The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Thursday criticized the Federal Government-owned media organizations and accused them of playing second fiddle to private owned media organisations.
He said the public owned media houses are not considered credible because their staff have thrown professionalism to the wind while also showing total disregard for editorial independence.
He stated this in Abuja during his maiden meeting with heads of parastatals under the ministry.
The minister also said the government-owned media organizations always complain of financial woes, forgetting that there is a link between credibility and profitability.
He said, “It is true that while we were in opposition, we were treated as outcasts by these public broadcasters. They denied us the use of their platforms; they rejected our adverts and even made themselves available for the most abhorrent hate campaigns ever in the history of electioneering campaign in our country. But in an era ofchange, which is our mantra, that cannot and will not continue.’
“Let me start with the federal government-owned media organisations, the NTA, FRCN and News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Why have you all chosen to play second fiddle in the country’s media landscape? I ask because the NTA and FRCN of yesterday are not the same as what we have today.’’
“Advertisers will surely flock to more credible media organizations, and of course it is also true that content drives advertisement,” he said.
“Public broadcasters have mortgaged their credibility on the altar of political correctness, and yet they are endowed with highly-trained and well-qualified personnel, better infrastructure and a wide reach,” Mohammed said.
The minister also said that leadership will be provided for the Federal Government-owned media organizations in a manner that will make them to become the first
source of information, so that they can more effectively function as a vehicle for the change mantra of the Buhari Administration, and also regain their lost glory.
He also warned the chief executives and directors-general of the old Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation that it would no longer be business as usual regarding lackadaisical attitude to work.
This is even as he regretted that the executives have refused to harness the potentialities in the sector by feigning ignorance or lacking the capacity to initiate developmental programmes and policies.
He noted that non-professionals were employed to oversee key positions in the Ministry, Departments and Agencies, stressing that there was a critical lack of understanding of their mandate and lack of capacity to enforce the mandate