Last Updated on November 19, 2021 by Opeyemi Quadri
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) was established on August 23, 1993, by the military regime of Gen Ibrahim Babangida, three days before he stepped down as Nigeria’s military president.
Before NOA came into effect through Decree 100 of 1993, there were some organs within the Federal Ministry of Information to diffuse the information from the federal level down to the people at the local government areas.
The history of NOA would be incomplete without a mention of Mass Mobilisation for Self-Reliance and Economic Recovery (MAMSER), which was formally inaugurated by the military junta of Gen. Babangida on July 25, 1987.
Although the military regime of Babangida came on board with a deceptive “democratic-intention” and for economic recovery.
So, he founded MAMSER saddled with the responsibility of embarking on the political orientation of Nigerians about programme of the military regimes and to get ideas from Nigerians about the regime’s economic policy
So, three days before IBB left office, some organs of government were merged to form NOA, they are:
- The Public Enlightenment (PE)
- War Against Indiscipline (WAI)
- National Orientation Movement (NOM)
- Mass Mobilisation for Self-Reliance and Economic Recovery (MAMSER)
The merger was aimed at harmonising and “consolidating efforts and resources of the government in the fields of public enlightenment, social mobilisation and value re-orientation,” says Agbo Agbo in a publication on The Nation.
The roles of the merged organs were condensed under the new NOA as a parastatal in the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
15 Functions of NOA
Its establishment is hinged on the need to raise the consciousness of Nigerians about key decisions of the government. Below are the roles of the National Orientation Agency to national development:
1) To relate with Nigerians using the local dialects they understand about government policies
2) To mobilize favourable public opinion for government programmes and policies
3) To raise the consciousness of Nigerians about the unity of the country.
4) To encourage informal education through public enlightenment activities and publications
5) To serve as a link between the government and Nigerians in towns and villages through its feedback channels
6) To foster respect for the constituted authority
7) To critically analyse the policies of the government to the Nigerian people for a better understanding
8) To critically analyse the policies of the government to the Nigerian people for a better understanding
9) To develop social and cultural values and awareness among Nigerians
10) To inculcate the spirit of patriotism, nationalism, self-discipline, and self-reliance
11)To encourage Nigerians to actively and freely participate in discussions and decisions on matters affecting the federation
12) To awaken the consciousness of Nigerians to their responsibilities to the promotion of national unity
13) To instill in the citizens a sense of loyalty to their fatherland.
14) To educate Nigerians about beauty unity in diversity
15) To promote leadership value among Nigerians
And above all, the National Orientation Orientation has a critical role to play during generation elections. One of such is to raise the consciousness of Nigerians (electorates) during electioneering campaigns and about the need for them to uphold free and fair elections.
Director-General of NOA from 1987 Till Date
|Name||Years in Office||Remark|
|Professor Jerry Gana||September 1987 to April 1992||He was the pioneer director of MAMSER. He later became Minister of Co-operation and Integration in Africa
In June 1999 and later the Minister of Information from May 29, 2001, to July 2003 during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
|Alh. Mohammed Gambo Jimeta||April 1992 to Jan. 1993|
|Prof. Tunde Adeniran||Jan 1993 to Aug. 1993||He was later appointed as the Minister of Education by OBJ between June 1999 to January 2001|
|Professor Elochukwu C. Amucheazi||Aug 1993 to Nov. 1999|
|Prof. Aloy Ejiogu||June 2000 to July 2001|
|Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwuka||July 2001 to March 2002|
|Dr. Tonnie Iredia||April 2002 to June 2003||He later became DG of NTA in 2003. He’s now a professor of communication|
|Alh. Idi M. Faruk||June 2003 to Jan. 17 2012|
|Dr. Mike Omeri||Jan. 2012 to Feb. 15 2016|
|Ngozi Ekeoba Mni (Acting DG)||Feb. 15 2016 to May 26, 2016||Acting capacity|
|Dr. Garba Abari||May 26, 2016 till date||He was reappointed which took effect from May 25, 2021|
Assessment of NOA
During COVID-19, many Nigerians, just like me, wondered if NOA was still in existence. The last time NOA was active was the days of Mike Omeri. He engaged Nigerians through what experts would call developmental communication.
Most of the state offices of NOA are ineffective. The agency needs an overhaul, the minister of information who manages government image needs to properly use the power NOA used to have 10 years ago to engage Nigerians.
The minister of information shouldn’t be the only one engaging Nigerians about the government’s policy.
As we can see above, the objectives of NOA are clear and nationalistic. The change campaign should begin with the agency. NOA isn’t just an Abuja agency,
- Does the NOA still exist?. The Nation. April 2, 2020. Retrieved November 19, 2021
- Featured Image: By NOA