There Is No Room for complacency Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed Tells Directors and Heads of Units of the Ministry
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this meeting, which will be the first in a series of interactions which I plan to have with the staff of the Ministry of information and Culture, as well as those of the Parastatals under the Ministry. It is intended that the meetings will be interactive, so that while you will hear from me, I will hear from you too.
2 Let me say straightaway that this Ministry is the most strategic in the country today, and I say that with all sense of seriousness. It is even more strategic now than ever, in an era of change. The responsibility to adequately communicate the Buhari Administration’s Change Agenda to Nigerians, in order for them to own and live it, rests squarely on us. It does not matter what the Federal Government does, if it is not reported, it is as good as not done. We are the fulcrum of all ministries, hence we cannot afford to fail. That’s the challenge we face as the Ministry of Information and Culture.
3 For us to successfully surmount this challenge, it is important that we start by looking inwards. It is said that what you don’t have, you can’t give. If we must inform Nigerians about the Buhari Administration’s Change Agenda, we must first believe in the change. if we must propagate the Change Agenda successfully, we must ourselves become the champions of change. Simply put, the change begins here, in this ministry, with you and I! As Mahatma Ghandi said, ”be the change you want to see in the world.”
4 There is no room for complacency. You must shake off your inertia. You must provide leadership. You must inspire. The fact that you are in Information and Culture, or any other ministry, should not be an inhibition. Remember, it is not the size of the dog that matters, it is the size of the fight in the dog!
5 You must dream big. In the words of Nelson Mandela, ”there is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” There is no room for excuses. The perennial resort to blaming lack of funds for inaction is no longer tenable. Money chases good ideas.
6 Make no mistake about it, the days ahead will be tough and full of challenges. But if we remain focused, we will succeed. We have a role model in President Muhammadu Buhari, the driver of change. Since assuming office, he has shown and demonstrated that Nigeria can join the big league. He has leveraged his legendary personal discipline, transparency, integrity, belief in the rule of law and unparalleled patriotism to put Nigeria on the global map, to show his compatriots that Nigeria can be great again and to show that what seemed impossible yesterday is now possible, either in the war on terrorism, the fight against corruption, the determination to uplift the economy, to provide jobs for our teeming youths and to ensure life more abundant for all Nigerians.
7 Ladies and gentlemen, in the days ahead, we will be saddling you with heavier and newer responsibilities as part of the efforts to effectively play our role as the Champions of Change. Brace up, because it is going to be one heck of a ride. We hope you will be part of the train of change, because many people will like to be where you are at this historic moment.
8 We have done it before and we can do it again. In the run up to the last elections, there were times that we did not have money to even run our adverts, whether on the radio, television or newspapers. We soldiered on all the same. We were threatened and abducted by those who wielded the instrument of coercion, but we remained undaunted. Not even the massive war chest of the ruling party/government could shake our resolve or deter us, until we rode to office on the wings of change. Such is the determination that propelled us then, and such is the determination that must propel us now! I thank you for listening.
9 I will now take your questions or comments.