Chairman Channels Media Group Seeks Probe Of Owolabi’s Killing

 

The Chairman of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh, has condoled with the family of the Precious Owolabi, a youth corps member who was killed while serving with Channels Television.

Speaking during a visit to the Headquarters of the Police in Abuja, Mr Momoh also asked that an investigation be opened into the case.

He said it is extremely important that the culprit is brought to book, adding that it will help bring closure to all those concerned.

Meanwhile, he also condoled with the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and members of the Force on the death of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Usman Umar.

Read Also: Shiite Protests Have Become Anything But Civil – Adesina

In response, Adamu extended his condolences to the management and staff of Channels Television.

He also asked the DIG in charge of Criminal Investigations to take over the case and identify those who used firearms in the cause of the protest.

Owolabi was killed after he was hit by a stray bullet while covering a protest involving members of the Shiite group, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.

John Momoh, Others Receive Prestigious EuroKnowledge Award In London

 

The Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, John Momoh, OON, and some outstanding personalities have been honoured at the annual EuroKnowledge Leadership Awards.

Momoh and other awardees were recognised at the event, which was held at the House of Lords in London on Monday, for providing excellent leadership in their respective fields, as well as for their exemplary contributions to the society.

Recipients of the EuroKnowledge awards include Nigerian billionaire and philanthropist, Sir Kensington Adebutu, and Marina Litvinenko, the widow of Alexander Litvinenko – the murdered Russian Intelligence Officer.

 

EuroKnowledge is a strategic communications and consultancy group, as well as a trusted advisor to many of the world’s leading businesses, governments and financial institutions.

The award ceremony was attended by captains of industries, policymakers, and business magnates, among others drawn across the globe.

Earlier, EuroKnowledge disclosed in a statement that the awards seek to acknowledge and celebrate exemplary leaders who have made significant contributions and emerged as role models in their specific fields.

The ceremony began with a tour of the House of Lords, and later a forum on trade, investment, and governance.

It also featured a networking reception that ushered the participants to dinner with entertainment during the presentation of the awards.

John Momoh Successfully Completes His Tenure As BON Chairman

Chairman/CEO, Channels Media Group, John Momoh, OON

 

After successfully completing his two-year tenure as the chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), the Chairman of Channels Media Group, Mr. John Momoh, OON, has now handed over office to the elected BON Vice-chairman (and acting Chairman), Mr. Godfrey Ohabunwa.

 

John Momoh was elected BON Chairman in July 2016 in a keenly contested election during BON’s annual delegates’ conference to set a new record as the first private media owner to chair BON. Before the election, BON was traditionally headed by the DGs of Federal Government-owned media institutions. However, an amendment in the BON Constitution enabled a rotational system and elections into offices in 2016.

According to BON’s amended constitution, Mr. Momoh’s tenure was from 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2018.

Upon officially assuming office in 2017, John Momoh brought his well-known reputation as a transformative industry pioneer to bear on the Organisation, and BON enjoyed several positive changes with him at the helm of affairs.

Some of these notable achievements include:

• Extensive free training of BON members. The number of trainings under his tenure is the most by a BON Chairman.

• Purchase of property to house the BON Secretariat. Mr. Momoh ensured that under his tenure, BON purchased its own permanent building in 2018, after 46 years of operating in rented apartments.

• Increased attendance by members at BON events and increase in membership. BON had 125 members as at January 1, 2017, which has increased to 143 as at December 2018. Notable among these new members are the two signal distributors in Nigeria.

• First time a BON Chairman would consistently host BON meetings -several CWC meetings, 68th, 69th and 70th General Assemblies, 17th AGM), thereby setting a new standard for BON in the running of the Organization and hosting of BON meetings.

• Pioneered and successfully launched a Broadcasters Hall of Fame to honour veterans in the Broadcast industry (including Christopher Kolade, Vincent Maduka, Anike Agbaje-Williams, Tom Adaba etc).

