ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- President Bola Tinubu has expressed commitment to a thorough review of policies impacting the newspaper industry, acknowledging concerns over existing regulations impeding local access to newsprint.
Speaking at a meeting with members of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, Tinubu assured the press that his administration would uphold media freedom and respect diverse opinions, whether critical or supportive.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed this in a statement he signed Monday titled: ‘President Tinubu: we will always uphold media freedom, respect divergent views.’
During the gathering at the State House, Abuja, President Tinubu expressed gratitude for the media’s role in holding the government accountable and emphasized his commitment to transparent governance.
He assured the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria of his dedication to addressing challenges faced by the industry, including the high cost of newsprint.
“You have held our feet to the fire, and we will continue to respect your opinions whether we agree or not. One thing I must say is that I read every paper, various opinions, and columnists.
“I care about what is going on in the country. I thank you for your support and opinions, even the criticism of our government.
“Without the support of some of you, I will not be standing here as president,” said Tinubu when he met members of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria at the State House, Abuja.
“I promise you a very transparent government. We will try our best to draw water from a dry well and create a good economic environment that will serve the people. The future of our country is clear with committed investments in health, infrastructure, transportation, and education, among others.
“We have to take care of the poor. If we invest in our own children and leave the children of the poor, the children of neglect will attack your investments,” he added.
In response to the concerns raised by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, President Tinubu acknowledged the high cost of newsprint and pledged to explore solutions for its sustainability.
He emphasized the government’s dedication to fostering a vibrant and responsible media landscape, recognizing the crucial role newspapers play in upholding democratic principles.
Idris said, “Specifically, there is this high cost of newsprint. Newsprint is the most important part of publishing. We are looking at that and we will see what can be done.
“The President is also looking at what can be done so that the newspapers will continue to thrive.”
NPAN President, Kabiru Yusuf, congratulated President Tinubu on his election victory and Supreme Court affirmation while highlighting the pressing concerns facing the newspaper industry. Yusuf stressed the industry’s significance as a vital contributor to democracy and a reliable source of information.
Yusuf said, “Our particular concern is the newspaper industry, which employs thousands of Nigerians: journalists, marketers, distributors, administrators, accountants.
“Newspapers are also part of the building blocks of democracy and reliable sources of information in a world that is overwhelmed by fake news.”
Notable figures present at the meeting included Angela Emuwa (Chairman, Punch Nigeria Limited), Nduka Obaigbena (Chairman, THISDAY Newspapers), Sam Amuka (Vanguard Newspapers), Segun Osoba (Former Governor of Ogun State), and other prominent media figures.
The meeting served as a platform for dialogue and collaboration between the government and the newspaper industry, addressing shared values and confronting challenges for the nation’s benefit.