The Secretary to Delta State Government, Hon. Festus Ovie Agas has said that the state government is not against any journalists criticizing its policies and programmes but insists that such criticism should be constructive and facts based.
Agas made this known in Asaba when the Executives of the the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Delta State Council paid him a courtesy visit.
He said: ”As a government,we are not opposed to journalists criticizing us. All we are asking for is that you should be constructive, and when in doubt and there is need to seek clarification, you could reach Information Commissioner, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor or my humble self. Our doors are open…”
Hon Agas gave the assurance that the Delta State government will continue to partner and collaborate with NUJ in the onerous task of nation building, emphasizing that for any government to succeed, she must of necessity partner journalists in the society.
He noted that despites the acute economic challenges coupled with poor cash flow, the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has performed creditably well in the last two years.
”The administration has been able to construct and rehabilitate roads in the three senatorial districts, continue to execute her wealth creation programmes.
“In addition, there is a lot of renovations and reforms both in health, and all sectors of the economy. But all these programmes and policies will be in vain if they are not effectively communicated to Deltans”, Agas pointed out.
Continuing, he said, ”It is only through journalists like you that government of the day will equally know or get a feedback about what the people think about her policies and programmes. Importantly, we recognize the enviable role you play in our society.”
The SSG promised that government will look objectively into the requests made by the NUJ with a view to addressing them.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Delta State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Comrade Mike Ikeogwu said the visit was to seek collaboration in building a better state that will be an envy of all.
“We are here to rub minds with a view to finding better ways of promoting policies, programmes and the good works of the present administration in Delta State”, Ikeogwu said.
While commending Governor Okowa’s administration for delivering to a large extent its promises to Deltans, he however observed that there was still room for improvement.