President Bola Tinubu has said that his administration was unrelenting in its quest to grow the economy, attract foreign investments, create jobs, and alleviate the hardship caused by the removal of fuel subsidy.
Tinubu spoke while declaring open the 19th Nigeria Editors Conference 2023 held at Ibom Icon Hotel, Uyo Akwa Ibom state, with the theme “Stimulating Economic Growth, Technological Advancement: The role of the media” on Wednesday.
The president, who was represented by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, saluted the Guild of Editors for its choice of the theme of this year’s conference.
He said the NGE has a role in informing the public about the numerous achievements of the federal government under its watch in order to attract investors into the country.
Tinubu highlighted some of the intervention programmes aimed at alleviating the sufferings of Nigerians, assuring that Nigerians will soon experience better days.
He said: “We have launched the 3MTT programme that aims to develop three million technical talents by 2025, in line with our vision for making Nigeria a global hub for digital jobs. In just two weeks since it was launched, close to 500,000 applications have been received from across Nigeria.
“Still in line with the jobs agenda, we have recently launched the National Talent Export Programme (NATEP), to create one million service-export jobs over the next 5 years, and make Nigeria a global business outsourcing hub.
“By January 2024, we will be rolling out the new Federal student loan program that was announced a few months ago.
“I urge you to provide positive media coverage that can enhance investor confidence and attract the needed investments that fuel economic development in our county.
“The media’s role in portraying a favourable business environment contributes to the stability of financial markets.
“Due to your role in setting agenda for the government, the Media on its own can advocate for policies that promote economic growth and technological progress and follow up on these advocacies through robust engagement on your various platforms”
Tinubu also decried the high level of false narrative and misinformation in the country, saying that the trend is threatening the fabric of Nigerian society.
He added: “I, however, urge you, esteemed editors, to be vigilant and help in ridding our media space of the ills of fake news, misinformation, disinformation, and mal-information, which portend great danger.
He therefore called on the Nigeria Editors to support the campaign for moral rectitude among Nigerians.
Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Umo Eno, in his remarks, urged the Nigerian Guild of Editors to engender good governance in their reportage to promote the country’s democracy.
He said: “I want to plead that you use the media, to engender a new template of reportage, one that is developmental-oriented, where our leaders are called to account without being overly obtrusive.
“No one desires a pliant media that acts like the cheerleaders to the government, but in trying to break the news, we should be careful not to break the fabric of the society. You need the nation first in order to freely practice your profession.”
Earlier in his welcome address the president of the Nigeria Guild of Editors, Eze Anaba said the conference was part of Editors’ contributions to the growth and development of not only the media industry but the country in general.
Anaba tasked colleagues with balanced, accurate, factual, and fair reports and implored them to make use of fact-checking tools, in disseminating editorial products to the people adding that was the only effective and efficient way to discharge their constitutional duty under Section 22 of holding power to account and upholding human rights, the rule of law, good governance, and democratic principles.
He also urged political actors not to suppress the press saying, “Always remember that a free press is like oxygen to a democracy. Let nothing be done to stifle the press or shrink freedom of expression and media freedom under any guise.”
The chairman of the conference and publisher of Vanguard Newspaper, Sam Amuka Pemu, who lamented the critical economic situation in the country reminded the Editors to always remove unwanted items in disseminating information to the public.