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Newspaper proprietors crave revival of moribund newsprint firms

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor
09 December 2020   |   4:32 am
Reflecting vigorously on the absence of paper culture in the newspaper industry in particular and the Nigerian economy in general, the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) has urged the Federal Government to make a conscious effort to revive the newsprint factories in the country.

Newspapers PHOTO : Getty Images<br />

• Seek zero tariffs on paper
• Elect Maiden-Ibru as deputy president

Reflecting vigorously on the absence of paper culture in the newspaper industry in particular and the Nigerian economy in general, the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) has urged the Federal Government to make a conscious effort to revive the newsprint factories in the country.

At its yearly general meeting held yesterday in Lagos, the association said: “Government should take the newspaper business as an educational venture and grant zero tariff on paper to promote education and the constitutional and civic duty of the media to hold the government accountable to the people.”

In a statement issued after the meeting and signed by Malam Kabiru Yusuf (President) and Alhaji Mohammed Idris (Secretary), the association said it “views seriously the steady encroachment on freedom of the press and free speech, especially by state actors, and urge resistance, through all legitimate means, to any infringement on press freedom and free speech.

“Likewise, the NPAN holds that the right to protest is a fundamental human right that must be guaranteed by the Nigerian state in such a way as to stave off violence.”

The association also called on the Federal Government to rise to its responsibility of protecting life and property by stamping out terrorism, banditry and kidnapping in the country.

NPAN admonished the Federal Government to rev up its response to the COVID-19 pandemic by making aggressive effort to procure the vaccines from whatever sources as may be available and vaccinate Nigerians against the deadly disease.

Among those who attended the general meeting were the Chairman of Vanguard newspapers and a Patron of the association, Mr. Sam Amuka; former Governor of Ogun State, a Patron and Chairman, Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Aremo Olusegun Osoba and former President of NPAN, Mr. Ray Ekpu.

Highlight of the event was the election of new executive as follows: Chairman, Media Trust Limited, Mallam Kabiru Yusuf (President); Publisher of The Guardian, Lady Maiden-Ibru (Deputy President); Chairman, Blueprint Newspapers, Mohammed Idris (Secretary); Chairman, The Nations Press Limited, Mr. Wale Edun (Treasurer); Managing Director, Champion Newspapers, Nwaduito Iheakanwa (Publicity Secretary); Chairman, Daily Times of Nigeria, Fidelis Anosike (Assistant General Secretary), Ray Ekpu, Sam Nda-Isaiah and Dennis Sami (Ex-Officios).

Former NPAN president and Publisher of ThisDay, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, joined Amuka and Osoba as a patron.