REBRANDING CROSS RIVER DIGITALLY

Imani Odey
Snr. Special Assistant to the Governor
on Electronic Media

Media is one of the powerful agents of democratic accountability and good governance. The role of media in sustainable development can simply be seen as connections between a free press and good governance, including the association between access to balanced, independent programming and political participation. It is towards realizing this dream that Cross River State Governor, Sen. (Prof) Ben Ayade is devoting increasing attention to re-branding the State by improving service delivery, State responsiveness and State-Citizen relations-support, for more decision-making and especially, for the grassroots people to assert their voice.
Ayade quest to rebrand the State is evident, with the opportunities of a quintessential media practitioner, Imani Odey, the State’s Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, on Electronic Media. In fast-changing media and communication environment, Ayade is leading Cross Riverians to be more connected than ever, to global trends digitally. Young educated and info-empowered Odey has the potential to lead Cross River State to be democratically,
socially and economically transformative.
MOFINEWS has a chat with the young Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, on Electronic Media.
Excerpts:
MOFINEWS: As Senior Special Assistant on electronic media to the Governor, what is your office all
about?
Imani Odey: My name is Imani Odey and I am the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Ben Ayade on Electronic Media. Prior to the appointment, I was the Cross River State correspondent for Channels Television. The office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on electronic Media is more or less the audio -visual component of the Governor Ben Ayade’s administration. I coordinate the Governor’s coverage on all electronic media outfits both for radio and tv. The Office is also responsible for the dissemination and promotion of contents to the outside world.
MOFINEWS: Why is your office necessary at this age of social media?
Imani Odey:
It’s a digital era and everyone is going digital in their craft as well as businesses.
Today, you find very few advertisements on billboards and even Television. Most people are glued to their phones all day, so aside pushing out rich and verified contents to TV stations both within and outside the state, we choose to meet the social media enthusiast through the grafting of short video messages which are shared on all platforms both Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as YouTube. We all know that not all messages on social media is correct or proven with all 100% accuracy so we took the challenge to instill trust back in the minds of people showing the numerous projects and activities of the Senator Ben Ayade led Government.
MOFINEWS: What is the State of electronic media in Cross River State before and now, can it be made more competitive?
Imani Odey:
Well, the world is evolving every day we learn and improve on our laurels, so it’s not just a Cross River State thing, it’s a global phenomenon and by the quality of people and professional I have met and worked with in the state, am sure that there’s huge progress though everyone should be ready to create room for improvement. Electronic media in Cross River is on a rapid rise and with the advent of many new radio stations in the state and reports of some private tv stations planning on coming in soon it can only get better. The state’s station, CRBC and Radio is gradually being rebranded and is already dishing out quality programming to the populace.
MOFINEWS: Digitalization is crucial, what effort has Cross River State Government done to digitalize it’s broadcast stations E.g. CRBC TV/Radio to meet increasing competition?
Imani Odey: My office in particular provides the state television station with content daily, and there are many good content on our TV these days that have brought attention to CRBC and am sure it’s gradually meeting the demands of the people.

“…I don’t want to sound like I am blowing my own trumpet but I can boldly say that, I have added a lot of value since I came on board. And those who follow our activities on the electronic media platforms can attest to that.”

I may have very limited access to the station because even though we all serve under the ministry of Information to some extent, there is a General Manager for the station, there is a special Adviser who reports directly to the Governor and am happy that the powers are being decentralized to allow for expertise advise whose capabilities His Excellency Senator Ben Ayade considered before appointing them to the various offices.
MOFINEWS: Any effort to receive CRBC in Cross River North?
Imani Odey: Surely, one thing I like about this Government is that it is very open to advise and suggestions. If the
right suggestions are made to the management of the Station, am sure it will become a reality sooner than later.


In the course of duty

MOFINEWS: What have been your achievements since your appointment?
Imani Odey: I am a moving train trying to gain speed each and everyday. I don’t want to sound like I am blowing my own trumpet but I can boldly say that, I have added a lot of value since I came on board. And those who follow
our activities on the electronic media platforms can attest to that. Today, we have shown that the contents which should be sent to the public domain should be well packaged with realistic points.
The short videos produced by me are now the highlight people look out for after each event in the government house and my colleagues in the New Media have been so happy about those videos. We have also been able to create synergy with all the electronic media houses in calabar and we now work as a team of course with support from the
Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita. I have received several calls from people who watch the videos. We have
also tried to project some young young people especially in line with the vision of His Excellency on some National
platforms. My office also runs a program every week day on CRBC “FOCUS CROSS RIVER” by 10-11am showcasing
achievements of the state government. We’re also working on updating the program with more contents….so, Cross riverians should expect a lot more from my office in the coming weeks.
MOFINEWS: Any challenges?
Imani Odey: Every job has it’s unique challenges and mine is no different but based on my experiences working for
major broadcast outfits in the country, those challenges are surmountable while also determined to improve on our services day after day. May I also use this opportunity to appreciate His Excellency the Governor for finding me worthy to serve his administration in this capacity. Indeed it is a great opportunity and an upliftment in my career as a journalist to serve as SSA Electronic Media and I hope in the remaining three years of this administration we can achieve even more in the department.