• Effectively galvanized BON TV members to work together to broadcast the 2018 FIFA World Cup in conjunction with Kwese Free TV, earning BON members a record sum as revenue.

• Membership Debt significantly reduced by tens of millions, which had a significant positive impact on the BON Secretariat.

Apart from the above, Mr. Momoh tirelessly advocated for changes in the broadcast industry, leading to positive developments for all broadcasters including:

– Cancellation of NBC’s plan to shut down media houses over non-payment of fees

– Involvement of BON in the consideration of the digital switch-over during the Senate’s public hearing on the issue

– Stakeholders meeting between BON, Minister of Information and NBC leading to an improved relationship between the Regulator and BON; as well as a commitment to regularly meet to discuss issues

From the announcement of Mr. Momoh’s success at the BON polls, the reputation of BON was heightened and brought to the consciousness of the Nigerian and international public, leading to more international partnerships with the Organization. An example is the participation of international media in the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates which were organized under the leadership of Mr. John Momoh.

In view of all these achievements, some BON members clamoured for Mr. Momoh to stay on as Chairman, a request which he unequivocally declined. In fact, no Broadcaster indicated interest in running for the position of BON Chairman when the Secretariat called for elections in September 2018; leaving the position vacant. Only the position of Vice-chairman of BON was contested at the September elections.

Communiqué Of The 70th General Assembly And 17th AGM Of BON

Mr Momoh successfully handed over office to the elected Vice-Chairman of BON on Friday, 18th January 2019, and BON has now announced that elections will be held in April 2019 to fill the position of Chairman.

BON was established in 1973, and today comprises over 140 members who collectively own over 250 radio and television stations in the country. BON’s vision is to foster a future-proof environment for radio, TV and to serve their audiences and contribute to the development of our society.

John Momoh Bags Lifetime Award For Journalistic Excellence

 

The Chairman and CEO of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh, and the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Waziri Adio, as well as 12 journalists, have emerged recipients of the 2018 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting.

The event held on Sunday in Lagos.

John Momoh Bags Lifetime Award For Investigative Journalism
Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh, receives the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence presented by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) in Lagos on December 9, 2018.

 

Mr Momoh, who is also the Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), received the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence for his contribution to the development of the Nigerian media.

The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) holds the event annually on December 9, the World Anti-Corruption Day and the eve of the Human Rights Day.

Its importance is to call attention to the significance of the media, especially in the area of investigative reporting.

The centre also took to its Twitter handle to share highpoints of the event.

WSCIJ To Honour John Momoh, Waziri Adio, 12 Journalists

Momoh

 

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh (OON); the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr Waziri Adio, and 12 journalists will be honoured at the 2018 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting in Lagos on December 9, 2018.

Coordinator of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, Mrs Motunrayo Alaka, announced the plan in a statement.

Mr Momoh, who is also the Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), will receive the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence.

“He is being recognised for his noteworthy contribution to the development of the Nigerian media,” the statement read.

On his part, Mr Adio will be given the Anti-Corruption Defender Award, “for his public stance against corruption, evidenced by the work he is championing on transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s extractive sector”.

Waziri Adio

According to the statement, the 12 journalists who are finalists for the award were selected by a Judges’ Board chaired by Professor Umaru Pate of the Faculty of Mass communication at Bayero University Kano.

Selected from 136 entries received, the 12 finalists will be unveiled in the six categories of the award – print, radio, television, photography, online and editorial cartoon.

The WSCIJ will give cash prizes of N200, 000, N100, 000 and N50, 000 each to winners, runners-up and commended works, respectively.

“Additionally, winners will have a plaque and an opportunity to attend an all-expense-paid international study-tour. All finalists will also receive certificates of commendation,” the statement said.

