers to meet directly with a cross section of Nigerians in a no-holds-barred discussion. By the way, the Town Hall Meeting will be back in Abuja on Tuesday, when we are scheduled to hold a Special Edition of the meeting for youths.
5. 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. There are also a host of value-added services. For example, every Nigerian can now access the Tender Journal that is published twice a month to announce available government jobs. This is revolutionary in the sense that it will enable more people, irrespective of their locations, to bid for government jobs.
6. Another value-added service is the ”BE INSPIRED” section. This makes it possible for any Nigerian, irrespective of his status, age or academic background, to meet top political, business, religious and other leaders. Recall that part of what inspired Bill Clinton to aspire to a life of public service was his meeting with then US President John Kennedy in 1963. Who knows what inspiration a secondary school student can draw from a meeting with Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, for example, if the student is selected in the App’s monthly draw, to meet with the business mogul? There is also the Feedback Section that allows anyone so interested to make his or her feelings known about any government policy or programmes, plus those seeking government jobs can now have information about genuine vacancies in the public service.
7. 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. 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, 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.
8. 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. We will continue to evolve innovative ways of ensuring that there is no communication gap between the government and the people, and we will never succumb to the antics of Internet trolls, hack writers and pseudo analysts/experts who work daily to fool unsuspecting Nigerians.
9. I thank you for your kind attention