Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information has asked telecommunications companies in Nigeria to create massive awareness of Federal Government’s campaign, ‘Change Begins With Me’, through short message service (SMS).
The minister made this appeal during a meeting with the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) in Lagos, ahead of the government bid in launching three major campaigns over the next few months.
‘’We have kick-started the National Security Awareness Campaign, which is aimed at rallying Nigerians to support the war against terrorism and to ensure that they own the war, as well as the National Sensitization Campaign Against Corruption, which is dedicated to alerting Nigerians to the evils of corruption, with a view to rallying their support for the government’s anti-corruption battle’’. Mohammed says.
According to him, “there is also the soon-to-be launched National Re-orientation Campaign, called CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME, which is designed to achieve a paradigm shift in the way we do things. It is a bigger and deeper version of the old War against Indiscipline (WAI), and it is aimed at solidifying our change mantra.’’
The Minister says that communication, which is at the core of ALTON’s operations, is at the very heart of these campaigns and believes that through their umbrella platform, the government can pass these messages to millions of Nigerians.
‘’Since our campaigns are aimed at tackling the problems of insecurity, corruption, widespread indiscipline, lack of respect for time, indolence, poor attitude to work, etc, ensuring the success of the campaigns will ultimately benefit everyone, including ALTON members. If your workers are more punctual and dedicated, your business thrives more”, he adds.
The Minister believes that the success of these campaigns will be in mutual benefit of both the government and ALTON
According to the Minister, “it is common knowledge that your members have suffered huge losses from the terrorist attacks, especially in the North-east, where your masts and other installations have been damaged by the insurgents.
‘’I saw many evidences of this during my trip to Maiduguri, Konduga, Kaure and Bama – which are some of the areas that have been liberated from Boko Haram by our gallant troops. The damaged facilities have crippled your ability to provide efficient services to the people of the affected areas. Restoring peace will allow you to restore your services, which will be a win-win situation for you and the people of the area.’’
According to Mohammed, “we are therefore appealing to you to work with us to make our various campaigns a success. As the industry body for all telecommunications companies and those providing subsidiary services to telecommunications service providers in Nigeria, you have an important role to play in these campaigns. This is why we are here.’’
Various messages to be disseminated to Nigerians through the wide network of the telecoms companies will be made available as soon as the modalities are worked out, the Minister adds.