The Federal Government has secured the commitment of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) to remain patriotic and committed to national development in the discharge of their statutory duty.
The agreement was reached in Lagos at a meeting between the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and members of the association.
Briefing newsmen after the closed door meeting, the minister said that the NPAN members made it clear that they did not constitute opposition block to government in the discharge of their duty as watchdog and fourth estate of the realm.
“It has been an exciting meeting that gave us the opportunity to exchange views and certain perceptions were discussed.
“But most importantly, I have come out much more relieved and much more confident that all that we must continue to do is more dialogue between government and the media.
“They have made it absolutely clear that they do not constitute opposition block to government, but on the other hand, they will like to be carried along and be taken into confidence about government activities
“They appreciated the challenges the government is facing but advised that we need to do more in the management of perceptions,” he said.
The minister said that NPAN made other contributions and recommendations, which he would take to President Muhammadu Buhari and his colleagues in Council, for deliberations and actions.
“All they need is more dialogue. As a matter of fact, they suggested regular media briefings with different strata of the leadership.
“I am leaving this meeting a happier man because they have pledged their patriotism and commitment to this country.
“They noted that as long as there is adequate dialogue between the media and the government, the frictions and tensions which we have had over some times will disappear.” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by the Chairman of NPAN and publisher of “This Day” newspaper, Nduka Obaigbena, and the publisher of “Vanguard” newspaper, Sam Amuka.
The publishers of “Daily Times”, Fidelis Anosike, “The Source” magazine, Comfort Obi, representative of “The Guardian” as well as Alhaji Isa Funtua , among others also attended the meeting.