Nigerian publishers call on FG to introduce short-term measures for recovery


He Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) says it has aligned itself with the measures taken so far by the federal government to revive the economy.

However, he warned that the path to full economic recovery should not be littered with “corpses” of those who cannot survive the stifling heat of the current situation.

According to a statement signed by NGE Chairman Eze Anaba and Secretary-General Iyobosa Uwugiaren on Monday, the editors made the decisions during the guild’s four-day annual conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, which ended on Sunday. .

The professional body of Nigerian editors therefore urged the federal government to reduce the deafening anxiety among Nigerians by enacting short-term measures that would address rising prices of goods and services, currency depreciation, volatility of exchange rates and illiquidity in the foreign exchange market. market, high interest rates, high trading costs, declining purchasing power, rising production costs, rising energy costs, falling industrial capacity utilization, and erosion of profit margins.

The conference, attended by editors, media executives and senior editors of print, electronic and online media from across the country, urged government at all levels to practically initiate actions that will cushion the immediate effects of the sacrifices of Nigerians towards economic recovery.

Media Sustainability

The editors also said that in view of the crucial role of media in deepening democracy and economic growth, the federal government has a huge and unique role to play in the sustainability of media in the country.

Regarding media sustainability and the existential threat of Big Tech, the conference advised the federal government to follow current trends around the world by supporting the adopted global bargaining code, through legislation that will force platforms technology companies, such as Google, Facebook and others, to negotiate. payment to local media for the use of their content.

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According to the conference, ”the bargaining code allows publishers to bargain collectively without violating antitrust laws; requires tech platforms to negotiate with publishers over the use of news snippets; it also requires them to pay licensing fees to publishers; It taxes digital advertising and uses the revenue to subsidize media outlets.

”Since then, the EU, US, Canada, India, Brazil, Australia and others have adopted their own media bargaining code through various laws to force Big Tech to pay for news they do not produce, but they use and sell; “It is gaining momentum and has been gaining global support since Australia took the bull by the horns.”

Modify the NBC Law

The conference, which also discussed the state of the broadcasting sector in Nigeria, urged the federal government to strengthen the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the broadcasting regulatory body, in the overall interest of the sector.

”The National Broadcasting Commission, as constituted by law in Nigeria, is not an independent body like its counterparts in the United States and the United Kingdom. The National Assembly should amend the NBC Act to make it an autonomous body that will report only to the National Assembly and not to the Minister of Information.

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”This independence of operation, free from arbitrary government intervention, will create a better sense of professionalism in the industry. “Instead of always coming out of the dark to show their fangs to the media, NBC and the electronic media should hold regular roundtables on topics of mutual interest,” the statement added.

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The conference said that both NBC and electronic media organizations currently have a cat-and-dog relationship, with NBC only setting traps for the media before pounceing on them, rather than creating and maintaining a harmonious relationship through the exchange of ideas, for example. the good of the industry.

freedom of the press

Regarding press freedom, the conference observed that each right has responsibilities; and that journalists must carefully navigate laws that attack the industry with circumspection, adhering to the professional Code of Ethics of journalism.

According to the conference, “in holding the government accountable (in accordance with Article 22 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), journalists must not avoid telling the truth), since criticism is not synonymous with sedition and public officials” “We must assimilate certain democratic norms, which include openness to criticism.”

While urging the government to do more in the security sector to ensure safety of lives and property, the conference also challenged the media to lead the campaign against any situation that seeks to undermine the security of the country and advised the media that maintained the Campaign to reduce insecurity in the country.

With the theme “Stimulating Economic Growth, Technological Advancement: Role of Media”, the conference was declared open by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, represented by the Minister of Information and National Guidance, Mohammed Idris.

Present at the conference were the National Security Advisor (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno; conference chair and publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Sam Amuka; former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, and former Editor-in-Chief of Newswatch Magazine, Ray Ekpu

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Experts presented several documents covering all aspects of the programme, including goodwill messages.

Among the specialists who made presentations were the former Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf; the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy of Nigeria, Wale Edun; Executive Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Leadership Newspaper, Azubuike Ishiekwene; Chima Amadi, Richard Akinnola and Mr. Ribadu.

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