Residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA), to live up to its mandate of enlightening the citizens on government policies and programmes to enhance national unity.
In an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja, those who spoke described the current efforts of the agency as falling below standard.
Mr Martins Inalegwu, a resident said Nigerians were not well informed about the activities of the government, adding that it is the sole mandate of NOA to enlighten the citizens across the country.
“The agency is not doing enough to enlighten the citizenry; a lot of things are happening and most people especially those in the rural areas are not aware of such happenings.
“The peoples’ response to the government in power depends on the information and enlightenment they acquire through the agency and other platforms facilitated by the agency.
“The agency is suppose to serve as an information bridge between the government and the people but not much is been heard about the government from the agency.
“When we were growing up many years ago, we used to see Land Rover vehicle with speakers on top driving and passing important information to the citizens both in urban and rural areas.
“Such strategies are still relevant, but today, the NOA has become dormant in that regards,’’ Inalegwu said.
Mr Kuje Areng, a civil servant said that the agency in the previous administration was doing well stressing they go round the country having Town Hall Meetings and preaching against violence.
“I remember then they use to visit communities across the country preaching about the need for peaceful co-existence, religious and ethnic tolerance; they also preached against drug abuse and criminality.
“Today, we don’t hear about such visits and preachings to communities again and I think the agency has to wake up from its slumber and do the right thing.
“Even the “Do the Right Thing’’ campaign has lost the euphoria it came with during the lunch; it is now in limbo, the drive is no longer energetic,’’ Areng said.
Mrs Ann Abulukun, a social commentator noted that NOA’s mandate had for some time now not up to expectations for an agency that was shoulder with the responsibility of enlightening, orientating and re-orientating citizens.
Abulukun stressed that the cardinal points of this administration were addressing security challenges and fighting corruption.
“The activities of NOA suppose to be in line with the administration’s agenda, but unfortunately we don’t hear anything in that regards from the agency.
“People in the rural areas are not enlightened about all these; sometimes you hear the song `change begins with you and me’ during Network news on Radio Nigeria and that is all.
“NOA need to do better, their current effort in fulfilling their mandate is not encouraging: they need to wake up to their responsibilities.
“The agency have staff in all the Local Governments across the country; they have the staff strength to excel, but not much is being done; it is sad,’’ Abulukun submitted.
For Mr Abraham Attah, a public servant, NOA was supposed to enlighten the masses on the activities of the government in the area of national unity, peace, economic, political development and social justice.
Attah said it was regrettable that the country was going through tough challenges and the agency is snoring away, doing nothing to complement the efforts of the government.
“However, the government also needs to adequately fund the agency to carry out its mandate to the latter. I know that sometimes NOA may blame their inability to do better on paucity of funds.
“The Federal Government with support from the State and Local Governments should adequately fund the agency at all levels to achieve its objectives.
“Example, the `Change Begins with You and Me’ Campaign should be adequately funded; media coverage should be 100 per cent across the country; vehicles should also be acquired for mobile sensitisation.
“Nevertheless, NOA has to be aggressive and pro-active in carrying out its mandate,’’ Attah stressed.
Mr Suleiman Suja, a teacher said NOA was supposed to be vibrant in democratic dispensation than any other government organ.
Suja said it was ironic that during the military era, the staffers were in every nooks and cranny of the country, passing positive messages on governance and intentions of government.
“Even with the trending of social media, NOA’s relevance can’t be overlooked. Today we are in democratic dispensation but it appears to me that the agency is dormant.
“We don’t hear them on radio or television; they are not doing the needful to educate and enlighten the citizens on many issues about the country ranging from governance, economic and others.
“I think there is the urgent need for the agency to step-up its effort; they could seek for partnership or collaboration with other organisations to achieve their objectives.
Reacting, Dr Garba Abari, Director-General of NOA said the notion that the agency was not doing enough was not new.
“Before condemning NOA, take a look at the budget of the agency first, analysis the budget and then relate it to the size of the agency with it’s headquarter office in Abuja and 774 local government areas of the country.
“Have people actually taken a look at the budget, and at the actual amount released?.
“I have for long stop worrying about what people say; I am only focus on doing what I should do within the limits of realities and my circumstances.
“The budgets of the agency for the past few years are on the website of the Federal Ministry of Budget and Planning, for all to see and ascertain if the budget was adequate for us to carry out the mandate of the agency.
“We can only do the utmost with the amount at our disposal,’’ Abari said.
Edited /Ekemini Ladejobi
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on electorate in Anambra to disregard the threat by Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) against the Nov. 18 governorship election.
Dr Garba Abari, Director-General NOA in a statement signed by Mr Paul Odenyi, Head of Press Unit in Abuja on Monday, urged the people to come out en masse and exercise their franshise at the poll.
