Dr Garba Abari, Director General, National Orientation Agency, (NOA) has called for update on the humanitarian requirements for abandoned young persons in the North East.
Abari made the remark in a statement signed by Mr Paul Odenyi, Head of Press Unit, NOA, in Abuja on Monday.
Abari, said this when the British High Commission’s Head of Counter-Terrorism, Mr James McCormick paid a courtesy visit to NOA to seek collaboration on strategic communication towards countering violent extremism in Nigeria.
He said in February, as many as 49,000 orphans had been picked up by the authorities in Borno and Yobe States with the possibility of higher numbers as the military continued to clear the camps.
He said the Agency was following up on its counter-terrorism interventions by developing a counter-extremism narrative to discourage young people in the North East from engaging in acts of terror.
Abari, said that NOA had trained the media on reporting peace building processes and had intensified its peace building advocacy while using its Local Government Assembly platform to get Nigerians to dialogue for peaceful coexistence.
The NOA boss said the Agency had overcome initial challenges posed by disagreeing Sunni Islamic sects in Borno and Yobe areas over cooperation in developing the narrative.
He added that the groups were now working together to adopt a common narrative which would be finalised soon.
In his remark, McCormick said that the United Kingdom had lessons to learn from Nigeria in the face of recent terror attacks in Britain and was willing to share experience based on ideas with Nigeria.
McCormick said the UK had also learnt the importance of inter-agency cooperation in countering violent extremism which he described as a strong point in Nigeria’s counter-terrorism fight.
Edited by: Gregory Mmaduakolam/Ekemini Ladejobi
As Nigerian children joined their counterparts across the world to mark the 2017 Children’s Day, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has urged children and youths to believe in Nigeria and work towards its development.
Dr Garba Abari, Director-General, NOA, said this in a goodwill message, signed by Mr Paul Odenyi, Head Press Unit, NOA and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.
Abari urged the Children to believe in Nigeria and be encouraged to work towards its development, saying that no Nigerian is too young to contribute to national development.
He said that the posterity of Nigeria was as great as the efforts put into developing the nation today by citizens of all ages.
He, therefore, urged Nigerian children and youths to effectively deploy their energies towards developing and elevating the nation to take its pride of place in the comity of nations.
Abari added that a critical step in that direction was for them to imbibe the national core values.
The NOA boss cited the spirited efforts in securing the release of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls as eloquent testimony of government’s commitment to ensuring a qualitative future for Nigerian youths.
He, however, admonished the youth to remain focused in the pursuit of education and self-development, despite the current challenges facing the nation, which he said are temporary.
Abari also described Nigerian youths as creative, innovative and second to none in the world, urging them to shun social vices and behaviours capable of endangering the purposeful pursuit of their dreams.
He urged Nigerian parents to use the Day to reflect on their contribution toward the overall development of the Nigerian child with a view to up scaling their efforts.
Edited by: Felix Ajide
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has urged civil servants to embrace the various reforms of the present administration, to enhance economic growth and development.
Dr Garba Abari, Director-General NOA said this at a one-day sensitisation programme in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the programme is a nationwide advocacy campaign to educate public servants on reforms taken by the government to improve service delivery and efficiency at Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The NOA Boss maintained that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed bring about the needed change in the country and to revamp the economy .
” The reforms are ways to right the wrongs being experienced in all ramifications.
” I urge the MDAs to take reforms in areas of corruption, security and fixing of the economy seriously.
“It is a fight for all. Not for the government alone,” Abari stressed.
Mr Nyang Ayang, Deputy Director, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, the resource person said reforms were necessary to improve standards in government agencies.
Ayang highlighted steps taken by the present administration for efficiency and accountability in the MDAs.
The steps include IPPIS, e-procurement, e-drivers licence, e-international passports, and pension reform among others.
He said that steps taken so far have helped in checking corrupt practices that was in existence.
Mrs Nkechi Duru, a participant lauded the agency for organising the programme adding that she was more enlightened on her responsibilities .
She however called on government to put in place some follow up mechanisms in the MDAs to ensure that the reforms do not end up on paper or on the shelves in the offices.
NAN reports that the NOA Boss was represented by Mr Manya Dogo, Director Federal Capital Territory NOA.
Edited by: Ekemini Ladejobi
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has commended the National Assembly for initiating the review of the Ordinance Act, to make it more effective.
Dr Garba Abari, the NOA Director-General, made the commendation in Abuja on Tuesday in a statement signed by Mr Paul Odenyi, Head, Press Unit.
Abari said that the commitment of the House of Representatives would ensure stiffer sanctions against abuse of national symbols.
