Utomi tasks media on collapse of culture
A RENOWNED economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, has said the pervasive impact of culture and institutions on progress are ultimately affected by how leaders set the tone of culture.
Utomi made this assertion at the 30th anniversary lecture of the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) held during the week, at the Women Development Centre, Awka, Anambra State.
In the lecture titled Media, Politics And National Development, which was attended by members of the State Executive Council, members of the State House of Assembly, traditional rulers and former members of staff of ABS, including Chief Pete Edochie, Ngozi Ibegbu, Chuzi Iboko and others, Prof. Utomi said that leadership failure, compounded by the problem of citizenship, could be easily seen as the reason the promise of Nigeria has dropped to the level of paradise deferred.
“Values shape human progress, but we have witnessed a collapse of culture in Nigeria. The dominant ethos is of an entitlement mentality and instant gratification. If you look in Nigeria, you generally find both knowledge and a sense of service severely in short supply in the class of typical power welders in Nigeria. This is actually compounded by a progressively anti-intellectual disposition of the political actors,” he said.
According to him, the training of journalists, the ethics of practice and quality of the people that enter the profession, as well as their sense of self-worth and mission, indicate low levels of professionalism among media practitioners.
He said: “Equally challenging is the economics of media. Many newspapers and Television stations run on models that do not allow for enough income for the right levels of investment to get the job done well. Late salaries, and limitation in resourcing tools of the trade, invariably result in poor performance. This is part of the reason, besides tradition, from colonial times that we have governments owning media to ostensibly disseminate development information,” he said.
In his address, Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, who described the media as an important institution in our social, economic, cultural and political life, said that the flag off for the construction of a modern studio and office complex for ABS is a matter of days, adding that the digital FM transmitters are now on ground.
“We had envisaged that ABS will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in a brand new modern broadcast complex, with new digital equipment, hence we had gone ahead to award a multi-million naira contract to COMFAX Nigeria Ltd in September 2014, following a rigorous bidding process. Unfortunately, broadcast equipment are not bought off the shelf and are usually built to order hence the delay. We are also committed to training members of staff of ABS locally and abroad so that the contents they present to their audience will compare to what we see on CNN and other top Nigerian channels.”
Also, in his address, Managing Director (MD)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ABS, Uche Nworah, commended the management and members of staff of the organisation for their hard work despite enormous challenges.
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