A university don and an academic researcher and development consultant, Engr. Hilary Ijeoma Owamah, on Tuesday advised Delta state government media managers to be pro-active in dishing out information to civil servants and members of the public.
While delivering an exciting lecture on managing the lessons from the recession for a wealthier Delta state, Owamah noted that Delta media managers are not pro-active, hence they fail to prevent crisis of information, noting that they only give information when confusion is already building up in the state.
Taking the delay in the payment of November salaries to workers as a case at hand, Owamah said there is crisis in the state as many civil servants are blaming the governor over the delay in the payment of November salaries to the state workers.
Feelers from civil servants around the state are indicative that some civil servants are saying the governor has seized their salaries while others are saying the governor is playing pranks at them.
But Owamah is of the view that with the foreknowledge that the salaries of November would be delayed following the delay in the release of allocation from the federal government, state media managers were expected to inform civil servants and the entire people of Delta state of the development to prevent confusion and douse tension that is building up in the minds of Delta civil servants.
He said: “The policies of the state government are not fully articulated. Teachers are complaining, everybody is complaining. It is a serious issue. They can make official statement and give it to journalists and you spread it.
“They are not doing it properly, we should know and the masses should also know because the teachers are already complaining,” adding: “As far as 2019 is concern, you must carry the workers along. If you don’t carry the workers along, nothing good can come out, that is the truth.
“Let the aides liaise with you people, once there is anything that will confuse the public, the information should come first before the public is confused. Stop trying to correct confusion.”
Engr. Owamah, who ran through various issues concerning the recession which he said brought several lessons to Nigerians, gave kudos to the meda, insisting that the Nigerian media has been very instrumental in bringing changes to the politics of Nigeria.
He commended journalists for keeping Nigerians abreast of developments and happenings aroungd the nation, noting that the media have brought positive changes to the nation and held government accountable to the people.
Specifically, he told the large crowd of journalists cutting across print, electronic aand online media that journalists have helped elevate him to a situation where he was invited by the minister of education to deliver a lecture following the stories written on lectures he delivered in Oleh, Isoko south, Delta state.
Owamah said the media are the engine room of nations’ development, saying the media being the fourth estate of the realm implies that the media is the fourth organ that decides what happens in a state or country.
He said the media wields enormous power in a country, adding that without the media, no country or government could survive.
He, however, said despite the laudable role the media play in the development of a nation, it is the most blamed profession in the country.
He said no matter the amount of investigation carried out media practitioners, government and other Nigerians still level accusations against journalists.
He added that the Nigerian media have uplifted the poor and the less privileged, adding: “If not for the media, the poor man would have gone into hiding.”