The award presentation event is held annually on December 9, the World Anticorruption Day and eve of the Human Rights Day, to call attention to the significance of the media generally and investigative reporting in particular to attaining good governance, accountability, and social justice, as aspired through the Sustainable Development Goals, while celebrating the reporters at the centre of the mix.

The event, which is open to members of the public, will have reporters, media leaders, journalism students, civil society representatives, private and public sector leaders, diplomatic corps members and such like in attendance.

This year’s edition will take place at the main hall of NECA House, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos,

BON 71st General Assembly: John Momoh Calls For More Investment In Technology

File Photo: John Momoh

 

The Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria has again called for more investment in technology in the broadcast industry.

The Chairman of the organisation, Mr John Momoh, who is also the Chairman of the Channels Media Group, made the appeal on Tuesday during its 71st General Assembly holding in Portharcourt, the Rivers State Capital.

At a time when the media industry is going through several rapid changes and the digital space has led to a massive disruption/ development in various sectors, Mr Momoh believes that the broadcast industry has to continue to double its efforts so as not to become relegated to the background.

He said, “The digital age which we are in has led to a massive disruption in each sector of our business, and this has brought about a gradual shift in power – away from traditional studios and broadcasters, towards new and innovative content creators.

“Content creators who are now one-step closer to their audiences, and who now wield greater power, in determining what is served up by the media’’.

“It’s a wakeup call for us to re-examine our role as broadcasters, and discern the next step forward, in the complex space of the art of today’s broadcasting”.

Momoh has been at the forefront of Nigeria’s switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting and yet again, he stated that this will improve the nation’s economy.

It is believed that the switch has the capacity to boost sales of television sets and digital video recorders, leading to positive upstream benefits in terms of increased time spent watching TV which will, in turn, boost the economy.

Momoh says it will not only expand the nation’s broadcast space but will provide the opportunity to raise the bar in content creation.

Furthermore, he stressed the fact that in several years from now, regardless of what medium is being used for communication, what will remain important is the quality of content.

He, therefore, urged broadcast industry to continue to devise means of being closer to their audience especially by investing in technology, as well as people.
“The one thing that will remain constant in the picture, is good content.

“What is changing is the way that businesses distribute content, and consumers access them, plus the nature of relationships all along the supply chain.

“The broadcast industry and the media landscape have changed irretrievably. Therefore, we must invest in technology, in people and in content development.

“The digitization process must be focused, and it’s rollout sustainable. We need to work together as a true progressive professional organisation, to drive the change we want to see. It’s either we change with the time, or we shall continue to be consigned to the slow world of analogue experience. We shouldn’t allow that to happen,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of the state who represented the governor called on broadcast organisations to ensure objectivity in the 2019 elections.

As the elections draw closer, the Chairman of the Channels Media Group had also assured Nigerians that himself, as well as the station, remains apolitical in all its dealings.

It is his last address as the Chairman of the BON.

Wike Sacks Rivers TV, Radio Stations’ MDs Over BON Visit

 

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Monday sacked the Managing Directors of three television and radio stations in the state.

According to the Governor, they were sacked because of their failure to attend a meeting by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) led by the Chairman, Mr John Momoh.

The stations whose MDs were sacked are the Rivers State Television, Radio Rivers and Garden City Radio.

Governor Wike said he was embarrassed that none of the state-owned broadcasting parastatals honoured the meeting.

He, however, charged the BON to always stand on the side of the people and speak the truth concerning the issues in the country at all times.

On his part, the BON Chairman stated that the organisation will remain apolitical at all times.

He further stated that as Chairman of BON and Channels Media Group, he has no intentions whatsoever, to meddle in politics.

BON is holding its 71st General Assembly in the state, which will be focusing on raising the bar in the digitalization of the broadcast industry.

Mr Momoh, therefore, urged the Governor to invest in the state’s broadcasting outfits in that regard.

John Momoh Leads BON Members To Rivers For 71st General Assembly

 

The Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and Chairman of the Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh has led other members of the group, to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, where its 71st General Assembly will be taking place.

