(By Ofori Silas) – The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Rivers State Council, has described the appointment of its former chairman, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, as Commissioner for Information and Communications, as well deserved.

The NUJ, in a statement signed by its chairman and secretary, Comrades Stanley Job Stanley and Ike Wigodo respectively, congratulated Pastor Nsirim and other newly appointed commissioners on their appointments by the state governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.

The statement enjoined the newly inaugurated members of the Rivers State Executive Council to see their appointments as an opportunity to serve and contribute towards the development of the state, which has been accelerated in the last few years.

The statement further explained that the elevation of Pastor Nsirim was timely to rejig the information and communication architecture of the state, while also recalling that the new commissioner, distinguished himself in his previous assignments as former secretary and chairman of NUJ, former Chief Press Secretary to military administrator in the state, and state chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.

The union also noted the tremendous efforts of Pastor Nsirim towards changing the ugly narratives about Rivers State, through the pet project: #ourstateourresponsibility# while serving as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communications, and expressed confidence in his ability to justify the confidence reposed in him by Governor Wike and media practitioners in the state.

“The Union has always insisted on the appointment of journalists as Commissioner for Information and Communication, hence Nsirim’s appointment is a round peg in a round hole.

“We have no doubt that Pastor Nsirim will be a priceless asset to Governor Wike’s administration and will bring his wealth of experience to bear on information management of the state”, the statement said.

The NUJ, however, urged the new Commissioner for Information and Communications to rejig the four government owned media houses in the State, namely the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, publisher of The Tide; the Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation, the Rivers State Television and the Garden City Radio FM, to enable them compete favourably with other media houses in the country.

The union commended the state governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike, for making the right choice in Pastor Nsirim, and expressed its readiness to cooperate with the state government to achieve the NEW Rivers vision.

Meanwhile, the new Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, on Thursday reported to work, and at a meeting with Directors of the ministry on Thursday, and all staff on Friday, pledged to provide leadership, while calling for the support of all to achieve set goals.