The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has described as unfortunate, the poor communication flow in government’s Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the policies and programmes of government.
The NOA also called on MDAs to create an office for an NOA official to be deployed in order to act as a bridge between the Agency and the MDAs.
The Director-General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari while speaking at the Stakeholder’s Engagement on Communicating Government, programmes and Activities, said the NOA is saddled with the responsibility of communicating government’s policies to the populace.
He said he had written letters to the MDAs to create desks for NOA officers, but regrettably, only the National Assembly responded by creating an NOA liaison office at the National Assembly.
“Let me reiterate that one of the core mandates of the NOA is to communicate, sensitize on and advocate government policies, programmes and activities with a view to engendering deeper public understanding, showing the public what government’s intention is and how members of the publican draw benefits from government policies, programs and activities.
“We have noted sadly that MDAs of government more often than not, do not carry the NOA along while formulating and deploying policies and programmes that have far-reaching national consequences.
“This negligence leads to poor public appreciation and perception of well-intended government policies, programmes and activities. Many times we have observed from reports come from our offices in the 774 local governments that citizens have a very poor understanding of how and where to harness the benefits of well-intended government policies and programmes.
“As a strategic step towards mitigating this undesirable state of affairs, I have written a letter to MDAs of government to create desks for NOA officers who would serve as a bridge between the Agency and various MDAs as well as the three arms of government. Regrettably, only the National Assembly has heeded our call and allowed for the establishment of an NOA liaison office at the National Assembly”, Dr Abari said.
He said it is disheartening for an Agency of government created for the purpose of communicating government policies, programmes and activities would be hearing such programmes on the media.
“One of the principal reasons for this information deficit is the fact that MDAs do not sufficiently keep NOA abreast of developments. This is troubling to us as it impedes our ability to live up to our mandate.
“It is not fair that as an Agency of government created for the purpose of communicating government policies, programmes and activities and engendering public support and buy-in, we should be hearing such programmes and policies from the media” Dr Abari added.