Connect with us

News

Gbajabiamila urges media to safeguard Nigeria’s democracy

Spread the love

 

Advertisement

By Gloria Ikibah

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has tasked the Parliamentary Correspondents on the need to safeguard the nation’s thriving democracy.

Advertisement

Speaker Gbajabiamila gave the charge on Saturday in Abuja during the flag-off of the Capacity Building Workshop for Members of the House of Representatives Press Corps, with the theme: ‘Deepening legislative knowledge through critical reporting.

He reiterated on the need for the Parliament and Media to jointly consider the role of the press in Nigeria’s democracy and find ways to advance the cause of democracy and nation-building through media practice.

Advertisement

While calling for synergy among stakeholders, the Speaker urged the Media to maintain a high level of professional conduct; ensure accurate reportage, detailed analysis of public policy and continue to defend citizens’ rights, hold the powerful to account and promote the public good through the honourable practice of journalism.

He said: “Ladies and gentlemen, democracy is a fragile construct. It depends on the support of the electorate; it requires active participation by an informed citizenry; it demands competence, capacity, and integrity from those who oversee the affairs of the state, and it will not long survive unless both the leaders and the citizens operate within the rule of law. Democracy also requires careful tending and robust defence as a matter of course.

Advertisement

“The role of the press in a democracy is multi-faceted. You inform the public and you educate them about the law and government, politics and governance. You record history as it happens and preserve the national memory as a guide and warning for the future. And you hold power to account, ensuring that those who are chosen to serve the public interest keep faith with the citizens who depend on them. Democracy will not long survive without a vibrant, independent, innovative and patriotic press.

“Through the years, technological advances, the rapid increase in access to internet services, and the growth of social media has changed the way we receive and interact with news and information. What we understand as the professional press – newspapers and magazines, television and radio – are now in competition with every member of the public with a smartphone, access to the internet and the inclination to participate in the public discourse.

Advertisement

“While the landscape within which the press operates has changed in dramatic ways, the duties of the press and the public expectation of them remains the same. We expect Journalists and Media Organisations to maintain a high level of professional conduct; we demand accurate reporting and detailed analysis of public policy and expect the media to continue to defend citizens’ rights, hold the powerful to account and promote the public good through the honourable practice of journalism.

“Often lost in the conversation is the fact that after all is said and done, media is a business. Quality journalism doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it requires resources to train and equip staff, and invest in technology to improve content quality and broadcast capabilities, amongst other things. For generations, these resources have come from the sales of newspapers and magazines and from advertising and subscriptions. For the last two decades, the proliferation of online sources has decimated sales and precipitated a drastic and rapid decline in advertising income.

Advertisement

“Like all other businesses, the imperatives of commerce and profitability cannot be ignored as they are critical factors affecting the quality of service and the utility of outcomes. Consequently, we are called to confront an existential question – how do you finance a quality press without access to the income sources that ensured viability for so long?”

According to Hon. Gbajabiamila, this is a question that media managers all over the world are struggling with, and are trying to answer through innovation and experimentation, with different degrees of success and inevitable failure.

Advertisement

He however asserted that the essential functions of a free press in a democracy, demands that citizens and leaders alike must participate in helping to find answers to this question.

“For us in Nigeria, the obligation is ever more powerful, and the consequences of failure are potentially too high to contemplate. Ours is a complex and complicated country where an inaccurate public broadcast, whether done maliciously or carelessly, can just as easily spark public debate, or lead to blood on the streets. In fact, a broadcast doesn’t need to be false to lead to bloody conflagration. Sometimes, it is merely a matter of timing or misunderstanding.

Advertisement

“The surest safeguard against such dire outcomes is to have media organisations that are unbiased purveyors of objective truth. We need Journalists we can rely on to be our islands of accurate information and context in a sea of misinformation and propaganda manifesting as journalism. Having such organisations and individuals may in time to come, prove the difference between progress and regression and between peace and strife.

“I do not have the answers we seek. But I assure you that it is my fervent desire to participate in the collective search for solutions that serve the public good. And that is one of the reasons we have gathered here this morning. Another reason for our gathering this morning is to provide an opportunity for us to speak freely and frankly, without judgment, in the interest of helping each other do better and achieve more”, he stated.