He also said that the sponsor of the bill had proposed a N100, 000 penalty against people who distort the national flag and other national symbols.
He commended the National Assembly for giving legal recognition to the agency’s advocacy for the amendment of relevant but obsolete sections of the Ordinance Act.
Abari said that the obsolete state of sections of the Ordinance Act, made it difficult to appropriately sanction defaulters.
He, therefore, commended the 8th National Assembly for taking measures to protect national symbols from abuse.
He said that the agency would make appropriate input into the bill during the public hearing and other committee activities that might be required in the process.
The NOA boss had previously presented the correct Nigerian National Flag to the Senate and House of Representatives heads of committees overseeing the agency.
The Bill for an Act to amend the National Flag and Coat of Arms sponsored by Hon. Sam Onuigbo on May 5, had scaled through the second reading.
Edited by: Morayo Omolade/Nkechi Okoronkwo
UNESCO on Wednesday called on citizens to sharpen their minds to defend their freedom toward ensuring that justice and peace were achieved in the country.
Mr Benoit Sossou, Abuja Regional Director, said this during the commemoration of World Press Freedom Day in Abuja.
The theme of the celebration was “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media Role in Advancing Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Society”.
Representing Sossou, Mr Simone Grego, the Science Advisor said that freedom of the media should see to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal.
“Freedom of the media should obey the rule of law enshrined in the 2030: Sustainable Development Goal 16 which is: To build a just, peaceful and inclusive society.
“The media as the source of reliable information should provide platform for multitude of voices and mobilise forces for tolerance and dialogue.
“We need original, critical and well researched journalism guided by high professional standards and quality media education.
“This has to be combined with audiences that have the right media information and literacy skills.
“Today, I call on everyone to sharpen their minds to defend their freedom which is essential for justice and peace,” he said.
The Regional Director decried that the media profession had been shaken with the rise in social media.
He said that many journalists had died in the course of their job, adding that UNESCO was leading the struggle to ensure that freedom of the media was guaranteed across the globe.
“The media business is being shaken to the core with the rise to social media, seasoned journalists are withdrawing the boundary of journalism, media credibility and accountability have been questioned.
“These challenges merge with different transformation in societies.
“In 2016 alone, 102 journalists paid the ultimate prize, this is unacceptable.
“Critical times calls for critical minds,” Sossou said.
Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile, the National President Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) said that a free press would ensure a decent democracy and economic development.
Representing Odusile, Mr Gbemiga Bamidele, the Deputy National Secretary NUJ added that everyone had the right to freedom of expression and be heard.
“Everyone has the right to freedom of speech, be heard, opinion without any danger.”
He said that the theme of the year’s celebration was apt, adding that it would help journalists across the country restrategise to build a stronger profession.
In her remarks, Mrs Pauline Torehall, the Head of Political, Press and Information European Union (EU), said that freedom of opinion and expression was not just fallout of democracy.
According to her, it constitutes an essential foundation on which core democratic values such as the rule of law, accountability and transparency stood.
She said that the EU had been supporting activities of journalists and writers in the country.
“We recognise that by facilitating the free flow of information and ideas on matters of public interest, by ensuring transparency, accountability, independent media constitute a cornerstone of a democratic society.
“The EU supports projects to assist and protect journalists and human rights defenders across the globe,” she said.
She added that the social media was complementing the traditional media in deepening public discourse and promoting transparency and accountability.
Mr Garba Abari, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) said that the media should extend its freedom in ensuring that stories about conflict areas of the country were inclusive.
Representing Abari, Mrs Fatima Abubakar said that inclusiveness of stories would ensure that the media did not create conflict with their reports.
Other goodwill messages were from Nigeria Press Council, National Human Right Commission and Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union.
Paper presentations were made on the theme of the day: “Justice for all as a Prerequisite for Freedom of Expression and Sustainable Development”.
Other paper presentation topic was “Journalists’ Safety and Tackling Impunity: How can Crimes against Media Workers be addressed?”
The Nigeria News Agency reports that World Press Freedom Day was established in 1997 by UN General Assembly to raise awareness on the importance of freedom of the press.
It was also established to remind governments of their duties to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression.
Edited by: Grace Yussuf
Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) has reiterated the need for the media to popularise Federal Governments policies and programmes aimed at promoting peace and security.
Abari spoke at the round media round table entitled: “The Role of the Media in Reporting Peace Building Processes and the Counter Terrorism Narratives in Nigeria’’ on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that it was the responsibility of the media to put the issues of national interests in proper perspective in order to elicit citizen’s cooperation with the government.
