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Officers urge INEC to set up social media unit

20 January 2013, 16:05

Abuja - Public Affairs Officers (PAO) in INEC have called for the establishment of social media unit and media Think Tank to boost contemporary information management in electoral process.

The officers made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of a three-day workshop on "Managing the Media for Successful Electoral Process’’, jointly organised by the commission and NAN Bizcom in Makurdi.

The communiqué released to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, also called for the holding of media roundtables at the national and state levels to discuss various aspects of the election process in an election year.
It called on INEC to intensify the training of officers on Information Technology to equip them with the tools to cope with large-scale communication.

"In order to inform the public adequately and effectively, the Public Affairs Department must sustain its current tempo of timely dispatch of press releases and information to the states.

"The PAOs must prepare press kits and handbooks on electoral matters and collaborate with media -related organisations.

"They must be proactive, not only in news syndication but also in media monitoring.’’

The communiqué underscored the need for public affairs officers to be professional "despite the charged environment’’ and be able to give constant feedback to the commission.

It also stressed the need to intensify voter education ahead of elections.

Mr Emmanuel Umenger, the Director of Public Affairs of the Commission, said at the end of the workshop that the ongoing re-organisation in the commission was meant to make INEC more functional.

He said that there was a huge task ahead of the officers because of the transfer of voter education unit to the Public Affair Department. 

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