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NPAN Asks FG To Review Policies On Paper Industry

 

The Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) has called on the federal government to review its policies in the paper industry, which it said are hobbling access to newsprint locally.

In a communiqué issued after its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos, NPAN lamented the waning newspaper culture in the country, describing the situation as ‘concerning’.

Following a review of the state of the nation, the economy and the print media industry, the newspaper proprietors argued that the not-so-enviable state of the paper industry in Nigeria, indexes a poor democratic state since there’s a correlation between both.

The communiqué was signed by the newly re-elected President of NPAN, Mallam Kabiru Yusuf and General Secretary, Mrs Angela Emuwa.

“It is concerning that a nation of Nigeria’s size and youthful  population lacks a robust paper culture for the education and mobilisation of its citizens,” NPAN lamented.

An analysis carried out by the organisation, it said, 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 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,” the association stressed.

Now that elections are over and the government has been constituted, the NPAN urged the federal government to move speedily with its economic reform programme and provide the much needed succour to longsuffering Nigerians within the shortest time possible.

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Besides, NPAN 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 Non-Governmental Organisations (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 was already receiving complaints from the public.

“The NPAN is very optimistic 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,” it added.

The NPAN also announced its intention  to launch a Media Trust Fund, which   aims to provide support to important aspects of the media, including the  Ombudsman.

The initiative, it said, is intended to strengthen and enhance the media landscape in Nigeria.

The communiqué also highlighted the recent unanimous re-election of Yusuf, the Chairman of MediaTrust, Publishers of Daily Trust and Trust Television  as President.

Others elected were: Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, Publisher, The Guardian newspaper as Deputy President; Mr. Frank Aigbogun, Publisher of BusinessDay as Vice President and Emuwa, Chairman of The PUNCH as General Secretary.

In addition, Mr. Azubuike Ishiekwene, Editor-in-Chief, Leadership newspaper was picked as Assistant General Secretary; Dr. Nwadiuto Iheakanwa, Chief Executive, CHAMPION newspaper was elected as Publicity Secretary while  Mr Fidelis Anosike, Chairman, Daily Times of Nigeria was chosen as the treasurer.

Also, Mr. Ray Ekpu, a Trustee of NPAN, Prince Dennis Sami, Publisher PILOT newspaper and Ayo Aminu, Managing Director of Telegraph newspaper were elected as  ex-officio members.

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The AGM presided over by the NPAN President, Yusuf was attended by two Life Patrons of the Association- Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Prince Nduka Obaigbena as well as Ekpu.

Yusuf acknowledged in his acceptance speech that the inclusion of new officers into the executive council would enhance its effectiveness in accomplishing its goals.

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