It was excitement for members of the Lagos State Governor’s Office Correspondents, (LAGOCO) as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu made a surprise visit to them at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.
The visit by him, his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola among others was said to be the first by any governor in the state in the past 15 years.
The press centre is the operation base of LAGOCO. The governor’s entourage also included the Chief of Staff, Mr. Tayo Ayinde, his deputy, Mr. Gboyega Soyannwo, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Mr. Fola Adeyemi.
The governor urged the correspondents to be professional in the discharge of their duty. He also canvassed a “fair reportage” of his administration’s activities.
Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, said Sanwo-Olu’s visit was a move to familiarise himself with the people having day-to-day interface with the activities of his government. While 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 centre the “most vibrant” in media capability, expertise and reach. Since his appointment, Akosile said he had improved the capability of the centre by setting up in-house digital team and Online Television, christened Lagospress TV on YouTube..
LAGOCO president, Mr George Okojie, disclosed that Sanwo-Olu became the first governor, after Bola Tinubu, to visit the facility in the last 15 years. He intimated Sanwo-Olu of the logistics challenges limiting the performance of the correspondents.
The governor thanked members of the press crew for their support since his administration took off, expressing satisfaction in the reportage of his activities: “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:
“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 correspondents in the area of capacity building and professional improvement.