Journalists have been assured of non interference in the election of their leaders at the different levels of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
The State Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah, gave the assurance when he received the leadership of the Correspondents’ Chapel, Asaba on a courtesy visit.
The Commissioner, who congratulated the new Exco of the Correspondents’ Chapel, Asaba on its successful election, stated that he would use his office to ensure a level playing field for all contestants.
Mr Ukah pledged his support to the chapel, within the availability of funds, to enable it carry out its activities effectively, saying he would look into the request for increase in the honorarium to Journalists covering the post Exco briefing.
He announced a donation of N200, 000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) to the Chapel to assist in the equipping of its new secretariat.
The Chairman of Correspondents’ Chapel Asaba, Comrade Paul Osuyi, thanked the Commissioner for his support and encouragement to Journalists in the State, particularly those in his chapel, describing their relationship with the Commissioner as robust and cordial, which according to the Chairman had yielded effective dissemination of information on the activities of the State Government.
In a related development, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, has praised The Truth Newspaper for operating in line with the philosophy of the State Government.
The Commissioner gave the commendation when the leadership of the Truth Chapel paid him a courtesy call in his office in Asaba.
Mr. Ukah reiterated that the position of the Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa led-administration was based on telling the truth the way it is, even if it meant pointing out where the government had gone wrong.
While encouraging the leadership of The Truth Chapel to continue its good work, assuring that the sky would be its limit, the Information Commissioner equally promised to continue his support, advice and guide the chapel.
The Chairman of The Truth Chapel, Comrade Charles Nwabardi, informed the Commissioner that his chapel was officially inaugurated on 14th March 2017 and currently had a membership strength of 21 persons, stating that the vision of the chapel was to disseminate unbiased and objective information to the public.
While saying that the chapel had ensured the provision of an enabling environment for its members to practice real-time journalism through training and imbibing of ethical standards, he solicited for a close working relationship with the Commissioner and the Ministry of Information.
Similarly, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah has expressed his desire to get Field Offices of the Ministry of Information fully equipped for effective service delivery.
Mr. Ukah stated this today when he received in audience the executive members of the Field Information Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council.
According to the Commissioner, there was the need for Field Officer in the 25 local government areas to be fully equipped in the discharge of their duty, particularly in enhancing the digital dissemination of information, announcing that the Ministry had put modalities in place to further equip them.
He said that the State Government had given approval for the reinstatement of the monthly imprest for the running of Field Offices, saying time from now, implementation would commence.
The Commissioner, however, bemoaned the poor working attitude of some Field Information Officers in not identifying with activities in their localities and failure to file in stories accordingly to the Headquarters.
He stated: “Make yourself a phenomenon in your area by being creative, you are the news bearer in your locality and you are well placed to do it better than the correspondents”, calling on the chapel leadership to call its members to order by educating them on their responsibility.
On the request for the provision of operational vehicles in Agbor’ Warri and Ughelli, the Information Commissioner said that with the availability of funds, more buses that were down would be repaired and deployed to areas of need.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Field Information Chapel, Comrade Balogun Mabamije, commended the Commissioner for his effort in piloting the affairs in the Ministry soundly.
Comrade Mabamije particularly thanked the Commissioner for the training exercise the Ministry extended to Field Information Officers in July this year, saying the welfare package for participants was unprecedented.