Abari, who was reacting to the “vote and die” threat by IPOB, assured that security agencies were fully prepared and on ground, to ensure the safety of voters before, during and after the election.
He described the renewed threat as an attempt by miscreants to stampede the will of the people using baseless intimidation in pursuit of their selfish ends.
Abari expressed optimism that the election will not only hold as scheduled but will be without security failures.
“The renewed threat is not taking the authorities by surprise. All adequate measures to checkmate the excesses of IPOB and other unlawful groups with regard to the Anambra election are already fully in place.
“The security agencies are prepared to forestall any breakdown of law and order and to protect voters, other election stakeholders and the general public toward a hitch free election.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is very prepared to conduct the election. Let no one be afraid or in doubt,” Abari said.
Edited by: Ekemini Ladejobi
Dr Garba Abari, Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), says patriotism and hard work are panacea to attaining greatness in Nigeria.
Abari stated this in Abuja on Tuesday at a one day sensitisation program on Ethics and National core value for students in Nasarawa state.
Abari, who was represented by the Director in charge of Special Duties, Mrs Mette Edekobi also expressed concern over the high rate of drug abuse and indiscipline amongst youths.
He said the trend was harmful to youths.
“Vices of drug addiction indecent dressing, rape, cultism, armed robbery, election violence and exam malpractices today have strong grips on our youths.
“These vices can only destroy a person; there is no example in the world where vices have promoted anyone.
“The older generation, as responsible citizens must be concerned about the direction of the nation’s future as reflected in the attitudes of our youth.
Abari urged parents, school authorities and other stakeholders within the education system to play their roles in influencing students to imbibe the right values.
Also, Mr Saidu Salihu, Area Commander, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, Nasarawa, said that more than 50 percent of crimes witness in the society were perpetrated by drugs addicts.
He urged the students to say “NO” to vices as studies have shown that vices can present seeming enjoyment “but such pleasure is only short-lived then give way for long term pains.’
Mrs Priscilla Gondoalor, Director, NOA, Nasarawa, however charged parents to guard their wards against being use by people of questionable characters to destroy the country.
Edited by: Ekemini Ladejobi
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) on Friday urged stakeholders in the hospitality sector to join forces with the government to create a sustainable tourism sub-sector in the country.
Dr Garba Abari, the NOA’s Director-General, made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja.
He said that tourism had the potential to grow and contribute significantly to the nation’s economy with the collective participation of all stakeholders.
Abari said that the competitive nature of the industry should propel the stakeholders to work together to make Nigeria a higher-value tourist destination.
He noted that the hospitality industry, over the years, had shown commitment to ensure a better service delivery, adding that the potential should be sustained to have a better sector.
“Tourism is a huge part of our economy and has the potential to contribute significantly to our national economy.
“There is no over-stating how challenging and competitive the hospitality sector is. It means that we need to collectively make Nigeria a higher-value tourist destination.
“ We need to respond to the world as it changes, to improve the business environment and work more closely with one another,’’ Abari said.
He also called on stakeholders to synergise to repositioning the sector to attract more local and international visitors to the country.
Abari said this would increase earnings for the sector as well as proffer solutions to the challenges confronting the hospitality sector.
He said that the collaboration would ensure that hospitality sector contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), create wealth to alleviate poverty and generate employment.
“With the spirited effort of all stakeholders in the sector, Nigeria will in the shortest time possible join the league of nations reaping the inexhaustible benefit of the sector.’’
Edited by: Abdullahi Mohammed/Dada Ahmed
Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), on Tuesday, said social media contents were filled with hate and divisive contents, posing huge threat to the existence of the country.
He made the remark at the opening of Stream 2 Capacity Building Workshop on Social Media Innovations and Online Reputation Management in Abuja.
The workshop was organised by African Media Network (AMNETT) in collaboration with Nigerian Press Council (NPC).
Abari said there was need for caution on what people post on social media as the political landscape in the country was getting set for electioneering campaigns in the build-up to the 2019 general elections.
He added that NOA and other relevant agencies were working to manage the situation and called for responsible and responsive media to tackle speeches that might cause or aggravate problems in the country.
Mr Aniekan Umanah, the President of AMNETT, said the growth of social media users in the country could only be managed.
He, however, warned Nigerians to be mindful of the security implications of overexposure on the internet, stressing that social media users should also be mindful of cyber law and respond accordingly.
Edited by: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
Abuja, Aug. 31, 2017 Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on Muslims, to exhibit the virtues of sacrifice, peace, love and tolerance as they celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir.
Abari, in a statement issued by the Head of Press Unit of NOA, Mr Paul Odenyi, urged the Muslim Ummah to use the 2017 celebration to renew their commitment to unity of the nation and brotherhood.
