The Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, has risen from its 13th All Nigeria Editors Conference, ANEC, and Extraordinary Convention lamenting that the media industry is facing a serious crisis that would require the intervention of government.
The theme of the Conference that held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital from September 20-24, 2017, and which was declared open by the Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, was “Balancing Professionalism, Advocacy and Business.”
In a communique released by the President and Secretary General of the Guild, Funke Egbemode and Victoria Ibanga, respectively, after the Conference, the NGE called on government to do more than it is doing presently “to ensure a conducive environment for the media to flourish.”
The Guild, for instance, called on government to intervene to bring down the cost of raw materials needed in media operations, like news print, stressing that resuscitation of the moribund Oku Iboku Newsprint Company and establishment of new ones will bring down the current high cost of the commodity needed in the operation of the print media.
The Guild also encouraged major stakeholders in the media industry like the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN and the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, as well as companies and individuals to partner and synergise to cut costs, eliminate wastages and consider new revenue sources or business ideas so as to make the media business more profitable without compromising on professionalism and their equally critical role as advocates.
The full text of the Communique reads:
The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), held its 13th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC) and Extraordinary Convention 2017 at the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, from September 20-24, 2017.
The theme of the Conference, which was declared open by the Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, was: “Balancing Professionalism, Advocacy and Business.”
Chairman of the opening ceremony was Malam Ismaila Isa Funtua, while the Chairman of the Conference was Aremo Segun Osoba, former Governor of Ogun State.
Mr. Azubuike Ishiekwene, the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Interview, delivered the Keynote address while the Senate President and sister associations and unions like the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), and the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) gave goodwill messages.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Surveyor-General of the Federation, Ebisintei Awudu; Governors of Bayelsa, Bauchi and Oyo States, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister; the JAMB Registrar; Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), all made presentations at the Executive Session of the Conference.
A high point of the programme was the Extraordinary Convention at which the Constitution of the Guild was amended.
At the end of exhaustive deliberations on the theme of the Conference, the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, resolved as follows:
1. That the media industry has been and is still experiencing a crisis of recession, which presupposes that government would need to do more to ensure a conducive environment for the media to flourish.
2. That there is a need for Editors, while remaining professionally excellent, to also explore other revenue yielding ventures or business prospects to ensure that life after their editorial assignments is not nightmarish.
3. That Editors in addition to their editorial functions, should concern themselves with the business side of the media industry to ensure that their establishments thrive, and that their venture into business upon retirement will be knowledge-based and experience-enriched from their service years.
4. That Mass Communication Departments and Journalism training institutions include business courses in their curricular so as to prepare future editors for the business of the media industry.
5. That the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and other media stakeholders collaborate to ensure the setting up of newsprint production companies and resuscitation of the moribund one in Oku Iboku, Akwa Ibom State, to address the crisis of high cost of imported newsprints.
6. Appeals to the Federal and state governments to pay outstanding gratuities and pensions of retired Editors and other classes of retirees to make life after retirement less stressful.
7. The Guild commends the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for their efforts in curtailing activities of insurgents, militants and other groups threatening peace and security of the country.
8. The Guild regrets the encroachment on its land in Guzape, Abuja and appreciates the promise by the FCT Minister to redress the situation.
9. The Guild commends its members for their cooperation and support, which led to the successful amendment of its Constitution.
10. The Guild expresses gratitude to the Rivers State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike, for his magnanimity in hosting ANEC back to back successfully and applauds the significant level of infrastructure development recorded in the state under his watch.
Funke Egbemode Victoria Ibanga
President General Secretary