Lai Mohammed says he has no regrets about serving in President Muhammadu Buhari's administration. The Minister stated this on Tuesday in Abuja when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation to defend the ministry's 2023 budget proposal.
In response to a committee member's question, Lai Mohammed stated that it was an opportunity for him to be called to serve his fatherland and that he had been doing so effectively.
Lai Mohammed: I Don't Have Any Regrets about Being The spokesman Of Buhari's Regime
The Minister, speaking on his challenges, said Government didn't fund the ministry adequately to discharge its mandate of managing the reputation and image of the country and promoting its cultures.
He said his job, like other information managers, became more cumbersome with the advent of the new media. The Minister expressed regret that the funding to match new problems created by social media does not correspond.
He said notwithstanding the challenges, for the past seven years that he has been the Minister, the ministry has recorded tremendous achievements. He stated that the most significant achievement is the increased flow of information between the Government and the governed.
In enhancing the participation of people in governance, Lai Mohammed said he introduced town hall meetings where ministers told Nigerians what they were doing.
He also said the meetings allowed Nigerians to ask questions in a no-holds-barred manner and offer the government suggestions.
The Minister said the ministry had held over 20 town hall meetings on major issues across the country's six geopolitical zones.
He said he had regular media briefings and appearances and had engaged in massive advocacy on issues of national importance to sensitize the public.
According to him, the advocacies include seeking support for the military, disinformation and hate speech, advocacy against social media abuse, and advocacy against fake news.
He said the ministry showcased the administration's achievements through media tours of government projects across Nigeria.
The Minister said the ministry also embarked on massive advocacy to enlighten Nigerians about COVID-19.
The Minister said without drugs and vaccines at the beginning of the pandemic, the most potent way to curtail the spread of the virus was information.
The Minister said the ministry hosted two international events successfully.
The recently-concluded 2022 UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Week and the 61st meeting of African Ministers in charge of Tourism under the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).