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Abiodun wants media to educate Nigerians on subsidy removal and eliminate fake news.

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Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has called on the media practitioners to educate Nigerians on the rationale behind the recently removed fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.

He also charged the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) to eliminate the menace of fake news in the profession.

Abiodun spoke on Friday in Abeokuta at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) South West Zonal Meeting and Award Ceremony. On the occasion, the governor was conferred with the Grand Patronage of the Ogun State chapter of the Union.

Represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Taiwo Oluwatoyin, the governor said that many Nigerians were still critical and alarmed about the subsidy removal due to the astronomical increase in the pump price of petrol, which has also had ripple effects on transportation fares and the rising cost of food items, among others.

But he said the media, as an information dissemination institution, must rise and live up to its responsibility as the fourth estate of the realm by informing and educating the public on the subsidy challenge, noting that the current high cost of petrol will come down with the nation’s refineries working alongside the recently commissioned Dangote refinery.

He also called on the media to defend the nation’s democracy and nurture it to maturity.

Prince Abiodun, while calling on journalists to be constructive in their approach to the national discourse, challenged the NUJ to weed out fake journalists and fight the scourge of fake news, which is detrimental to peace and harmony in society.

“Journalism as a profession is seen all over the world as the fourth estate of the realm after the executive, legislature, and judiciary, which occupy the first, second, and third places, respectively. And it is from this position that we see this profession as an information dissemination institution, one that unravels the hidden truth without fear or favor.

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“The profession is seen as the best of all because it has a ready-made audience in the citizens who expect journalists to tell, inform, and clarify the gray areas, especially as it relates to governance and happenings in their environment.

“On the other hand, the media plays a common carrier role by providing a line of communication between the government and the people. This communication goes both ways. The people learn about what the government is doing, and the government learns from the media what the public is thinking.

“We must also realize the fact that the system of communication is the ‘nerve of the polity,” and any breakdown of the nerve may have a dysfunctional impact on the performance of the polity, thereby causing governance decay.

“A responsible media helps in the socialization of people into citizenship, the democratization of the state and political society, the institutionalization of civic culture through the unfettered flow of information, and the rationalized use of power in social relations,” the governor said.

Speaking on the theme “Sustainable Development Goal 3: Challenges before the New Government”, Prince Abiodun said healthcare facilities in Ogun State have undergone massive rehabilitation and intervention, including Primary Health Care Centers (PHCs) located across the 236 wards to bring healthcare closer to the people.

He said that the massive injection of funds into the health sector by his administration in the face of dwindling resources was the realization that the health and well-being of the people serve as catalysts for social and economic development.

According to him, the healthcare sector in the state ranks among the best in the country, adding that the present administration is committed to building on the successes recorded so far.

The governor said, “We see healthcare as an important kernel of our social contract in Ogun State. The provision of efficient health care is an integral part of our social welfare and well-being program, which is a component of our ISEYA program. We believe that only a healthy populace can enjoy the provision of infrastructure and tap into the available economic potentials of our dear state.

“To further underpin our commitment to the provision of qualitative health care service delivery in Ogun State, among the first official assignments undertaken by our administration was to see to the general overhauling of our health sector. And for the past four years, our administration has continued to address the identified infrastructural and personnel gaps in our health sector, just like every other sector of the economy in our state.

“Today, the majority of our state-owned health facilities have experienced massive rehabilitation and intervention. We also continue to invest in the rehabilitation of Primary Health Care Centers (PHCs) across the 236 wards in our dear state to bring health care closer to our people.

“The rationale behind all these interventions is to ensure a wholesome rejuvenation of our health care system at all levels in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (good health and wellbeing).

“We have continued to fulfill our electoral promises in every way possible. More importantly, we remain committed to our ‘I.S.E.Y. A mantra as encapsulated in our ‘Building our Future Together’ agenda.

Despite the dwindling allocation from the federal government, our administration continues to embark on laudable projects.”

(omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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