Mr Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, said on Monday in Jos that the Federal Government was working assiduously to finalise work on the new draft National Policy on Information.
Mohammed spoke at the stakeholders’ conference on ‘National Communication Policy and Strategy,’ held at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos.
Mohammed was represented by Mr Peter Dama, Director, Press and Publicity in the Federal Ministry of Information at the conference with the theme ‘Towards a Comprehensive National Communication Policy and Strategy.’’
He said the theme of the conference was apt, considering the ongoing efforts of the administration in ensuring accountability, the rule of law, good governance, freedom of information and expression, among others.
According to him, the National Communication Policy in Nigeria has not been properly developed beyond an attempt in 1987 that produced a draft made to serve the former Ministry of Information.
“However, following the demerger of the now Federal Ministry of Communication Technology from the Federal Ministry of Information, there was need to recast and compartmentalise the policy document,” he said.
He said that the draft National Information Policy document now in its final process had been fashioned to provide a framework with which modern information systems and strategies can be deployed for national development.
“The draft National Information Policy by the Federal Ministry of Information is being formulated to address our aspirations through eliminating the gaps and disparities in information sharing and management.
“It also promotes widespread access to participation in ownership of information processes and systems in view of the centrality of information to national development.
“The draft National Information Policy also foresees the emergence of a nation in constant dialogue with itself and the world.
”The main purpose of the policy is to provide regulation and functioning communication system in Nigeria with due attention to challenges and opportunities inherent in a globalising world driven by digital technologies," he said.
He said government was working hard to meet up with the June 2017 Digital Switch Over deadline, noting that the Switch Over was launched in Jos in April.
“Hopefully, by December, 2016, Digital Switch Over in Abuja will be launched,” he said.
Declaring the conference open, Gov. Simon Lalong said that most of the crises witnessed in the country would have been averted through adequate communication.
Represented by the Commissioner for Information, Mohammed Nazif, he said that the nation needed a comprehensive policy that would serve as a guiding principle to communication.