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NGE raises concern over rising insecurity in Nigeria

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Lawan greets editors as Tinubu tasks group on national interest

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has expressed grave concern over rising insecurity in the country and advised the government at all levels to activate structures in tackling the challenges.

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In a communiqué endorsed by its President, Mustapha Isah and General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, the editors also canvassed an enabling political and economic environment for media practitioners to discharge their constitutional responsibilities.

“This is essential in guaranteeing and sustaining the democratic space, sustainable development, providing incentives for socio-democratic change, advocating respect for human rights, shaping development policies and overseeing their implementation,” it said.

It stated this at its 2021 biennial convention in Kano and urged the Federal Government to urgently expunge, repeal or amend as may be appropriate, all existing obnoxious media laws in the country that are inimical to press freedom.

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While urging editors and journalists to continue to subscribe to and uphold the journalism code of ethics, as developed by the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), it stressed the need for the Nigerian media to exercise their freedom to operate freely with every sense of responsibility.

“Considering the level of insecurity in the country, it is high time for the media to set the agenda and lead the country’s drive to sustain national cohesion.

“While observing Nigeria’s consistent deterioration in the Global Press Freedom Index since 2005, the NGE notes that it is worrisome that the slide is happening in a democracy, whereby editors have had cause to issue statements on the threats of closure and imposition of fines on some broadcast stations by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC),” the communiqué reads.

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The group noted the disruption the COVID-19 pandemic caused globally, saying the disruption also had negative effects on the Nigerian media industry, which led to a significant drop in revenues of media businesses.

“For the media to respond to these challenges creatively, there is an urgent need for the managers to evolve diversification, design a dynamic management system, produce innovative contents, restructure their production technologies and adapt new funding and business models.

“Considering that the role of information dissemination by the mass media is an essential public and social service, the guild calls on government to consider mitigating the media’s operational costs and economic challenges by floating a national media subsidy regime, including tax holidays and waivers, lifting of license fees for the broadcast media and offsetting debts of government media agencies in the country,” it stated.
BESIDES, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday, congratulated Isa on his re-election as President of the NGE and other executive members, who were elected or re-elected.

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He also commended the NGE for the success of the biennial convention in Kano and the peaceful conduct of the elections, adding: “The peaceful and orderly manner of the election is a good example of how professional bodies should conduct their affairs.”

MEANWHILE, National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, congratulated the new executive of the NGE on their election and charged them to work for members of the union and the country at large.

The new executives are Ali M. Ali, Deputy President (North); Editor, ThisDay Newspaper, Bolaji Adebiyi, vice president (West); Samuel Egbala, vice president (East) and Habibi Nuhu, vice president (North), among others.

In a statement issued yesterday, Tinubu said the executive has a huge responsibility to set the pace for journalists and, by extension, guardians of journalistic freedom and quality to ensure that practitioners perform their duties according to the best standards of the profession.

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