As part of efforts to sensitize Nigerians against abuse of the naira, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are collaborating to mount a grassroots campaign in the 774 Local Government Areas of the country.
This was part of the resolutions when NOA Director General, Garba paid a visit to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to deliberate on a proposed Local Government Assembly for communicating government monetary and economic policies.
Abari said there was need for deeper public sensitization about respect for the naira, considering the high rate of abuse of the currency by Nigerians especially at parties, payment counters and in the market places. In addition, he said the various narratives in the public space concerning the nation’s economic challenges and government policies for tackling them have necessitated an open line of communication between the CBN and NOA to enable the Agency communicate monetary and other economic policies more effectively to the public in accordance with its mandate. This, he said, would help foster massive citizens support for government, especially from the grassroots, which he said was critical to the success of government policies.
In his words, “The naira is like our national flag. We need to do the needful to give the naira its pride of place. We can use the Local Government Secretariats and traditional rulers to send the message of attitudinal change towards the naira. The coming National Ordinance Day on September 16 will be used as another platform to mobilize Nigerians for respect and dignity of our national symbols”.
CBN Governor, Emefiele, represented by the Director, Governor’s Offfice, Mr. Olori Oghenekaro, described the partnership as welcome development that would serve the apex bank’s interest in control of inflation and stimulation of economic growth. Explaining the recent monetary policy which increased lending rate from 12% to 14%, the Governor said it was a necessary inflation control measure as well as an incentive to attract foreign direct investment of funds to boost the Nigerian economy.
He observed that Nigerians were largely misinformed about economic policies; hence they needed to be properly informed so as to enlist their support in promoting economic growth. He said the partnership with NOA was imperative as the Agency had the requisite structure for public enlightenment which, he said, was a necessary prelude to enforcement of economic policies.
Meanwhile, in order to increase the ICT human capital development at the grassroots level in the country, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) have agreed to collaborate on capacity building for national development.
This was disclosed during a working visit by the NOA Director General, Garba Abari to the NITDA Acting Director General, Vincent Olatunji where the two agreed that for the growth and development of the country at this present time, Nigeria should exit the era of dependence on oil and move towards embracing IT which is idea driven. Abari said NOA is in a drive for citizens’ engagement with a view to deepening understanding between the government and Nigerians, adding that the Agency offers diverse structures of citizens’ engagement rooted in the grassroots beyond the conventional media.
In his remarks, the Acting Director General NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji said the core mandate of the Agency is capacity building and about 25 organizations have been captured in the area of IT infrastructure for improved service delivery and internet penetration. Olatunji said the Agency also plays advisory roles to farmers in the country about when and how to plant for better yield and will leverage on the robust platforms of the NOA to take IT seriously for mobilization of citizens on government policies and programmes of the present administration.