Advertisement

Gbajabiamila said the media is the fourth and last pillar of democracy and it is the role of the press to ensure that the exercise of state and economic power is fair and proper and in service of the greater good.

He added: “Unfortunately, far from giving voice to the aspirations of our nation, or holding the powerful properly to account, sections of journalism in Nigeria have become an endless pursuit of clickbait through the careless writing of falsehoods and malicious publication of half-truths.

Advertisement

“I understand the commercial pressures that result in such outcomes. However, you will agree with me that this too has led to the devaluation of the press and the media in the eyes of the public. We can all do better. And we are obliged to try especially in this defining moment in our nation’s history when the choices we make today will determine if we get to have a country and what kind of country we get to have.

“Our highest task and our most pressing ambition must be to safeguard this democracy. If we fail in this regard, nothing else will matter, nothing else we do will count in our favour when the tally of history is settled. We have it in our power to improve our nation’s future and leave this world better than we found it. So, let us do that, and let us do it together,” he urged.

Advertisement

In his remarks, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Dr. Yahaya Danzaria who described the Legislature as “Freedom Square because it is the only institution in a democracy that the people have rights at any time to interact directly with their representatives”; also underscored the role of the media to the success of any democracy and indeed any Legislature.

He stressed on the need for the Parliamentary Correspondents to reflect on their ‘relationship with the National Assembly in general and the House of Representatives in particular over the years, but he maintained that the media owes the people an obligation to report development in the polity, of importance is that such reports are not borne out of desperation for sensation that destroys the democracy that we intend to build and protect.

Advertisement

“There is need to ensure a more organized, effective and unified communication channel for the National Assembly to curtail not only the litany of erroneous or sometimes completely false reportage of news about the activities and actions of the National Assembly, but also to protect the integrity of the reporting media houses.

“We must acknowledge that some unregistered media away from the Corps had on many times rushed to disseminate information to the public with a greater desire to sell copies or attract viewer numbers to their online platform, rather than to seek the truth; we have also had situations where information coming out of the Senate was different from that coming from the House on the same subject matter: this makes the National Assembly look uncoordinated and gives a gap for suspicious media to fill”, he stated.

Advertisement

The Chairman, House of Representatives’ Press Corps, Grace Ike who called for enhanced synergy and collaboration between the House of Representatives and the Press Corps with a view to strengthen the quality of reportage for the benefit of Nigerians and the country.

She noted: “Training and retraining of journalists cannot be overemphasized, especially in this critical times when several countries around the world are confronted with the menace of fake news and clickbait headlines”.

Advertisement

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

NCC To Deploy Technology For Verification Of Annual Operating Levies, Tax, Among Others

NCC
Spread the love

 

Advertisement

By Gloria Ikibah

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that it is going to deploy technology to verify the annual operating levies (AOL), tax and other payments by network service providers to the Federal Government.

Advertisement

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbata, disclosed this on Wednesday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee to Investigate the Duplication of Functions of Agencies of the Federal Government.

He said, “We are currently going to deploy a technology solution. We call it Revenue Assurance Solution. We have finished signing the MOU with the consultant that is going to do this deployment, so that we can be independently verify that the amount of annual operating levy (AOL) they are paying and other taxes are indeed what they are supposed to pay and therefore not shortchange the NCC or government when it comes to payment of taxes”.

Advertisement

He also revealed that the Commission recently did a successful fifth generation spectrum auction where more than half billion dollars was generated for the Federal Government.

He said, “We, through what we call annual operating levy, run our operations, pay our staff salaries and allowances and even provide resources for intervention in the diverse areas of information and communication technology in the various parts of the country.

Advertisement

“These interventions are verifiable. There is no state of the federation that we don’t provide interventions in the diverse areas of ICT. We also provide training. We would like to ensure our citizens are ICT savvy by embracing this important technology because that is what the whole is doing. That is what we can do in order to ensure our citizens are socially and economically transformed to change the way they are doing things, the way they collaborate and innovate.

