Information Officers in Delta State have been charged to brace-up in their roles of communication policies and programmes of the state government to the general public.
The Secretary to State Government (SSG), Hon. Festus Ovie Agas, gave the charge in Government House Asaba, while declaring open a one-day workshop for Information Officers on the Role of Information Officers in the Implementation of the SMART agenda of the state government organized by the state Ministry of Information .
Hon. Agas said Information Officers play a vital role in good governance as they are image makers, negotiators and facilitators, adding that they also provide feedback to the government on public opinions.
He urged them to take the one day seminar seriously as part of ensuring the success of the SMART Agenda of the present administration in order to serve the state better.
The SSG thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for approving the one day training which is targeted at further developing the officers for better service delivery.
On his part, the Commissioner for Information Mr. Patrick Ukah, in an interactive section, noted that the role of the officers was critical in educating the public on government policies and programmes, even as they forwarded the needed feedback agents to government on such policies and programmes.
He stated that it was their duty to research and get public opinion and advice chief executives through strategic planning and therefore charged the officers to ensure the implementation of the SMART Agenda by being alive to their statutory responsibilities.
In his opening lecture, the President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Dr. Rotimi Oladele, informed the officers that public relations practice was a planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill between an organization and its publics, adding that they were mediators between government and the governed.
He noted that one of the key strategies to ensure success in the practice was to maintain a credibility which they must strive to sustain at all times.
Also speaking, the state Head of Service, Mr. Reginald Bayoko, said Information Officers had a central role to play in good governance and therefore urged the participants to understand their duties which according to him included assisting government to monitor publications in the media.
He stressed the need for synergy between the public, stake holders and government in order to enhance performance and thanked the Governor for approving the seminar as part of the human capital development of the state.
The former Head of the state civil service, Sir Okey Ofili, in a lecture titled Work Ethics and Iformation Officers urged the participants to be mindful of their attitude to work adding that as information Officers, they were bound by rules and regulations of the civil service.
While stressing the need for motivation of staff, Sir Ofili noted that information officers should at all times promote the image of the government and advised them to uphold the core values of the service which according to him included impartiality, anonymity, and neutrality.
Highlights of the event was the presentation of souvenirs to resource persons as well as certificates to the participants.