By Maureen Okon
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday received a major boost in its operations with the signing of a working agreement with the Italian news agency, Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) in Abuja.
NAN reports that ANSA, the leading news agency in Italy, is a not-for-profit cooperative, founded in 1945 whose members and owners are 36 leading news organisations in the European country.
Its mission is the distribution of fair and objective news reports.
The Managing-Director (MD) of NAN, Mr Buki Ponle signed the agreement for NAN while the Ambassador of Italy to Nigeria, Mr Stefano De Leo signed fon behalf of ANSA at the NAN headquarters.
The signing of the agreement was witnessed virtually by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ANSA, Mr Stefano De Alessandri and the Nigerian Ambassador to Italy, Mr Mfawa Abam.
Speaking during the agreement signing ceremony, De Alessandri said the event was timely and was made possible through the efforts of both the NAN management and the Italian mission in Nigeria.
He said ANSA has a cooperative of 26 publishers of newspapers and magazines and the most important national and regional newspapers.
According to him, ANSA has correspondents in more than 50 countries around the world.
“We are a traditional news agency that disseminates information via news wire, photo and video services.
“We do not publish only in the Italian language in Italy but we publish on five international websites in English, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, and German.
“I am very pleased to sign this agreement with NAN. Nigeria is the country with the largest population in Africa and is one of the most important countries in the continent of Africa.
“Starting in 2022, we have been renewing our collaboration agreements with international news agencies and we are also opening new partnerships,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the NAN MD said that the signing of the agreement was a milestone in the history of the largest news content provider in Nigeria.
He added that the news exchange agreement with ANSA marked another defining phase in NAN’s continuous engagement with like-minded institutions.
“It is my hope and belief that this landmark event will signal the beginning of a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship.
“With ANSA’s presence in more than 81 cities across more than 50 countries in the world, and a production capacity of 3,500 news items daily, this partnership agreement will no doubt offer the diverse clientele of both wire agencies enriched content and plurality of reading and viewership experience.
“Since my appointment as MD in Sept. 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari, we have put in place programmes and processes to boost the editorial and operational efficiency as well as to enhance the visibility of the agency.
“From a six-zone structure, the agency now has 12 zonal offices in the country while it is set to reopen its foreign bureaux in Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, and Abidjan.
“This is in addition to its New York Bureau currently covering North America,” he said.
Responding, Nigerian Ambassador to Italy, Abam, commended the managements of both agencies for what he described as “laudable agreement”.
He said the event marked a milestone in Nigeria-Italy relations.
He expressed optimism that both agencies would take advantage of the new opportunities that abound in the media sector as both agencies enter into the historic era of the partnership.
“I say this in acknowledgement of NAN’s reputation for media excellence and historic commitment that connotes international presence.
“Likewise ANSA which has earned its pride of reporting fair and objective international news.
“As the saying goes: “no man is an island” no matter how well-endowed.
“In this era of globalisation and inter-dependence, cooperative partnership such as this with other institutions in the world is not an option but a necessity.
“Thus, the signing of this agreement today demonstrates the importance of what our two countries attach to our relationship and our commitment to further strengthening it,’’ he said.
On his part, the Italian ambassador to Nigeria described the agreement between ANSA and NAN as an important step in further proving both countries’ already existing relations.
He observed that the exchange of information and knowledge is key ex-specially when done with Nigeria, ”the giant of Africa and the most populous country in the continent.
“This event…is the first positive sign of other events that we will highlight in the future such as the opening of the Italian Trade Agency in Lagos and hopefully, very soon, a direct flight between Nigeria and Italy.” (NAN)
Edited by Emmanuel Yashim