The Department forms the nucleus of the professional arm of the Ministry.
Its nomenclature: Public Communication Department, clearly throws some light on the obvious information gap between Government and the people, particularly at the grassroots as well as adequate information reaching the international community about the policies and programmes of the government of Nigeria.
This gap required that a bridge be built between government and the people as well as the people and the government, hence the creation of the Public Communication Department with the following assigned.
1. Projecting favourably the image of the government and people of Nigeria locally and internationally through a proactive mechanism (in line with global best practices) of informing, enlightening and educating Nigerians and the International Community about Nigeria,
- General Publicity of Federal Government Programmes and Policies
- Mass engagement of the people of Nigeria on key programmes of Government such as the 7 point Agenda, achievement of Vision 20-2020 and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
- Carrying out Public Enlightenment and mobilization campaigns
- Collaborating with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) on critical government development agendas
- Coordinating the National Ministerial Press Briefing programmes of all Ministries and Extra Ministerial Departments
- Liaising with both government and private print and electronic media as vehicles to reaching out to the people
- Writing and publishing feature articles, issuing press releases
- Coordinating feedback reports on government programmes, policies and activities and ensuring that it gets back to government for further consideration necessary action
- General election monitoring
- Other ad-hoc duties as assigned
2. The assigned role of the department therefore was to serve as an information bridge through the propagation of information on the policies, aims, functions and the execution of the programmes of the Federal Government, particularly as they affect the various segments of the society, as well as provide feedbacks from the same segments to the government. The formulation of government policies and programmes were also based on the feedback reports received from the people through the department’s channels of communication, known as divisions and units. These are as follows:
- Domestic Publicity
- External Publicity
- National Press Centre (NPC)
- Field Operations (Resource and Federal Information Centres in the States)
- Population Information and Communication Bureau (PICB)
- Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB)
3. The responsibilities of these various divisions enumerates below:
Domestic Publicity Division (DPD) This division covers Ministerial coverage, scheduling of Ministerial Press Briefings, monitoring and collation of reports from Resident Information Officers (RIO)/Chief Press Secretaries posted to various Ministries, Extra Ministerial Departments and Agencies to oversee the press and public relations units of these government establishments. The Ministry (FMI) usually rounds up the briefings in grand and impactful manner.
External Publicity Division (EPD) The division is responsible for the accreditation of foreign journalists, media analysis. Holding of stakeholders seminars to promote partnership and possible areas of collaboration in training and information gathering. It is also in charge of printing of information materials for foreign audience and guidelines for foreign journalists. The division works closely with the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), National Security Adviser (NSA) and State Security Service (SSS). A memo on the re-opening of Six Nigeria Information Service Centres (NISCs) abroad has been forwarded to Mr President for consideration.
National Press Centre (NPC) The Press Centre is the complex located at a angle within the Radio House compound. It has a hall, News room, offices and an internet cafe equipped with modern communication gadgets. Its serves as a central meeting point for interaction and exchange of ideas between government, journalists and the public on various issues that boarder on government policies, programmes and activities. The hall at the Centre is used for the Annual National Ministerial Press Briefings, capacity building programmes and other meetings. It also serves as the hub for collation of press releases for upload on the web.
Field Operations The division coordinates the Six (6) Zonal Offices and Heads of Federal Information Centres (FICs) in the 36 States of the Federation and Abuja. These are extensions of the Headquarters to ensure closeness with Nigerians at the grassroots. The Resource Centres and FICs disseminate information and carry out frequent public enlightenment campaigns at the States and local government levels. The Resource Centres located in Kaduna, Minna, Yola, Calabar and Ado Ekiti that serve each of the Six geo-political zones are equipped with cyber cafes/ internet facilities and other modern communication facilities.
Population & Information Communications Bureau (PICB) This falls under the advocacy section of the department. Its role is to establish and improve communication intervention on population and related issues. It also does interventions on issues that border on women empowerment, efforts at reduction of infant and maternal mortality rate, as contained in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) CRIB facilitates improved communication intervention programmes on child survival and rights.