Dr Salihu Lukman, Director-General Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), has said that so long as public debates in the country are not guided by knowledge, citizens’ engagement with public policy will continue to be reduced to sentiment.
He said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, adding that it would also result to the politicisation of every challenge facing the country, including security problems, such as banditry.
He added that government broadcast stations, including the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), should therefore be encouraged to create customised programmes.
Lukman said such programmes should seek to specifically facilitate interface between government officials and citizens, and possibly guide public debate on national issues.
He, however, identified funding as a major challenge of information management in the country, adding that a new approach and orientation were required to redesign the work of information managers in all spheres.
“One problem of information management in the country is funding, often without funding no initiative is taken and most times the funding is inflated beyond rational reasoning.
“New approach and orientation are required, which should redesign the work of information managers in all spheres.
“The new regime of problem-solving information management should be oriented based a commitment to weed out all the superfluous costs that adds no value to the process of information dissemination.
“In addition, government broadcast stations such as NTA, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Voice of Nigeria (VON) and NAN, among others, should be encouraged to create customised programmes,” he said.
He added that in the context of facilitating engagement between government officials and citizens working in the field of enquiry about critical challenges facing the country, NTA and FRCN should have a weekly or daily programes at prime times.
He said such programmes should be aimed to undertake public reviews of challenges and progress being made to fight insecurity in the country.
Lukman said based on such reviews, both designated officials of Nigerian security services and non-state actors who had undertaken studies on Nigeria’s security challenges,could feature and assist in guiding national debates.
He added that this could also facilitate uptake of important recommendations from reports.
“Once the All Progressives Congress (APC) continue to allow speculative and false national debates such as the issue of unfounded agreement between Nigeria and U.S Government on the use of the A-29 newly acquired Super Tucano jets.
“It is indicative of a weak communication management framework which may only worsen the challenges facing the country.
“Inability to use knowledge to guide public debate is what confer legitimacy to so-called editorial opinion by arrogant news medium such as The Economist based on old ideological mindsets.
“Resolving the security challenge facing the country is about winning the hearts and minds of Nigerians,”Lukman stressed.(NAN)