Kano skill acquisition centre
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State.

…Media must ensure there is country for Nigerians

…no one, today, can predict next President in 2023-Obaigbena

…as BON inaugurates Chairman, Vice 

By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja

Against the backdrop of the clamour in some quarters for the disintegration of country, Governor Abdulahi Ganduje of Kano State has urged the media to champion the discussion for a united and one Nigeria.

This came as the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina said that the media has a responsibility of ensuring that there was a country on the world map called Nigeria. 

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Similarly, the Chairman of Arise TV and publisher of ThisDay Newspaper, Nduka Obiagbena said that the country was passing through a momentous time where no one can make predictions of who the next President in 2023 will be.

The stakeholders spoke at the induction ceremony of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, BON, John Ugbe and Dr. Mansur Liman who were recently elected in Kano State.

While Ugbe is the Chairman of the MultiChioce Nigeria, Liman is the Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN.

Giving his speech, Ganduje who served as the Chairman of the occasion held in Abuja on Saturday also urged the government to provide the necessary equipment and infrastructure for the media to effectively execute their job.   

He said: “First of all, the Executive has to look into the facilities of the media especially the technology of it to ensure that they have the facilities with which they can effectively discharge their duties. Secondly, it is to also understand the character of the media so that we don’t misunderstand issues. We should be able to accommodate them. We should be able to understand their disposition, attitude and the nature of issues in this country especially with different ethnic nationalities, leaders of tribal and ethnic organisations. I think this is the time that the media should be able to make them come together and talk ‘One Nigeria.’

“Given the democratic process that led to your emergence as the heads of this organisation, it is important you work with relevant stakeholders to move broadcast to greater heights in the face of emerging global challenges in the industry.

“The Nigerian media, particularly the broadcast media, has an important role to play in promoting unity and progress of our nation at this moment of challenges. As media owners, you have a vital role to play in managing all communications in the public domain in the interest of peace and national development.

“Let me reiterate my call to you, to work with the other media industries in Nigeria, to make sure that, the Nigerian media is not allowed to disrupt but play its traditional role of leading the way in the process of protecting public interest for nation building.”

In his remarks, the Presidential spokesman, Adesina tasked the new leadership on promoting the ethics of journalism, saying that the media must ensure that Nigeria remains in existence.

“It’s my great pleasure to grace this induction ceremony of two consumate professionals as chairman and vice chairman respectively of the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, BON. 

“We have no doubt that during their term we would see a lot of improvements in the broadcasting industry in terms of professionalism.

“I’ m glad that the DG of NBC is here. He knows the running battle that the NBC had had particularly with the broadcast stations in the country. But the two incoming people have what it takes to ensure that there is ethics, there is professionalism and there is sanity in broadcasting in Nigeria. 

“You are driving your car and you put on the radio in your car, the things that are coming from the stations you can’t believe. You can’t believe that such things would be on the airwaves; some on television, you can’t just understand how people who are given opportunity to speak on national television will say some things. 

“I think BON needs to look into this and I believe that if any set of people can do something about it, the incoming chairman and vice chairman can. 

“We need to collectively ensure that we have a country. We need to have a country and if we are going to have a country that will be united and will be one, broadcasting has a very big role to play”, he said.

But giving his goodwill message, the Chairman of Arise TV, Obiagbena said that Nigeria was facing a momentous time that the ideas of the Nigeria’s founding fathers were clashing with the co temporary leaders.

“Nigeria is in a momentous time, a time of great change that even on this table in the powerhouse in Kano, none of them can tell you whom the next President would be. At this time in Nigeria, there is nobody who can predict 2023. Therefore, these are times of momentous change when we have ideas of some of those who founded Nigeria in the 60s clashing with the new ideas of the Millennias and who Femi Adesina will not like to hear atimes.

“However we are here to welcome the new leadership of BON, John Ugbe and his colleague. I believe they are very capable to guide Nigeria through this change, I salute them all”.

In his remarks, the new Vice Chairman of BON, Liman said that there was a huge responsibility on them to deliver on their mandate.

Similarly, the new BON Chairman, Ugbe reiterated their 4 campaign promises to provide opportunities for training and restraining of members to help them conform to ethics of the profession.

“Permit me to reinstate the 4-point agenda we ran our campaign on. The first one is training and development. We wish to reinstate our commitment to sourcing for training opportunities for BON members to deepen their technical knowledge and competent skills, working with local and foreign partners. We will facilitate training opportunities for our member stations. The training programme will be in two layers. First layer will be to train the trainers and the second layer will the zonal training. We are committed to starting this training programme from the first quarter of 2022 and we are already looking at providing training opportunities for at least, 1000 members in the first phase. 

“The second point was purposeful membership. One of our goals for the industry is to bring all Broadcasters under the BON umbrella. This is to forge a formidable pressure and industry group capable of influencing broadcast policies and regulations to the benefits of its members and the industry as a whole. You can see that we tried to pull a lot of members National assembly because we will be knocking on their doors just after now as BON to lobby.

“We understand that some Broadcasters question the value of being a member of BON. We will provide comfort to this broadcasters by creating awareness on immense benefits that will accrue from a united broadcast Industry under BON. This will be done through policy formulation, shaping regulations and policy engagements with the regulators such as NBC, APCON, NCC and other stakeholders like the Legislature and Executive arms of government. 

“Working with the BON Secretariat, we will initiate and aggressive membership recruitment drive so that we can achieve the objective of forming a formidable industry group.

“The third is our own BON awards. Giving our organization’s reputation in organizing top notch award shows, MultiChioce Nigeria will now apply its expertise in reviving the BON awards. These awards will be a forum for recognizing and celebrating the best amongst us in the industry and the for exchange of ideas among the practitioners. The award ceremony will be broadcast across Africa to give it the prominence it deserves. This thrives very well with out training agenda as we train for excellence. 

“The society of Nigerian Broadcasters is our fourth point. Most professions have accreditation organizations who set standards for entry, retraining and the code of conduct. Unfortunately, non exists for the broadcast profession which is one of the reasons we have had a lot of complaints about quality issues we have in the industry. But we are very happy that BON has started the process for the establishment of the Society of Nigerian Broadcasters. We will build on this process and work assiduously in pushing for the passage of the bill to the national assembly. 

“Others such as funding of Broadcasting and digital switch over will definitely gain equal attention”, Ugbe said.

Among the dignitaries that graced the occasion were the Senate President represented by Senate Committee Chairman on Information, Senator Francis Onyewuchi, Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed (represented),  former Senate Leader, Ndoma Egbe and the Director General of Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Balarabe Ilela.

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