The Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, NPAN, has asked the federal government to move speedily with its economic reform programme and provide the much-needed succour to the long-suffering Nigerians within the shortest time possible.
The association made the demand in a statement issued after its 2023 Annual General Meeting held on November 8, 2023, in Lagos and signed by its President, Mallam Kabiru Yusuf, and General Secretary, Mrs Angela Emuwa.
The statement read: “At the AGM, the NPAN reviewed the state of the nation, the economy and the print media industry and resolved as follows: Now that elections are over and the government has been constituted, the Federal Government should move speedily with its economic reform programme and provide the much-needed succour to the long-suffering of Nigerians within the shortest time possible.
“That it is concerning that a nation of Nigeria’s size and youthful population lacks a robust paper culture for the education and mobilization of its citizens.
“The analysis revealed the alarming condition of the newspaper business in Nigeria, highlighting the concerning fact that no newsprint is produced locally. This underscores the urgent need for the Federal Government to review its policies on the paper industry, aiming to promote both education and the development of the newspaper sector.
“The NPAN added that poor state of the newspaper industry indexes a poor democratic state as studies have shown a correlation between strong democracies and strong print media. The 10 best-performing economies globally, combine strong political culture with a vibrant print media.
“The Association welcomed the birth of the Media Ombudsman, a collaboration of the NPAN, Nigeria Guild of Editors, NGE, the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON, the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, GOCOP, Media NGOs and Daria Media, with support from the MacArthur Foundation, to work on ethics and self-regulation by the media.
“It expressed delight that the Ombudsman had started work and is already receiving complaints from the public. The NPAN is very optimistic that the success of the Ombudsman will widen the scope of self regulation and ward off the predatory advocates of a government-controlled press with the concomitant encroachment on free speech.
“The NPAN has announced its intention to launch a Media Trust Fund, which aims to provide support to important aspects of the media, including the Ombudsman. This initiative is intended to strengthen and enhance the media landscape in Nigeria.”