The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, has praised the reportage quality of its metropolitan press, especially on activities that concern the state.
He said that their reportage ranks competitively with global publications, which is also due to the stellar performance of the Public Affairs Officers of the state’s public offices.
He made this statement at the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) of the year award ceremony.
At the same award, the Public Affairs Officer, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture’, Mr. Ayodele-Ayomilelyi Afuwape, emerged the Lagos State Public Affairs Officer of the year, Senior Staff category, for the second time consecutively.
The Commissioner also said that the recognition accorded these spokesmen of the state government to be more efficient and to have improved productivity in the public service.
The Commissioner advised the winners not to be enticed by financial or material gains over professionalism and hard work.
He said, “You should not always be quick to judge everything in naira and kobo, because the best things in life are such that cannot be quantified in monetary terms. By implication, the professionalism displayed by all of you is such that cannot be adequately rewarded in cash or kind.
“I may not be sing-praising all of you for your contributions, but I must assure you that none of your efforts has gone unnoticed. I have personally been taking records of performances and I can say that you have been on top of your profession,” Omotoso declared.
Afuwape, who joined the service of the Lagos State Government over ten years ago, was also a one time Outstanding Officer of the Ministry of Information and Strategy during the 2016 Public Service Week celebration.
He is a member of the Editorial Board of Alausa Alert, the official monthly publication by the State Government and at present Financial Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ), Lagos Information Chapel.
His recent award as the Public Affairs Officer of the year, senior category was in recognition of his roles in projecting the image of the state government in the cyberspace and the conventional media through issuance of features articles, press release and social media engagement.
Also speaking at the award presentation ceremony, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Olusina Thorpe, who initiated the reward system for the officers, explained that the idea was a way of promoting a healthy professional contest among officers to always give their best in service of the state government and Lagosians as a whole.
He explained that other critical and more important criteria include the number, quality, timeliness and frequency of press releases issued by the officers nominated for the awards and their disposition to accuracy in reporting government events.
The first-prize winners in the awards were Mr. Ayodele-Ayomileleyi Afuwape, Senior Staff category – Public Affairs Officer of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, while his counterpart in the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, Mrs. Bola Ajao won in the Management Staff category.
Other awardees in the Management category are Mr. Jide Lawal, Ministry of Agriculture and Mr. Divine Dunkwu of Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency, LASCOPA, while in the Senior Category, Mr. Debo Adeniji of the Office of the Head of Service and Mrs. Bisi Junaid of the Lagos State Health Service Commission emerged as the 1st and second place runner-up respectively.
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