The United Nations (UN) has directed its agencies to operate an open door policy with the media in Nigeria for the success of the body’s operations in the country.
The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, made this known to newsmen at a round table in Abuja.
“I am the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator as well as UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria. I represent the UN Secretary General in the country. “Since my arrival to Nigeria, I have come to appreciate the vibrancy and diversity of the local media.
“In my meetings with partners, I have emphasised that I will be leading a very transparent and accountable UN System that proactively shares information with its partners and the public we owe it to them,” he said.
Kallon, who said media was key to the success of UN operations in Nigeria, stated that he would not be able to achieve his purpose without a strong partnership with the media.
“I have asked all agencies to keep their doors open and respond to your queries as quickly as possible.
“I will also ensure continuous engagement with you on a regular basis so that together, we can share information and ideas as we work towards the good of this great country. “I count on your support,” he said.
The official, who arrived Nigeria in January, said he had engaged with stakeholders including the Senate President, ministers, governors, senior government officials, representatives of development partners and international NGOs.
Kallon said he had also visited a number of states including Kaduna, Kano, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa during which he came to appreciate the challenges facing Nigeria.
He said that as a strong believer in “being on the ground to know what is on the ground’’, he would continue engaging with various stakeholders in the country.
Kallon said he would continue in his pursuit for stronger partnerships aimed at designing evidence-based solutions to the challenges the people continue to face.
“The challenges Nigeria faces are numerous – from security to governance and the economy.
“During my visit to the three most affected States in North East, I have seen widespread suffering among the survivors of the insurgency.
“I saw children with no food, widows with no source of livelihood, idling youths and hopeless communities,” he lamented.
According to him, the challenges being faced are enormous, but solvable.
“As a UN family, we are providing support to the Federal and State Governments to help in responding to these challenges,” he said.