The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has commended the Nigerian media for their support in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also appealed for more media support for the Federal Government’s efforts to tackle the pandemic, saying the government needs the media now more than ever.
The Minister made the call on Tuesday at a virtual meeting with the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN).
”The government is very grateful to the media. You have done a lot to bring our message (on the pandemic) to Nigerians,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said that in the absence of any known drug or vaccine against the virus, the only option is Non Pharmaceutical Intervention (NPI) which includes social distancing, wearing of face mask, avoiding mass gathering and ensuring personal hygiene.
He stated that the NPI is hinged on getting the necessary information to members of the public, which could only be achieved with the support of the media.
“You see, the truth of the matter is that as long as there is no vaccine or drug for Covid-19, the only way we can all survive is through the Non Pharmaceutical Intervention, which is actually anchored on advocacy and public sensitization and there is no way you can do this without the media in whatever form, whether it is the print, electronic or the New Media.
“Yes we are going to spend more on research and ventilators but we will spend less money on ventilators, less on isolation centres if we invest just a fraction of what we are spending on ventilators in the media,” the Minister said.
He said even though the Federal Government is facing huge economic challenges due to dwindling revenue, the requests by the association to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on its members would be considered.