He said given the successes achieved so far, the media must be commended for its patriotic contributions to the restoration and sustenance of national peace and security.
Abari, who expressed the belief that there “is still room for the media to improve and enhance its capacity,’’ also called for objective, fair and balanced reportage of security issues.
Also, Mr Bayo Onanuga, Managing Director, Nigeria News Agency in his remark said the media had a lot of roles to play in sustaining peace in the country.
Onanuga reiterated that the fight for peace and harmony required the collective effort of everyone.
He said that the use of the media was mostly needed at the grassroots and called for the development of community radio stations and newspapers, among others to effectively reach the expected audience.
Onanuga, therefore, advised NOA to endeavour to take the forum to the rural communities.
Similarly, Mansur Liman, Director General of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) urged the media to inform, educate the citizen on government’s efforts at tackling terrorism.
He stressed the need for the media to counter some disturbing narratives about the country that would cause a paradigm shift on the perspective of the people.
Also, Dr Osita Okechukwu, the Director General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), said that reporting peace and conflict required some sense of responsibility.
The representative of the
He urged reporters and editors not to glorify terrorism in their reports rather reports should be based on the way out of the challenges.
Okechukwu also solicited for more funds for government-owned media houses.
The Director General was represented by Mr Hanasiah Suleiman, an official VON.
Edited by: Ekemini Ladejobi
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has reiterated the urgent need for Nigerians to return to the national ethics of discipline, integrity, dignity of labour, social justice and civic responsibilities, as spelt out in the 1999 Constitution.
The Director-General of NOA Dr. Garba Abari, NOA made this submission in during a National Dialogue on Corruption held in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said that patriotism, ethics and civic responsibilities were fundamental issues that the majority of Nigerians have neither given a deep thought nor followed through.
Abari also called for a shift from practices where the brazen display of ill gotten wealth has become the order of the day.
This, he said, is no longer acceptable in the interest of the country and her national development.
Abari re-emphasised the agency’s continual behavioural sensitisation and enlightenment campaigns in all the 774 Local Government Areas in the country.
However, he called on traditional and religious leaders to investigate and requeste for reports from security, anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies before awarding chieftaincy or religious titles to amybody.
“This is to avoid rewarding persons with questionable characters’’
“If ill-gotten wealth does not attract awards and recognition.
“If ill-gotten wealth does not attract social and community recognition.
“If such wealth that cannot be accounted for beyond the fact that one held a public service position is properly stigmatised, there will be less incentive to steal public funds,’’ Abari said.
He called on the anti-graft agencies, traditional and religious leaders and other stakeholders to partner with NOA to ensure that the nation is purged of corrupt tendencies and repositioned on a strong path to national development.
Edited by: Sadiya Hamza
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No fewer than 25 million Nigerians living with disabilities lacked access to information about government policies and programmes, an aide to the President has said.
Dr Samuel Ankeli, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability Matters said this when he visited Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) in his office in Abuja.
Ankeli, appealed to the agency to create the enabling environment for a free to access government policies and programmes as a matter of their rights to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
He said it was a deliberate policy of the present administration to reach out to persons living with disability.
Earlier, Abari said the need for government policies and programmes to have inputs from persons living disabilities.
He described their non-participations as “un-justified and morally wrong”.
According to him, it is their right to know and make inputs in government policies and programmes.
Abari assured the SSA of the agency’s readiness to partner with his office to ensure that the vulnerable groups partake in key programmes of government that affect their well-being.
He stressed the need to give priority to both able bodied Nigerians and the ones living with disabilities in the country.
Edited by: Shittu Obassa/Ekemini Ladejobi
Concerned Nigerians have, on many occasions, expressed concern about making reference to the country Nigeria as “Naija’’ in discussions.
They insist that although the official name for the country is the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the word “Naija’’ has surreptitiously crept into the Nigerian lexicon to replace Nigeria in certain media.
Most of Nigerians believe that decline in the standard of education in the country is responsible for the development.
Mr Tope Babayemi, Chief Executive Officer, Different Aesthetics, Arts and Culture Manager in Abuja said the coinage “Naija’’ arose from increased usage of informal English language.
Babayemi, nonetheless, agreed that poor standard of our education also facilitated the continuous occurrence of slangs in formal communication.
“It is about the effect and impact of modern social media, information technology and the global village and it is also a result of fallen standards in our education.
“It is apparent that standards have fallen. You see teachers’ spoken English, their written English, at times, its atrocious.
“Then we need to focus more on quality in education our in public and private schools.
Mr Tunde Afolabi, the Founder of Create Your World Agency in Abuja also corroborated him, saying that the social media style of writing was affecting upcoming generations in a negative way.
