FG Restates Commitment To Press Freedom

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By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has
restated the Federal Government’s commitment to the freedom of the
press, saying the media has nothing to fear from the present
Administration.
According to a statement signed by his SA, Segun Adeyemi, the Minister stated this in Abuja on Thursday when he received a
delegation from the International Press Institute (IPI) on a courtesy
visit to his office.
“The media has nothing to fear from the government but, on the
contrary, we are the ones that cannot sleep with our eyes closed
because of the media,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed, who said the government always takes criticism from
the media in good faith, however, appealed to the media to be fair and
constructive in its criticisms.
“Like I always say, this government will never stifle the media. We
take so many punches everyday from the media. We are not saying please
don’t criticize us, do criticize us, but please do your own homework
thoroughly also and be fair to us. That’s all we are asking. Please
criticize us on facts and not on emotion,” he said.
The Minister said the present administration believes that democracy
cannot thrive without a free press but noted that the media should
report the government within the context of the daunting challenges
facing the nation, most of which were inherited by the Administration.
He said the government is on a rescue mission, but noted that the rot
of 16 years cannot be corrected within two and a half years.
Alhaji Mohammed said the Administration succeeded in preventing a
total collapse of the economy and has returned the country to the path
of economic growth and sustainable development.
He thanked the IPI for its confidence in Nigeria by granting the
country the hosting right for its annual congress, saying the IPI
World Congress 2018, scheduled for Abuja on 21-23 June, will give the
government the opportunity to showcase its achievements to the
international media.
In her remarks, the Executive Director of IPI, Ms. Barbara Trionfi,
said she is in the country to interface with media professionals
towards the successful hosting of the forthcoming congress.
She commended the government for its efforts towards promoting press
freedom and the safety of journalists in the country, and tasked the
media industry to look beyond business rivalry and competition in
order to cooperate and promote the core values of journalism.
Ms. Trionfi was accompanied on the visit by the Chairman of IPI
Nigeria and Publisher of Media Trust, Mallam Kabiru Yusuf; former
Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority, Dr. Tonnie
Iredia, and the Secretary of IPI Nigeria, Mr. Raheem Adedoyin, among
others.

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