There was excitement in the air as Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu paid a visit to the Government House Press Corps.
Sanwo-Olu who will be the first Governor in 15 years ( after Asiwaju Bola Tinubu) to formally visit and interact with the journalists urged them to be professional in the discharge of their duty, while calling for a “fair reportage” of his administration’s activities.
Sanwo-Olu who led senior government officials, including his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, and Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, the courtesy visit at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre was well received
The Press Centre is the operation base of all reporters, under the aegis of Lagos Governor’s Office Correspondents (LAGOCO), who are covering activities of the Lagos government.
Also part of the Governor’s entourage included the Chief of Staff, Mr. Tayo Ayinde, his deputy, Mr. Gboyega Soyannwo, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Mr. Fola Adeyemi.
The Deputy Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said Sanwo-Olu’s visit was a move by the Governor to familiarise himself with the people that are having day-to-day interface with the activities of his government
Describing the Press Centre as a “newsroom” for the State House correspondents, Akosile informed the Governor that the media materials daily sent out from the facility reached over 3,000 media platforms and outlets across the country. This, he said, makes the Press Centre as the “most vibrant” in media capability, expertise and reach.
Since his appointment by the Governor, Akosile said he had improved the capability of the Press Centre by setting up in-house digital team and Online Television, christened Lagospress TV on YouTube, which will be operated by the civil servants working in facility.
Welcoming the Governor to the Press Centre, LAGOCO President, Mr. George Okojie, who writes for Leadership newspaper, disclosed that Sanwo-Olu became the first Governor, after ex-Gov. Bola Tinubu, to visit the facility in the last 15 years.
Okojie used the occasion to intimate the Governor of the logistic challenges limiting the performance of the State House correspondents.
Sanwo-Olu thanked members of the Press Crew for their support since his administration took off, expressing satisfaction in the reportage of his activities.
He said: “On behalf of my deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, I thank you all for the support you have given us, the one you are giving us and the ones you are about to give us. It is important we familiarise ourselves with you, because your role is very important to us.
“I thank you all for your support and I also appeal for more support in the coming days. I would say that we have felt your impact in the last 61 days we have been in government. Communication is not only critical to the success of any government, any government’s effort without the media is a journey to nowhere.”
Sanwo-Olu said activities of his government would focus on improving the lives of the people, adding that people would appreciate the effort of his government better if the journalists covering his activities told the story in a manner the people would understand.
He urged members of the Press Crew to always uphold professionalism, pledging his readiness to partner with them for progress.
He said: “Governance is not about us as leaders, but about the people who elected us to lead. We want the people to be aware of the government’s efforts to make our society better. In achieving this, the media has key role to play. I, therefore, urge you to discharge your duties professionally. You are important to us and we are partners in progress. We appeal to you to give fair reportage of our activities as demanded by the ethics of your profession.”
He promised to assist members of the press crew in overcoming their challenges, while also disclosing his readiness to support the State House correspondents in the area of capacity building and professional improvement.