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IBAN appeals to FG for emergency economic relief

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• IMS unveils stakeholders’ conversation on media, COVID-19
The Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria (IBAN) has appealed to the Federal and state governments to provide urgent economic relief to them, saying they are about to go out of business due to ravaging effects of COVID-19.

Secretary of IBAN, Guy Murray-Bruce who commended government at all levels, the private sector, medical personnel and other stakeholders for their efforts in fighting the pandemic, lamented that the ongoing lockdown has posed tough challenges for independent private broadcasters.

He said the industry was currently challenged by partial cessation of production of programmes, cancellation of live sporting events and scheduled advertisements, reduction in advertisement bookings and delay in payments by advertising agencies, advertisers and distribution platform operators.

He also lamented with the current low revenue generation, they may be forced to shut down operations if urgent actions were not taken, adding, “We have been hit both on demand and supply sides, which has not only led to cash flow problems, but has also resulted in existential crisis.

“We have been at the forefront of accentuating sensitisation campaigns and broadcasting contents in support of government’s publicity efforts on the COVID-19 at no costs, hence a shutdown of broadcast media in the country would have devastating effect on government’s advocacy efforts and unleash unemployment crisis in the market.”

Meanwhile, the Institute for Media and Society (IMS) yesterday launched a national stakeholders’ conversation on the media and COVID-19.
   
Its founder, Dr. Akin Akingbulu, said, “The conversation will produce outputs, which feed into national practice and policy. In a practical sense, it will generate ideas to strengthen media practice, as well as policy and regulation in the fight to contain COVID-19 in Nigeria.”
  
“It will establish cross-border linkages and contribute to and draw relevant experience from similar initiatives at the international level. We are optimistic that, with the careful packaging of this initiative, quality outputs will emerge from it into the nation’s collective effort to defeat COVID-19.”

He explained that the initiative aims to deepen delivery of information to members of the public and education by the media on COVID-19 in the country.
  
Built on the foundation that quality and inclusive dialogue remain a strong element in the search for solutions to contain the pandemic, the conversation, which runs on an online platform, would focus on trends and challenges of media coverage of COVID-19 issues in Nigeria.
   

 


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