“Peace, love and hard work are preconditions for development in any country. This period of Eid-el-Kabir should remind us of that virtue in order to build our country.
“I call on all Nigerians to continue to support the present administration to deliver on its promises in line with the change agenda.
“The progress, unity and development of any country can only be achieved in a peaceful atmosphere.
“I also urge all Muslims to be law abiding and security conscious,’’ Abari said, assuring that the Federal Government had put in place measures to ensure peaceful.
Edited by: Ekemini Ladejobi
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called for a concrete national affirmative action for women in business, to ensure their inclusion in the economy and entrench justice, equity and fairness.
Abari, made the remark in a statement signed by Mr Paul Odenyi, Head of NOA Press Unit, in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said this when he received the National Coordinator of the Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN), Mrs Nkiru Okpala, during an advocacy visit in Abuja.
Abari said that NOA would study the business agenda of the association, with a view to developing it into an advocacy tool.
He said that in spite of the impact of the current economic recession on the Nigerian business environment, the economic recovery programme of government would enable the country to emerge a stronger economy.
Abari urged women in agriculture not to relent in growing what Nigerians eat while urging the citizens to eat local foods and avoid making the nation a dumping ground for substandard and expensive foreign foods.
According to him, women constitute over 50 per cent of the population and as such could not be sidelined.
Earlier, Okpala said that the association, a coalition of 18 existing groups, formed in 2013, was committed to business research and policy advocacy across the 36 states, especially as it affects women.
Okpala said women, being a core part of the economy, must be mainstreamed and used to grow Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
She said this would mobilise Nigerian women to “walk together and walk far” in business, through capacity building for businesses to engender professionalism.
According to her, the National Women Business Agenda is a document that identifies the policies, laws and regulations which impair the performance of women in business and also hinder their growth.
Okpala urged relevant government agencies and policy makers to leverage on the document to create a more efficient Nigerian business environment.
Edited by: Gregory Mmaduakolam/Nkechi Okoronkwo
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) on Friday, called for the domestication of the Child Rights Act in all states.
Abari, who made the remark in a statement signed by Mr Paul Odenyi, Head of Press Unit, NOA,in Abuja said that the rights of the child remains sacrosanct and must therefore be upheld by all.
He made the call when Mrs. Betsy Olutunde, the Executive Secretary, National Council of Child Rights Advocates of Nigeria (NACCRAN), represented by the Council’s Director of Programmes and International Relations, paid him a courtesy visit.
Abari said that the “the Nigerian child is a Nigerian citizen and citizenship carries certain privileges that ought not to be denied.
“How much respect, love and care we are able to give our children speaks volumes about what our priorities really are”.
He therefore appealed to state Governments that are yet to domesticate the Act to do so.
He also urged on child rights advocates to remain relentless until that is achieved.
Abari, pledged the agency’s commitment to partnering with NACCRAN on adequate messaging and sensitisation on child rights.
In her remarks, Olutunde disclosed that NACCRAN was working to establish a rescue centre for children whose parents are unavailable or incapacitated by circumstances to cater for them in line with global best practices.
She said that stakeholders, including the diplomatic community have expressed support for the initiative.
She who expressed concerns that 44 communities in the FCT still practice the killing of twins.
Olutunde, expressed optimism that the domestication of the Child Rights Act would be instrumental to the abolition of such barbaric practice.
She stressed that NOA had specific role to play towards achieving the nationwide domestication.
Edited by: Ekemini Ladejobi
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has inaugurated a Local Government Assembly in the North-West zone of the country, to educate people at the grassroots on the policies and programmes of the government.
NOA Director-General Garba Abari said at the inauguration ceremony at Kagarko Local Government Secretariat, Kaduna, that the assembly would assist the government to meet the yearnings of rural dwellers.
Abari explained that the creation of the assembly was in line with the agency’s mandate to enlighten Nigerians on the need to support the government in its efforts toward developing the country.
According to him, the assembly provides a platform for direct interaction with the people, to enable the government to know the pressing needs of rural dwellers with a view to addressing them.
Abari said that a similar assembly would soon be inaugurated in the South-West, adding that it is the best channel to achieve a better Nigeria.
Earlier, Mr Mohammed Kabir, the Chairman, Kagarko Local Government Area, commended NOA for the laudable initiative and urged the residents to sustain the relative peace in the area.
In a remark, Mohammed Usman, the Divisional Police Officer, Kagarko Police Station, also assured the residents that efforts were being made to sustain peace in the area.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that some of the participants at the assembly expressed optimism that the platform would be of immense benefit to the people.
The NOA officials later paid a condolence visit to the Chief of Kagarko, Sa’ad Abubakar, who lost his wife.
The assembly is designed to communicate the activities and policies of government and elicit reactions and suggestions from people at the grassroots.
Edited by: Nkechi Okoronkwo
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