By Rotimi Ijikanmi
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has admonished the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, to see themselves as partners in the process of nation building.
The minister said this on Thursday at the foundation laying ceremony of Editor’s Plaza at Guzape District, Abuja.
Mohammed said that the nation was at a trying time and the government needed the support of every sector and body including the Guild in solving its challenges.
He, however, stressed that the government was not averse to criticism of its actions and policies by the media but such criticism should be done objectively.
The minister cautioned against publications that could promote disunity, hatred, crisis and war.
“We need your support and your understanding because these are trying times for us.
“It is because there is Nigeria that we have a Guild and that we are seated here peacefully to perform this ceremony,’’ he said.
Mohammed said that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration was on course and delivering on its electoral promises.
He noted that in criticising the government, the media must do so in the context of what it inherited when the administration came on board in 2015.
On security, the minister said that from 2013 to 2015, the Boko Haram terrorist group held the nation to ransom to the extent that they freely attacked the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and were in control of not less than 17 Local Government Areas in the North-East.
He said the terrorist group had been largely defeated by the present administration.
Mohammed said that in 2015, the country was importing 644,000 metric tons of rice annually.
He said with the new policy of the Buhari administration on local production of the staple, rice importation had been reduced to 14,000 metric tons.
The minister said that the nation’s foreign reserve had gone up from 24 billion dollars they met in 2015 to 42 billion dollars.
He said inflation had been brought down and with the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), they have saved about N129 billion from ghost workers.