In line with the reward system in place in the Lagos State Public Service, the Ministry of Information and Strategy on Thursday recognised some of its Public Affairs Officers for discharging their duties meritoriously as the image makers of the government in their respective places of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.
In a short ceremony presided over by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy , Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, at the Conference Room of the Ministry, the Commissioner encouraged the outstanding officers to be inspired by the recognition and aim for greater accomplishments in their duty posts.
The award which was in Senior and Management categories was won by the Public Affairs Officer attached to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Ayodele-Ayomileleyi Afuwape and his counterpart in Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, Mrs. Bola Ajao respectively.
Omotoso acknowledged the contributions of all the image makers of the State towards the realization of a Greater Lagos, saying that he is very proud of the projection that the over 400 Public Affairs Officers across different Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs of the State Government have been giving the activities, programmes and projects of the present administration.
The Commissioner who is the Chief Spokesperson for the State Government advised the officers not to equate their efforts for financial or material gains, stressing that the gift items presented to them was just a way of appreciating their contributions.
In his words “You should not always be quick to judge everything in naira and kobo because the best things in life are such that cannot be quantified in monetary terms. By implication, the professionalism displayed by all of you is such that cannot be adequately rewarded in cash or kind.
“I may not be sing-praising all of you for your contributions but I must assure you that none of your efforts has gone unnoticed, I have personally been taking records of performances and I can say that you have been on top of your profession.”
Also speaking at the award presentation ceremony, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Olusina Thorpe, who initiated the reward system for the officers, explained that the idea was a way of promoting healthy professional contest among the officers to always give their best to the service of the State Government and Lagosians as a whole.
He said that efforts are already being intensified by other officers who are also desirous of emerging as winners in subsequent editions of the Public Affairs Officer of the year award.
He challenged the officers not to relent but be triggered for higher performances in order to justify the recognition given to them by the Ministry, assuring that plans are already being perfected to improve on the subsequent editions of the award.
Giving a background to the criteria used in arriving at the best officers, the Director of Public Affairs in the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Olumide Shogunle explained that the popularity of the officers were subjected to votes among their colleagues to actually arrive at winners for each of the categories.
Other criteria used according to him, was the numbers, quality, timeliness and frequency of Press Releases issued by the officers nominated for the awards and their professional comportment.
He listed other awardees in the Management category to include Mr. Jide Lawal of Ministry of Agriculture and Mr. Divine Dunkwu of Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency, LASCOPA while in the Senior Category, Debo Adeniji of the Office of the Head of Service and Bisi Junaid of Health Service Commission emerged as the 1st and second place runner-up respectively.