The team which arrived in Port Harcourt on Monday was received by the Deputy Governor of the State Ipalebo Harry-Banigo.

They were also taken to see some projects in the state.

 

Threat To Unity, One Of Nigeria’s Greatest Challenges – Momoh

 

Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Mr John Momoh, has identified the threat to national unity as one of the greatest challenges facing the country.

Mr Momoh, who is also the Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, stated this on Saturday in Ekiti State, while delivering a speech at the sixth convocation ceremony of the Afe Balalola University.

“One of the greatest challenges facing Nigeria today is the threat to national unity, as centrifugal tensions, resource control and self-determination, ethnicity-based identity politics and religious cleavages have enveloped national consciousness,” he said.

READ ALSO: Speech By John Momoh At The Afe Babalola University Convocation Lecture

The BON chairman believes the issue of ethnicity and the exploitation of its residual gain has been existing in the nation since inception.

He faulted some politicians whom he said were placing private interests above common and national interests, contrary to their campaign promises.

According to the media guru, this has led to lip service and a slow pace of development in the country.

Threat To Unity, One Of Nigeria’s Greatest Challenges – Momoh
Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh (OON), delivers a speech at the sixth Convocation Lecture of the Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti on October 20, 2018.

 

“Many politicians see the treasury as a tool for enrichment,” he said, adding, “There’s hardly any distinction, as have been shown in many cases in the past, between their private purse and that of the public.”

“Once an access to public funds is created, its misuse and its abuse begin in earnest. While there may be some accountability at the federal level, there’s little or none at the state and local government levels.”

Momoh explained that the results of the activities of such individuals have been failed promises, poverty, lack of economic development, deprivation, and insecurity.

“The people are alienated from government at all levels. It’s like we are back to colonialism, where the politicians are the ‘colonial masters’ and the people the subjects,” he stressed.

The Channels TV boss, however, said he was aware of the conscious efforts being made at different levels to resolve the challenges facing the country.

He, therefore, advised the youths to believe in themselves and be willing to adapt to any situation, as they remain the hope of the country.

“I encourage you to have faith in your country and defend it,” said Momoh. “The future of Nigeria, lives in, and rests on you.”

He added, “Every of your effort in deconstructing Nigeria’s conundrum for national integration, cohesion and transformation would position you for national greatness.”

Speech By John Momoh At The Afe Babalola University Convocation Lecture

Speech By John Momoh At The Afe Babalola University Convocation Lecture
Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh (OON), delivers a speech at the sixth Convocation Lecture of the Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti on October 20, 2018.

 

‘DECONSTRUCTING THE NIGERIAN CONUNDRUM AS A PANACEA FOR NATIONAL COHESION AND TRANSFORMATION’ BEING A PAPER PRESENTED BY MR. JOHN MOMOH, {OON}, CHAIRMAN, CHANNELS MEDIA GROUP AT THE 6TH CONVOCATION CEREMONIES OF AFE BABALOLA UNIVERSITY ADO-EKITI, ON 20TH OCTOBER 2018.

 

PROTOCOLS

The founder, the great Aare Afe Babalola, members of the governing council, members of the various faculties, proud parents and above all, graduands.

Let me begin by saying thank you to the founder and to all of you, for I am so highly honoured to be invited to give the convocation lecture at one of the best universities in the African continent.

My heartfelt congratulations to all soon to be graduates, for the hard work and accomplishments that have brought you to this day.

You more than deserve it, so please give yourself a big hand.

I would also like to acknowledge proud and relieved parents, family members, and others who may have helped to pay the bills, or cheered you on, all these years. I am sure that they are all happy to see you graduate today.

Many thanks are also due to your lecturers, admin staff, library staff, canteen staff, the cleaning staff, gardeners, security and all those who keep these grounds in such immaculate order. These people and many more, are all involved in your graduation, and it will be a sign of your maturity, that you thank them for their efforts, on your behalf.  After all, gratitude to, and graciousness towards others, will always stand to you, in life.

