PRESIDENT TINUBU PROMISED TO UPHOLD MEDIA FREEDOM, RESPECT DIVERGENT VIEWS

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By Innocent Orok

President Bola Tinubu says his administration will always uphold media freedom and respect opinions, whether they are adversarial or complimentary to his government.

According to Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) in a statement said the President made the pledge on Monday in Abuja during a meeting with members of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN).

President Tinubu assured NPAN members that he would carefully consider their request for a review of policies affecting the paper industry, acknowledging concerns about existing regulations hindering local access to newsprint.

Speaking on the challenges faced by travellers during the festive season, the President said the federal government is taking measures to alleviate the high cost of transportation by granting waivers to operators in the air, road, and rail transportation systems.
He also said steps are being taken to reduce the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

”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.

“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,’’ the President said.

President Tinubu said his administration will remain steadfast in “reinvigorating, retooling and re-engineering the economy,” citing bold decisions by his administration to end the petrol subsidy regime and initiate the ongoing unification of foreign exchange rates.

”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,” he said.

In his remarks, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, reiterated the federal government’s commitment to fostering a vibrant and responsible media landscape in the country.

”Our democracy thrives on the principles of transparency, accountability, and the free flow of information. The role of the media, particularly the newspapers, is paramount in upholding these principles,” the Minister said.

Commending NPAN for providing a platform for national discourse and for diverse voices, the Minister implored the association to collaborate with the Tinubu administration through effective dialogue, advancing shared values, and addressing challenges confronting the nation.

Mr. Kabiru Yusuf, NPAN president and chairman of Media Trust, owners of the Daily Trust Newspapers and Trust Television, while congratulating President Tinubu on his election victory and Supreme Court affirmation, raised pressing concerns facing the newspaper industry.

”Our particular concern is the newspaper industry, which employs thousands of Nigerians: journalists, marketers, distributors, administrators, 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,” he said.

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