“Professionally or officially there are ways you should write and now when you are used to social media by spelling that way or writing `you’ as a letter `u’.
“You realise that when you are writing a professional letter or a proposal. Unknowingly you get to put all those kind of thing into the write up which is not acceptable in the corporate setting.
“It’s getting out of hand these days especially the young ones. The social media actually started this thing so, we can actually advocate about it online.
“Do a lot orientation programmes on social media. That is the only way you can actually eradicate and correct things.
Afolabi said one way of bringing about a change in this negative development was for every individual to personally decide to use appropriate words and spell them in full when communicating.
Veteran Musician, Innocent Onyemuwa, popularly known as Daddy Fresh said “It actually started from the diaspora; somehow it even unifies us more in the diaspora than in Nigeria here.
“And I think it goes a long way for Nigerians outside Nigeria. They will always want to prefer calling it Naija to Nigeria.
“We musicians also made it very popular. It’s just a slang anyway that has eaten into the fabric of Nigeria.
It unifies us anywhere in the world. “Me I be omo Naija“ oo.
“But the real name Nigeria hasn’t been rubbed off in anyway, it’s just slang. I don’t think Nigeria can be rubbed off; it’s just a street word.
“The corporate elite hardly call it Naija, you can’t be writing a formal letter and call it Naija, or a board meeting and call it Naija.
“When it comes to reality and geography, Nigeria is the name we know, “he said.
The president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Pretty Okafor said “I just think Naija is a street word, like how you call money, you call it `doe`.
“It is a street word and it doesn’t affect us as a brand, as a Nigerian brand.
“But again you cannot take away the street word from people. It is not like you are going to write an examination and you would write Naija.
“Naija is our Pidgin English while Nigeria is our Queen’s English.
“It can’t have a negative impact on the brand Nigeria. When you are filling your documentation, you use the right word.
“You know everybody want to be seen as people that are being funky.
“In my own case, I don’t use the word naija, the corporate world that I am presently in don’t allow such.
`However, Mr Garba Abari , Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) who expressed his concerns appeal to Nigerians to refer to the country as Nigeria not `Najia’ to keep its originality.
Abari said that the “funkifying ‘’ of the original name Nigeria is worrisome and not in the best interest of the country.
“Actually it is a very worrisome thing that our young ones tend to funkify the original name of our country.
“Of course we try as much as possible in all our advocacy visits to insist that Nigeria must be made and be referred to as Nigeria and not Naija.
“ There was an instance when the “Buy made in Nigeria’’ group came to visit us here in the headquarters. We made this observation, why buy Naija? Why not buy Nigeria? Why buy Naija?
“They said it is a catch phrase, we said well even if it is a catch phrase, it does not speak well neither does it actually give any sense of originality to the name of our country.
He said the schools and the media have a role to play in ensuring that the right messages are sent out to the youths particularly the teachers.
“`The truth of the matter is our schools have a role to play in this, Maybe the media itself has also got a very fundamental role to play in this because it is the media that helps in the propagation of this kind of misnomer.
“You know there is even an online media they call“naija.com’’ meaning “Nigeria.com’’ and of course all of us as individuals, as corporate organisations, as media, as whether broadcast, print or online must wake up to the reality.
“That the more we use these misnomers in referring to our country, the more it sticks in people’s sub-consciousness.
Abari said the fallout of this is that a significant percentage of our younger ones will not even remember the name Nigeria.
“I think I will want to use this medium in particular to appeal to all Nigerians, both young and old to always refer to our country as Nigeria,’’ Abari said.
Mr Garba Abari , Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), has appealed to Nigerians to stop referring to Nigeria as `Najia’ to keep its originality.
Abari told the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja on Tuesday that the new trend of making funky the original name of Nigeria was worrisome and not in the best interest of the country.
. Cue in audio: (Abari)
“We try in all our advocacy visits to insist that Nigeria must be referred to as Nigeria and not Naija.
“So, our schools have a role to play in this; the media itself has also got a very fundamental role to play because it is the media that helps in the propagation of this kind of misnomer.
“All of us, as individuals, as corporate organisations, as media, whether broadcast, print or online, must wake up to the reality.
“That the more we use these misnomers referring to our country, the fallout of it is that, a significant percentage of our younger ones will not even remember that Nigeria is the original name of our country.
“I want to appeal to all Nigerians, young and old to always refer to our country as Nigeria.
. Cue out Audio.
Abari also urged parents to key into the efforts to preserve the country’s original name by discouraging their children and wards from referring to Nigeria as `Naija’.
Edited /Ismail Abdulaziz