It was just like yesterday when you matriculated and, just like that; graduation day is here. Right now, at this time, at this very moment, it’s like you are about to board a ship – the ship of life.  You are leaving behind your comfort zone, the safety and security of campus, for the uncertainty and adventure of the rest of your life. Life is, of course, a journey, and as you set sail, some of you will pause, and think about what the future holds, what people you will meet, and what will happen to your career.

Your degree is like a life jacket on the ship of life.  It will keep you afloat, until you find your own niche. And as the world that we now live in, is rapidly changing, you will have to be able to adapt to the changing times, to keep afloat. Keep in mind that you are already in the top 1 per cent, to have gotten to where you are today. As you move on from here, you are likely to suffer some setbacks along the way. But remember, even if you fail and fall many times, that’s ok – just get up, dust yourself off, and move on.

The strength of your character comes not from how you react to your successes, of which there will be many, instead, the strength of your character comes from how you react to your failures, of which there will also be many, especially if you are bold, daring, or audacious.  So, always believe in yourself, persevere, but be willing to adapt.

To paraphrase the Bible: “from whom much is given, much is expected.”  You’ve been given tools with which to solve the world’s problems, including those plaguing our dear country Nigeria.  We look to you to help fix them.

I’ve been invited to address you on this very special day that we are celebrating your academic success, on the topic: DECONSTRUCTING THE NIGERIAN CONUNDRUM, AS A PANACEA FOR NATIONAL COHESION AND TRANSFORMATION.

Incidentally, this is a topic that is close to my heart, and quite coincidentally so, as I speak to a new generation of Nigerian graduates and the crème de la crème of the Nigerian academia at this fountain of knowledge.

Indeed, our country is facing numerous challenges, and I recognise that conscious efforts are being made at different levels to resolve them; but more still needs to be done. We are witnessing different degrees of social, economic, and political difficulties, compounded by the challenge of insecurity in sections of the country. So, the call to deconstruct the Nigerian conundrum cannot, therefore, be an easy task, not only because of the problematic nature of “deconstruction process”, but because the Nigerian conundrum is complex and sometimes a trigger of disillusionment. The good thing is that this situation tasks the ability to be audacious with hope. Nonetheless, how do we conceptualise the Nigerian conundrum?

 

In my opinion, the Nigerian conundrum is a sum of our intractable problems. It began, for operational purposes, from the period of our post-colonial period, up to the period of independence.

The immediate post-independence period, the period of the military and the many attempts at democracy are notable times we can also put in context. The conundrum is reflected in our political challenges, witnessed in the fears and experiences around coups and counter-coups, and in the tensions around elections.

It reared its head in the downsides of military rule, through their abhorrence of debate, due process and methods in public administration. Their tendency for dictatorship offends the spirit of the civil society and diminishes the decision-making integrity of the populace. Apart from our military dictatorship experience, are the crisis of democracy, and the practitioners in the democratic process. Regrettably, we have been witnesses to a greater number of self-interested politicians, mostly concerned about pecuniary interests. Contrary to their campaign promises, our politicians are placing their private interests above common and national interests.

This has led to lip service and a slow pace of national development. Many politicians see the treasury as a tool for enrichment. There’s hardly any distinction, as have been shown in many cases in the past, between their private purse and that of the public. Once an access to public funds is created, its misuse and its abuse begin in earnest. While there may be some accountability at the federal level, there’s little or none at the state and local government levels.

The results have been failed promises, poverty, lack of economic development, deprivation, and insecurity. The people are alienated from government at all levels. It’s like we are back to colonialism, where the politicians are the ‘colonial masters’ and the people the subjects. While our politicians lead us through this path, we watch askance, as many other nations are progressing. We’ve heard of stories of Singapore, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, China, and increasingly Rwanda; most of them – countries with whom we were once development peers. Today, many of these countries are far ahead of us in development and are yet increasing their strides. On the hand, we have remained stagnant on many fronts, or at best are developing at a slower rate.

