The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Yusha’u Ahmed, has urged the scheme’s state coordinators to engage with the media properly when the need arises to avoid misrepresentation.
Ahmed made the call on Saturday in Abuja at the opening of the Media Workshop for members of NYSC Top Management and State Coordinators.
The theme of the training is “Leveraging on Media Organisations to Deepen the Contributions of the NYSC to National Development in the Post-Golden Jubilee Era.”
According to him, a minor issue can be escalated if not properly addressed through the right channel.
He said “I consider it most appropriate to use this forum to remind the state coordinators that just as you are the accounting officers in your various secretariats, you are equally the Chief Public Relations Officers of the scheme at the secretariat level.
“Consequently, your actions or inactions in respect of issues affecting the NYSC can impact the scheme positively or negatively.
“Equally, what you may regard as a minor issue or incident may be escalated by the media without proper engagement, and can easily go viral in the social media.”
Ahmed also said there was need to ensure seamless and deepened partnership with the media as they provide veritable platform for the scheme’s side of the story to be heard.
He appreciated the good working relationship the scheme had with the media at the National Directorate Headquarters over the years.
He enjoined the state coordinators to take a cue from the headquarters by ensuring easier accessibility and closer interaction with media correspondents and Bureau Chiefs in their respective states.
“This is the surest way of nipping in the bud, bad publicity occasioned by unbalanced reportage.
“In furtherance of our advocacy efforts, I will soon embark on nationwide visitation of media houses to consolidate the gains so far made in our relationship.
“I thank the media for their support over the years, and assure that the scheme will always make regular and proactive disclosure of our operational policies”, he added.
In his address, the Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr Eddy Megwa, said that the training would open a new chapter that would boost the image of the scheme as it was in line with the director-general’s desire that the corporate image of the scheme be adequately protected.
This, he said, was through robust engagement with the media, the fourth estate of the realm, which constitute veritable partners-in-progress with the scheme since its inception.