The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, has commended the new leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Ministry of Information Chapel for prioritizing the development of professional skills of its members.
He gave the commendation at the opening session of a One-Day training programme organised by the Union for newly recruited Public Affairs Officers on Grade Level 7 and 10 on Friday.
The Permanent Secretary urged the participants to distinguish themselves in their various posting by following the path of professionalism in the discharge of their official duties.
In his words, “I have discovered areas of competence of some of you during the few months you have spent in the Ministry but beyond competencies, you must also deliberately plan to be exceptional in the discharge of your duties such that whenever there is need to perform a specific task, you will be considered as the most appropriate person to contact”.
He described the training opportunity as a privilege which most senior officers did not enjoy from the Union during their early years in the service.
The Director of Information Production in the Ministry, Mr. Biola Fagunwa, said that the training would equip participants with the knowledge of how to apply their diverse individual skills.
According to him, the State Public Service desires officers who can provide solutions to issues through the skills they have acquired over the years, stressing that Public Affairs Officers, who are the image makers of the State Government must ‘know their onions’.
Also, speaking during the training exercise, the Director of Public Enlightenment and Community Relations, Mr. Toyin Adeni-Awosika depicted the training as a form of an in-house induction process that is very crucial for any newly recruited officer to understand the expectations of its employer, the acceptable behaviour as well as professionalism expected of media practitioners within the employ of the State Government.
He said that the introduction of inter-departmental posting for newly-employed officers by the Ministry has greatly assisted in internalizing the officers to the public service system and the workings of all the professional departments in the Ministry of Information and Strategy.
The Director of Public Affairs in the Ministry, Mrs. Toro Oladapo advised the officers to abide by the operational mode of the Ministry and align with the vision of same in particular and the State government at large.
“See yourself as freshers here, be receptive to learning new things, make inquiries where necessary and display a teachable disposition”, the Director counseled.
The Chairman of the Union, Mr. Wale Akodu, said that the training was in fulfillment of the electoral promises made by the members while canvassing for the support of members some months back.
He assured the participants that the Union is committed to providing opportunities and organising programmes that would improve the professionalism of members, adding that the target of the leadership is to ensure that before the end of their tenure, every member would have benefitted from one form of training or the other.
He disclosed that preparations are also being made to train officers in grassroots reporting and public speaking so that officers can be well grounded in all aspects of journalism and public relations.
Akodu explained that the Union decided to kick-start its training programmes with officers that were employed in the service within the last 2 years so that their civil service career can be well-guided and take-off on a solid foundation.