One of the greatest challenges facing Nigeria today is the threat to national unity, as centrifugal tensions, resource control and self-determination, ethnicity-based identity politics and religious cleavages have enveloped national consciousness. But the issue of ethnicity and the exploitation of its residual gain has been with us from the beginning.

Nigeria’s founding fathers, great as they were in terms of what they hoped for the young country in 1960, played their politics on ethnic lines. For example, the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) was for the advancement of the north, the action group (ag) was founded and promoted for the advancement of the political agenda of the western region, while the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons was for the south-east agenda. Today, several years after, Nigeria is still dealing with the offshoot of such rather self-centred calculations.

This is why we have the Arewa Consultative Forum, the Oodua Peoples Congress and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, all waxing strong in this 21st century. Each of these ethnic groupings and organisations speaks for their people. None speaks for Nigeria. They all talk about their own ethnic nationalities. So, who then speaks for Nigeria?

According to Adeniji Adeyinka Sampson, in his publication titled “The Impact Of Ethnicity On Nigeria’s Political Development” we can see ethnicity as apparently a negative value, given that it has contributed nothing but disunity in diversity, as ethnic groups are regarded closer, and ethnic interest are seen as utmost priority over national interest.

Yet ethnicity, when viewed in a different perspective, could be regarded as a positive value, because it exemplifies unity in diversity. The Nigerian existence points to the fact that despite numerous and varying ethnic groups, ethnic militia movements, and recurring ethnic violence for over 50 years, the country still operates, and there is still political continuity.

Across the length and breadth of Nigeria, ethnic factor and consideration in politics, economic, social and academic matters cannot be avoided. Politics in Nigeria is ethnic-oriented; political parties have ethnic consciousness, and they pursue ethnic interest differently from the national interests. The ethnic factor or ethnicity is more often than not, the ground on which presidents are elected, governors voted, ministers appointed, contracts awarded, and national policies decided. The socio-political belief is that, one can only get to power at the centre through ethnic connections, or by fanning the embers of ethnicity. This has led to the formation of ethnic militia which refers to the extreme form of ethnic agitation for self-determination.

However, realising the danger associated with the ethnic card, national integration has been a top priority of governments in Nigeria. The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, the unity schools, the federal character principle, and state creation are examples of state policies intended to achieve the goal of unifying Nigerians (Alapiki, 2005). But it is clear that the outcome of integration policies and programmes in Nigeria have fallen far below expectation, as primordial ethnic loyalties are still deep-seated. Ethnic particularism is seen as the major cause of this failure (Naanen, 1995), and consequently, suggestions on policy options are targeted to deal with this issue.

Unity occurs when all of the elements of a piece combine to make a balanced, harmonious, complete whole.

As the political landscape becomes very busy towards the 2019 elections, we are witnesses to the role that ethnicity is playing, in throwing up the gladiators. I dare say that the rivalry between the ethnic groups has made it impossible for leaders of high moral standing who live above boards, who, exude impeccable and predictable character, and who are ready to offer themselves for the development of the nation. Ethnic affiliation has not allowed such leaders to emerge. And at each election, the emphasis has always been on where the candidates came from, rather than on the right candidates for the election.

How do we deal with this political conundrum? How can we ensure that our political actors think and believe more in the collective than in the self? How do they develop a macro-view, as against the micro-vision? If we have moved away from the period of military hegemony, how do we move away from the reigning period of civilian oligarchs, who are pulling us backwards? Put more succinctly, how do we navigate our ways out of this political conundrum? These are big question marks.