“We have records available to show that we have been contributing a lot to the coffers of the government and a very good example is when we did that successful 5G auction. The proceeds from the auction goes to the coffers of the government. We don’t normally take anything. It is gazetted that whatever we sell spectrum, we do not keep the money, we normally transfer this money to the consolidated revenue fund of the government,” he said.

Advertisement

Earlier, the Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee, Rep Victor Danzaria, said research, revenue generation and service delivery are critical conditions in the consideration process for merging or crapping agencies of government.

According to him the committee had a mandate to investigate duplication of functions and counter productivity of agencies for possible merger.

Advertisement

Some of the agencies under consideration were Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBS) and the Nigerian Communication Satelite.

Others are, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Galaxy Backbone, National Boundary Commission and Border Communities Development Agency among others.

Advertisement

Danzaria said that it is not about having many agencies with so many Director-Generals that does not deliver the required services to Nigerians but about productivity.

“The ad hoc Committee is critically looking at these agencies, their existence and looking at possible synergies and mergers of these agencies to give effective service to Nigerians.

Advertisement

“One area is research, second is revenue generation and thirdly is regulatory functions and service delivery and at the end of the day, this is what Nigerians want.

“It is not about when you go to any agency, you see this man seated there on a table and services are not being offered there,” he said.

Advertisement

END

Advertisement
Continue Reading

News

BREAKING: Rivers State House of Assembly Delists Omehia, As Ex-Gov

court
Spread the love

 

Advertisement

By Gloria Ikibah

The Rivers State House of Assembly, on Thursday at plenary adopted a motion to derecognise Sir Celestine Omehia, as a former governor of the State.

Advertisement

Omehia was governor of the state from May 29, 2007 to October 25, 2007 when he was removed by the Supreme Court and replaced by Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as the rightful governorship candidate of the PDP at the time.

Although Justices of the Supreme Court, while delivering their judgement, declared that in the eye of the law, Omehia was never a governor, but on June 25, 2015, the incumbent governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, officially recognised Omehia as a former governor of the State.

Advertisement

The motion to derecognise the Ubima, Ikwerre local government area-born politician, was moved by the leader of the House, Hon. Martin Amaewhule.

Naijablitznews.com reports that the former governor is a close ally of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Advertisement

Advertisement
Continue Reading

News

Kenyan socialite Vera Sidika removes butt implants, warns girls over body enlargment + Photos

Spread the love

 

Advertisement

By Francesca Iwambe

Kenya socialite and social media personality, Vera Sidika has advised young girls not to allow peer pressure to plunge them into activities that could ruin their future.

Advertisement

Sidika gave the advice via her post on her verified Instagram page

Her advise followed her latest surgery to reduce her butt size as she admonished young girls to appreciate their natural bodies.

Advertisement

The 33-year-old social media influencer previously had butt implants which gave her a well-endowed body but had to remove them due to medical complications she had suffered.

“Due to health risks and complications, I had to undergo surgery,” Sidika said.

Advertisement

In the extensive revelation on social media, Sidika said she was fortunate to be alive while attributing this to God’s love for her as well as appreciating her husband and other members of her family.

Sidika said: “THE REBIRTH …This has been the hardest phase in my life. Due to health risks, I had to undergo surgery. It’s still very unbelievable. But I’ve come to terms with it and learnt to love myself regardless.

Advertisement

“Ladies; please learn to love yourself and don’t ever let peer pressure rush you into things that will ruin you in future. I’m lucky to be alive, God loves me so much.

Honestly, it’s been pretty hard, I didn’t even celebrate my birthday this year, but here we are.

Advertisement

“Happy birthday to me. New me. I’ve come to appreciate life and never take things for granted. Thanks to my family, especially my husband for being there for me. To my fans: I am still the same sweetest. Vera Sidika and that hasn’t changed. I appreciate y’all love and support and pray you will walk through this journey with me.

“I will be posting my surgery journey videos here, for those who have been thinking of getting booty surgery or changing anything on their bodies this might change your mind. Peace and Love.”

Advertisement

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Read Stories

Copyright © 2022 NaijaBlitznews