From Adanna Nnamani Abuja,
Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has tasked editors and media managers in Nigeria to play a greater mediatory role by utilising the media to promote peace in the ravaging insecurity situation of the nation.
According to Danbatta, even though the media is one of the most important institutions for the promotion of democratic values, it has also been accused of amplifying conflicts in some cases, thereby making it difficult to manage the crises.
The EVC who spoke at the 17th All Editors Conference 2021 held in Abuja on Thursday themed “Media in the Times of Crises: Rising Conflicts, Achieving Consensus” recommended that media professionals be effectively trained on specialised reporting areas such as conflict/crisis reporting on a continuous basis to improve expertise in reporting crises stories.
He said the 112 Emergency Number managed by NCC’s Emergency Communications Centres (ECC) established across the country, was one of the Commission’s contributions to efforts by government, the media and other stakeholders in addressing conflict situations or emergencies in Nigeria.
The NCC boss said “I urge the editors and media managers to play a greater mediatory role by entrenching a peace media system and building a culture of peace in today’s conflict-ridden world.
“In times of crisis, a lot of people look up to the media to provide vital information that will help them in making informed decisions that create stability in emotional management, rather than take actions that result in pandemonium.
“Effective training of media professionals on specialised reporting areas such as conflict/crisis reporting on a continuous basis is also strongly recommended.”
“At NCC, we will also continue our collaboration with the media in many fronts towards creating an environment where they seamlessly leverage digital infrastructure to improve on news gathering, processing and dissemination activities in order to inform and educate the citizens on happenings around them timely, accurately and adequately.”
Earlier in his address, The President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr Mustapha Isah urged the editors to tone down the publication of the activities of terrorists and bandits.
He said too much light on the actions of the insurgents as against the wins of the Nigerian army, was publicity to the groups which fuels their ego.
The Guild’s President said the conference served as a platform where editors converged with relevant stakeholders to discuss national issues and propose solutions to them.
Isah maintained that terrorism and banditry strive on publicity and urged editors and media managers to rather use the media in projecting the noble achievements of the Nigerian military in the war against insurgency.
Also speaking at the event, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, lamented the incessant attacks and kidnaps of oil and gas workers, stating that the trend has adversely affected the oil and gas industry.
Kyari also assured of a new dawn for the corporation with the coming of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) that will help deliver better performance to Nigerians.
He insisted that the country was not ready for the energy transition which is taking place around the globe, adding that Nigeria must move with its energy realities by fully exploring its crude oil and gas reserves first.
“Insecurity is also affecting the oil and gas industry. Our workers across the country are targets. Many have been kidnapped and ransom paid. We have issues of insecurity around our facets and facilities. We have come to discover that most of those communities around our facilities are communities of thieves.
“There is an ongoing energy transition around the world. There is less focus on fossil fuels and more focus on renewable energy. However, we advocate for energy justice. There must be energy justice. This means that countries should be allowed to move at their own pace in line with their energy reality. Nigeria is nowhere close to an energy transition.
“A cleaner form of energy we have which is also more affordable than fossil fuels is gas. This we must explore.” Kyari stated.
President, Association of Nigerian Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Kabiru Yusuf disclosed plans of the association on finding ways to cushion the effect of the COVID19 Pandemic on media organisations especially the newspapers which are currently facing a lot of hardship.
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