LAGOS, Nigeria – The Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), has urged the Federal Government to speedily bring on board economic reform programmes which will provide the much-needed succour to long suffering Nigerians within the shortest time possible.
This was contained in a communique signed by the NPAN President, Kabiru Yusuf, and issued at the end of the 2023 Annual General Meeting held in Lagos.
According to the communique, NPAN made the call after a careful review of the state of the nation, the economy and the print media industry.
NPAN also expressed concerns that a nation of Nigeria’s size and youthful population lacks a robust paper culture for the education and mobilization of its citizens.
Malam Kabiru said that analysis has revealed “the alarming condition of the newspaper business in Nigeria, highlighting the concerning fact that no newsprint is produced locally.
“This underscores the urgent need for the Federal Government to review its policies on the paper industry, aiming to promote both education and the development of the newspaper sector.”
The NPAN added that poor state of the newspaper industry indexes a poor democratic state as studies have shown a correlation between strong democracies and strong print media.
“The 10 best performing economies globally, combine strong political culture with a vibrant print media.” He said
Also, The Association welcomed the birth of the Media Ombudsman, a collaboration of the NPAN, Nigeria Guild of Editors(NGE), the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), Media NGOs and Daria Media, with support from the MacArthur Foundation, to work on ethics and self regulation by the media.
It expressed delight that the Ombudsman had started work and is already receiving complaints from the public.
However, NPAN expressed optimism that the success of the Ombudsman will widen the scope of self regulation and ward off the predatory advocates of a government controlled press with the concomitant encroachment on free speech.
Furthermore, NPAN announced its intention to launch a Media Trust Fund, which aims to provide support to important aspects of the media, including the Ombudsman.
This initiative is intended to strengthen and enhance the media landscape in Nigeria.
The highpoint on the AGM was the election of new officers that will run the affairs of NPAN.
NPAN at its 2023 Annual General Meeting held on November 8, 2023, at the Association’s Secretariat in Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos, unanimously re-elected Mal. Kabiru Yusuf, the Chairman of Media Trust, Publishers of Daily Trust and Trust Television as President.
Others elected are: Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, Publisher, The Guardian newspaper as Deputy President; Mr. Frank Aigbogun, Publisher of BusinessDay as Vice President; Mrs. Angela Emuwa, Chairman The PUNCH as General Secretary: Mr. Azubuike Ishiekwene, Editor-in-Chief, Leadership newspaper as Assistant General Secretary; Dr. Nwadiuto Iheakanwa, GMD/CEO CHAMPION newspaper as Publicity Secretary and Mr Fidelis Anosike, Chairman, Daily Times of Nigeria as Treasurer. Mr. Ray Ekpu, a Trustee of NPAN, Prince Dennis Sami, Publisher Nigerian Pilot newspaper and Ayo Aminu, Managing Director of Telegraph newspaper, were elected as ex-Officio members.
The AGM presided over by the President, Mal. Kabiru Yusuf was attended by two Life Patrons of the Association, Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Prince Nduka Obaigbena, and Mr Ray Ekpu, a Trustees of the Association.
Mal. Kabiru acknowledged in his acceptance speech that the inclusion of new officers into the executive council would enhance its effectiveness in accomplishing its goals.