The outgoing Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, has advocated one percent of every contract sum in every major project of government be dedicated to publicity.
Maku said that the job of a publicist is a tedious one made even worse by paucity of funds.
At a send-off lunch organized by the heads of departments, agencies and parastatals under the ministry of information, Maku said setting aside such percentage of contract sum would augment for the low funds given for publicity.
“The issue of funding will be addressed, but the only way we can get out of it is that in every major contract, one per cent must be set aside for publicity.
“That fund will now be set aside to fund NAN, NTA, VON and FRCN to move out and report, we need this as quickly as possible.
“I hope the next person who will succeed me will have the opportunity to get it through so that we can have the resources to back up our energy to get the job done with ease,” he said.
He then urged the media to be fair in the reports and do their best not to drag the country’s image in the mud. He said media reports focus so much on bad news and as such dent the image of the country.
“Stories on Boko Haram, oil theft, kidnapping and others continually dent our image to the extent that the good things happening in the country are buried under the headlines of the bad ones.
“We have to go out to physically tell people what the government is doing,” he said.
Maku stressed the need for the indigenous radio and television stations to step up their games to stand neck to neck with the likes of CNN, Aljazerra, Fox News and others.
He said there was no reason why a president should not go to CNN whenever he needed to make a speech that would transcend the African region and reach the whole world.
“Nigeria is the giant of Africa and our media should reflect international recognition. The nation’s media must play the role of the international media hub,’’ he said.
Maku resigned as the Minister of Information to pursue a governorship ambition in his home state, Nasarawa state.