A member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa federal constituency of Oyo State, Hon. Shina Peller, has made a case for the repositioning of the National Orientation Agency for better performance.
In a motion on Tuesday 16th March 2021 on the floor of the House, entitled ‘Need to re-invigorate the National Orientation Agency (NOA) for Impactful Discharge of its Mandate’, Peller noted that the NOA, which was established in 1993 to re-orientate Nigerians on their general attitude and encourage them to take part actively and freely in discussions and decisions affecting their collective welfare, is currently incapacitated in discharging its constitutional responsibility of disseminating information and re-orientating Nigerians, particularly during critical periods.
He also noted that statutory allocations to the agency in the past years have been inadequate for optimal performance of its mandate, and it is currently bedeviled with poorly motivated staff, inadequate vehicles and other public enlightenment equipment.
These, he argued, have prevented the agency from optimally performing its role as a social re-engineering organization as stipulated in Section 4 of the Act that set it up, which empowers it to function as an instrument for attitudinal transformation, public enlightenment, mass mobilization and national integration.
He said: “Aware that since 1999, Nigeria has been bedevilled with several problems, ranging from communal clashes, religious and ethnic bigotry, religious and ethnic killings, terrorism, religious extremism, large scale corruption and very recently Nigerians became victims of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
“All these vices have affected our image outside the country, which to a large extent has led to ill-treatment of Nigerians abroad. That even the recent reprisal domestic attacks following the xenophobic attacks in South Africa would have been avoided if the National Orientation Agency was properly positioned to orientate Nigerians properly.
“Further aware that more than ever before the unity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria needs to be strengthened and all efforts by the Federal Government to tackle these problems must be effectively disseminated to the people at the grassroots, hence the need for more efficient performance of the National Orientation Agency.”
He therefore called on the agency to wake up to its legal responsibilities and be more efficient in value reorientation and public education of Nigerians, and further work with the Federal Government on combating social vices such as terrorism, xenophobic attacks, anti-corruption war and others.
He also spoke of the need for the director-general of the agency to appear before the House Committee on Information and National Orientation, Ethics and Value and table its activities, strengths and weaknesses within the next two weeks.
More importantly, Peller called on the Committee on Information and National Orientation, Ethics and Values to ensure the increase in the budgetary allocation of the agency in the 2022 Appropriation Budget Estimates for optimal performance.