Members of the Nigerian Guild of editors ended their 13th annual conference in Port Harcourt on Sunday with a call on the government to resuscitate the moribund Nigerian Newsprint Manufacturing Company at Oku Iboku, Akwa Ibom State.
The editors drawn from all parts of the country were in Port Harcourt for four days, and also took advantage of the conference to undertake a tour of projects initiated by the governor, Nyesom Wike.
Wike's decision to host the conference back to back also earned him the commendation of the editors who noted that the governor was working hard to fulfil his promises to the people of Rivers State.
The communiqué issued at the end of the conference is here reproduced:
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Guild regrets the encroachment on its land in Guzape, Abuja and appreciates the promise by the FCT Minister to redress the situation.
- The Guild commends its members for their cooperation and support, which led to the successful amendment of its Constitution.
- 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.