Change Mantra: Buhari Is Not Slow, Says VON Boss

Osita-Okechukwu-Buhari-VONThe Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu, has called for patience among the citizens as President Muhammadu Buhari leads the change campaign to transform Nigeria.

The VON boss told Channels Television on Thursday that the President was trying to follow the rule of the law to drive his administration.

He made the appeal during an interview where he explained the motive behind the recently launched national orientation programme, ‘Change Begins With Me’.

“If you have to follow the rule, it will be as if you are slow.

“President Muhammadu Buhari is not slow, (but) it is about following the rule of the law.

“We are saying in the fullness of time, the Nigerian people will come to realise what we are doing because transparency is on the door step,” he said.

A Better Result

Mr Okechukwu stated further that President Buhari was not biased in his war against corruption.

He expressed optimism that the present administration’s corruption fight would earn Nigeria a better result and called on Nigerians to support the campaign.

“The corruption fight is not one sided. Nobody could have probed Osita Okechukwu in Voice Of Nigeria, but you can now probe me.

“We are saying in the next few years, the money we’ll save will make better result than the big money we got in the past and wasted.

“We are saying please, we need citizens’ participation because if the citizens are not involved, we are wasting our time,” he said.

President Buhari had on Thursday, September 8, launched a new national orientation programme, Change Begins With Me.

He said that it was to show his administration’s determination to carry all Nigerians along on the journey to a better and greater society that everybody can be proud of.

The President said that the programme was the best way to sustain the effort his administration had made in the fight against corruption.

Nigerian Govt. Sacks 20 More Heads Of Parastatals, Agencies

portfolioThe Nigerian government has disengaged 20 more heads of federal parastatals and agencies.

Their disengagement was contained in a statement on Monday by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr David Lawal.

Earlier, six heads of agencies and parastatals under the Ministry of Information and Culture were sacked.

The Statement read: “The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate disengagement of the following Chief Executive Officers of the under-listed Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions”.

President Buhari also approved that the most senior officers in the Parastatals, Agencies and Councils oversee the activities of the organisations pending the appointment of substantive Chief Executive Officers.

According to the statement, President Buhari, however, thanked the affected government officials for their invaluable services to the Nation and wished them well in their future endeavours.

List of the 26 parastatals and agencies.

(i) Nigerian Television Authority (NTA)
(ii) Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN)
(iii) Voice of Nigeria (VON)
(iiii) News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
(v) National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)
(vi) Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF)
(vii) New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
(viii) Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF)
(ix) Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board(NCDMB)
(x) Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN)
(xi) Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund)
(xii) National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)
(xiii) Petroleum Equalization Fund
(xiiii) Nigeria Railways Corporation (NRC)
(xv) Bureau of Public Procurements (BPP)
(xvi) Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE)
(xvii) Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA)
(xviii) Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON)
(xix) National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
(xx) Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC)
(xxi) Bank of Industry (BoI)
(xxii) National Centre for Women Development (NCWD)
(xxiii) National Orientation Agency (NOA)
(xxiiii) Industrial Training Fund (ITF)
(xxv) Nigerian Export-Import Bank
(xxvi) National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic In Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP).

2013 In Review: Journalist Approves Performance Of Social Media

The Former Director, Voice of Nigeria, Gabriel Omohinmi, on Friday gave kudos to the social media for breaking the major news stories which dominated the media in the year 2013 but faulted the traditional news media for not performing up to expectation.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Omohinmi expressed disappointment in the performance of the traditional news media (print, television and radio) despite the enabling atmosphere  Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has created for practitioners. “We’ve actually not had problems with this present administration,” he said and added that “they have been very fair. They have allowed the Press to express themselves.”

According to the seasoned journalist, “the Nigerian media has not done well. We are not doing well. The traditional media is not performing the duties (that is) expected of them” because major stories in 2013 including the controversial letter exchange between former president Olusegun Obasanjo and President Jonathan, were broken by online based media.

This new trend is an indication that “people no longer trust media-men,” he said, adding that, “credibility is the basis of journalism practice.”

In the case of the call for Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah’s sack, Omohinmi said that journalists attached to the Presidency and the House of Representatives have not done their jobs as they should have obtained and published copies of the committees investigating the matter.

He also faulted the Minister for asking a journalist, Simon Ateba, to go back to school, after questioning her about House of Representatives’ call for her sack or resignation.

“Was it the duty of the minister for aviation to do that? Where are the reporters at the National Assembly? Why is it that they’ve not been able to get a copy of the report?”

He further mentioned that cases of journalists having romantic relationships with public officers in the beat they cover,  must stop as it is unprofessional.

“We must demand more from our reporters. They are not doing what is expected.”

Editorial policies of news organisations should be the guiding principle for journalists who are posted on assignments but “majority of them are out to see how much money they can make.” “Every media organisation is expected to have its own code of ethics that guides its own employees,” he said.

Omohinmi stated that the government owned media can perform much better than what they are doing now but the problem lies within the journalists and appointed officials who carry out “self-censorship” in favour of top government officers.

“I was in Voice of Nigeria, there was no time any minister will come and say this is what you take in our news.

“I remember during the MKO Abiola saga and Uche Chukwumerije was busy issuing out statements and I told them I was the news editor, I said No, I can’t carry this and I stood by it.

“My director of news came and said I was suspended and I said all well and good, I’m ready to go… I was suspended for one week but finally they brought me back and said what I did was quite professional.”

He advised that media organisations should establish their credibility in order to avoid external interference in their operations. “Do what is expected of you. Be credible and let the audience know that, is your only source,” he said.

NUJ seeks editorial independence for NTA, FRCN and others

The Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) has asked the national assembly to consider the review of the structure of ownership and control of public media houses in the on-going constitution amendment to give the organisations more editorial independence and make them more accountable to Nigerians.

Speaking at a dialogue of editors on the review of the 1999 Constitution, the president of the NUJ, Mr Muhammed Garba, stated that the review of the acts establishing these media houses have become imperative as there is a need to give them more editorial independence as well as make them more accountable to the Nigerian public and not the government.

The affected media organisations that will be affected with the review will be the Nigeria Television Authority, (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Others are the Voice of Nigeria (VON) and the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) ACT

According to Mr Garba, parts of the Act that need change is the powers that allow the President to hire and fire in the various public media houses ,this he says will give the organisations more neutrality  in the job of discriminating information.

He also demanded a review of the laws on the establishment of media organisation in Nigeria, as he also sought for laws that will make provision for a better welfare for media practitioners.