In thinking through ways out of the logjam, I will like to see a reversal of our present impasse, where politics is practiced as a cost-benefit affair, as a profit and loss process. Where there are no options to victory and where the pride of participation is under glorified. Where ethics, values and virtues are diminished for materialism, for prebendal rapacity, at the expense of the public good. Where overt proclamation of morality is far distanced from the covert reality of dishonesty. Where our institutions are weakened, and where individuals are prioritised, lionised and deified, at the expense of the more structural and the more enduring establishments.

The economic sphere is also instructive. Nigeria’s economy has long being mono-cultural. It goes with its serious problem of, fluctuating prices. It takes us through booms and dooms, through debts and recoveries, into poverty, with prosperity still far to fetch. The sole revenue source also often raises issues around resource allocation, leading to further debates on restructuring, fiscal federalism, resource control and such others.

Trillions of U.S. dollars have also been frittered away through corruption, typifying the mindlessness of people who have been opportuned to manage the economy. Public funds have been brazenly looted, stashed abroad, or plundered on frivolities. The results are unemployment, and mass poverty, leading to our present rating as one of the most corrupt nations on planet earth.

Just a few years ago, Transparency International ranked us 136th globally in corruption, while the gallup world poll regularly tracks our perceptions of corruption, to be among the world’s worst. The oil industry, which accounts for 70% of government revenue, is handicapped by fraud and theft, at every level of the supply chain. Corruption has had far-reaching repercussions in the land. In the meantime, the world is moving on, and today’s business landscape continues to evolve at a blistering pace.

Even though Nigeria has an abundance of human and natural resources, including one of the region’s most trainable workforces and Africa’s largest oil reserves; it remains one of the world’s most unequal societies, and continues to face a number of serious social and economic challenges.

So, the conundrum in our current sociology is defined by the absence of peace, leading to disinvestment and the flight of capital. It is identified by the fear of tomorrow and concerns over unpredictable death, destruction and devastation. The fear of the neighbour, the next man, and the atmosphere of mutual distrust highlight the conundrum of insecurity.

Productivity is naturally discouraged in this situation. With the dearth of productivity, unemployment, under-employment and under-development are likely to follow.

Hmmm! The intention is not to dampen your enthusiasm as you celebrate your graduation today. My intention is to throw up the challenges confronting us as a nation, and the chaos, confusion and disorder that we have found ourselves. But even much more important, my intention is to let you know that chaos, confusion and disorder are antecedents of opportunity.

So, the big question is – how do we turn this situation around? What steps can we take to bring about national cohesion and transformation, from this discouraging environment? Remember what I said earlier – that we must have a steel-heart for hope, a resolve to pull ourselves out of the doldrums, and a spirit to excel.

First stop. We’ll have to rebuild our psychology to increase our belief in the collective – the common good. We need a greater sense of patriotism, a better disposition for nationalism, and an increased penchant to think about the welfare and prosperity of the community. The people should be our priority. I am convinced that we can move to a level where the public interest becomes the better interest, if a greater number of our leaders work in that direction, two, three or four leaders can make a whole lot of difference.

Dr Kofi Anna, the late United Nations Secretary-General, once said that “we need to think of the future and the planet we are going to leave to our children”.

In trying to find solutions to our crisis, it is important to emphasise the significance of the youth population of a nation. Most of you graduating today are due to join the teeming youth population out there. If a nation’s youth population is educated, healthy and productive, rest assured that the nation will grow. If all other variables add up, you can be confident that the nation’s future will be prosperous.

So, I charge you to be audacious. For, the best time to dare, is now – the time of your youth. It’s the best time to prepare for life; and to take risks. Mark Zuckerburg was 19 when he founded Facebook, the networking site. Bill Gates was 20 as at the time he began Microsoft. Apple’s Steve Jobs was 21, Google’s Larry Page was 25, Ebay’s Pierre Omidyar was 28, and Larry Ellison of Oracle was 32 at the time he came up with Oracle.

