FG Deploys 80 Press Secretaries to MDAs…. To Save N2.8bn on Media Aides
The Federal Government through the Ministry of Information and Culture has deployed eighty (80) Press Secretaries and their assistants known as Resident Information Officers (RIOs) to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as part of efforts to tackle redundancy and inefficiency in the system.
PRNigeria gathered that the latest move by the ministry was aimed at avoiding putting square pegs in round holes and to redeploy several officers who have overstayed in one position.
A source in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of Federation said the posting will checkmate incessant appointment of media aides by some chief executive officers against the service rules and management service circular PSRU/C220.127.116.11/11/430 which makes provisions for RIOS. It will also save the government over N2.8billion being spent annually on maintaining media aides whose expenditures are not captured in the budget.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu Gekpe recently introduced a 3-year tenure for Press Secretaries posted to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.
According to the new criteria, Press Secretaries in the Federal Civil Service on posting should not overstay in particular agencies but rather move around to garner and deploy their experiences in various agencies.
The RIOs are deployed to Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executive officers of MDAs who should handle their deployment to the press unit. The Press and Public Relations Unit of the MDAs in the federal public service operates within the framework of guidelines provided by the federal government through the supervisory of Federal Ministry of Information.
According to the provisions of the circular, a Resident Information Officer is a professional on posting to an MDA to work in the Press and Public Relations Unit as the Image Maker of the establishment
“He/she is mandated to professionally project the policies, programmes and activities of the MDAs vis-à-vis that of Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The Federal Ministry of Information is the ministry that has the mandates to lead the management of the image and reputation of the people and government of Nigeria through a professional and dynamic public information system that facilitate access by citizens and the global community to credible and timely information about our nation.”