President Bola Tinubu has vowed that his administration will always uphold media freedom and respect opinions, whether they are adversarial or complimentary to his government.
The President made the pledge on Monday in Abuja during a meeting with members of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN).
President Tinubu, in a statement by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, assured NPAN members that he would carefully consider their request for a review of policies affecting the newspaper industry, acknowledging concerns about existing regulations hindering local access to newsprint.
”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,” Tinubu said.
“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 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.”
Also speaking at the meeting, Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, said the Federal Government is committed to fostering a vibrant and responsible media landscape in the country.
On his part, Kabiru Yusuf, NPAN President and Chairman of Media Trust, pointed out some of the challenges the newspaper industry is facing in the country.
Our particular concern is the newspaper industry, which employs thousands of Nigerians: journalists, marketers, distributors, administrators, and 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,” Yusuf said.