We cannot afford to waste our youthful energy. The energy is not just significant for national growth, but helpful to self- development.

As Dr Mo Ibrahim, founder of Mo’ Ibrahim Foundation for good governance in Africa once remarked; “Africa is a continent of young people. Our demography is completely different from the rest of the world. Within three generations, 41 per cent of the world’s youth will be Africans. By 2030, Africa’s labour force will be larger than China’s (and) by 2035 it will be larger than India’s. This is a wonderful resource for our continent if this resource is skilled and employed.

Therefore, I am arguing that the youth of this nation can be turned into a force for the resolution of our economic conundrum, if, and only if their potentials are harnessed, through appropriate opportunities. The youths of Nigeria could be one way out of our conundrum, against the background of the clamour for generational change in leadership.

Our challenges, our conundrum, which are obvious in the fields of politics, economics and our sociology, are not insurmountable. With the right leadership at all levels, our nation would be galvanised and propelled to the right path, for the needed redemption, and for the quest for national cohesion and transformation, which we now urgently deserve.

I congratulate our new graduates. But may I remind you that your journey has just begun, because you will definitely meet with diverse challenges that would task your imagination, shake your faith and patriotism. Do not be daunted.

I encourage you to have faith in your country and defend it. All round education entails the ability to use training in your chosen field of study to proffer solutions to societal challenges. The future of Nigeria, lives in, and rests on you. Every of your effort in deconstructing Nigeria’s conundrum for national integration, cohesion and transformation would position you for national greatness. I challenge you all to see any obstacles you would ever confront in the future, as a springboard to contributing your quota.

As I am most certain that you already know it, you, are the true and real panacea, for Nigeria’s conundrums.

There’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s go for it.

Class of 2018; congratulations!

2019 Elections: BON Calls For Responsible Journalism

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) has advised media practitioners to be responsible in the discharge of their duties.

At its 70th Annual General Meeting on Thursday, the Chairman of BON, Mr John Momoh (OON), called all members of the media to reflect on how to serve the audience and the country.

Mr Momoh gave this advice on Thursday at the 70th General Assembly of BON in Abuja.

“Responsibility should be the beacon for media managers, editors, reporters, presenters and the whole media value chain,” Mr Momoh who is also the Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group said.

“Responsibility connotes objectivity, it connotes fairness, decorum, finance, partisan, patriotism, sacrifice, balance, truth and trust. I will recommend one or all of the following codes to journalists, the Nigerian Media Code on election coverage, the NBC Code on election reporting and the Global Journalistic Code.”

Chairman/CEO, Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh

On his part, Veteran Broadcaster, Tony Iredia, said journalists must be committed to the truth and uphold the ethics of the profession.

“Are we following the ethical values of the profession? Ethical values are things we all know; decency, fairness, objectivity, and so on, but the most important of them is the truth,” he said.

This, he explained, is because the truth is an absolute defence to defamation.

He urged journalists who would be covering the election to bear in mind that election coverage is a special assignment.

Book Launch: Jim Ovia Has Pulled A Trigger – John Momoh

 

The Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh, has praised the founder of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, for writing his new book ‘Africa Rise And Shine’.

While addressing an audience at the launch of the book on Monday at the Eko Hotel Convention Centre, Expo Hall, Mr Momoh described the book as insightful, enterprising and practical.

He also said by writing the book, Mr Ovia had “pulled a trigger” which will contribute to the overall success and development of the African continent.

He said, “Very many precious people have written about doing business in Nigeria.

“Jim Ovia has written an insightful, enterprising, practical and excellent book on how he’s risen from 0 to 16 billion dollars in Africa and if Africa is the new frontier, and Nigeria is the trigger that will make that happen, Jim Ovia has pulled the trigger”.

The event was well attended by dignitaries including the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu; and Billionaire businesswoman, Folorunsho Alakija.

Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Christopher Kolade; political economist, Pat Utomi, among others were also at the event.