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April 22, 2024
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Information Minister to support NAN on digital advancement to stay ahead of curve

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By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris says, the Federal Government will support the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) to attain digital advancement and stay ahead of the curve to propagate government information with credibility.

Idris stated this during his working visit to the Agency’s Headquarters on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that NAN was Nigeria’s preeminent vendor of news content and conveying Nigerian news to the world.

The minister said his coming to NAN reminded him of the critical role that the agency had played and continued to play in the projection of the country ‘s values and national identity at home and abroad.

He pledged to work with the agency to strengthen its activities,adding that its vision entails commitment to excellence, technological advancement and continued dedication to the principle of journalism.

Idris said, “I know that modernisation is key to your operations here and to the operations of every platform.

“So, we will be paying attention to the modernisation process that is happening across the world and within the industry.

“On your part, continue to fulfil your role in conveying and providing high quality and timely news to traditional, electronic, and digital media in Nigeria and across the world.

“Also, you have the responsibility to help the country propagate the ideas and achievements of President Bola Tinubu and his administration as encapsulated in the Renewed Hope Agenda.

“What I have observed from my familiarisation visits so far is that technological advancement and modernisation are a necessity in journalism.  Modernisation and innovation are going to be the key areas of my work.”

According to Idris, the ministry will bring all public media institutions under it, especially NAN, not just up to date, but to ensure that they stay ahead of the curve.

The minister charged the management and members of staff of NAN to continue to push themselves to evolve so as to remain relevant in the ever-changing time in the industry.

He reiterated that it was important for NAN staffers to evolve especially in journalism to stay ahead of time.

Idris said, “I want to thank all the hardworking staff of NAN for what they are doing.

“We assure you that we will prioritise your welfare within the resources available so that you can continue to fulfill your mandate.”

Speaking earlier, the Director overseeing the Office of the Managing Director, Mr Abdulhadi Khalil, said that NAN felt particularly thrilled when the minister recently said that he would tell Nigerians the truth and nothing but the truth.

“Our joy stemmed from the fact that your strong philosophy is in sync with the NAN’s philosophy: ‘Tell Nigerians the truth at all times.

“Since NAN was established in 1976 and it started operations in 1978, it has remained focused on serving Nigerians and indeed the whole world, through searching for and publishing the whole truth and only that.

“Currently, we have about 2,500 clients and serve them through our diverse services that include text general news features, photos, video and audio news, SMS news, PR wire news and many other services.

“To handle these services effectively, we have offices in all the states and district offices in most senatorial districts. We also have 12 zones with two in each of Nigeria’s geopolitical zones,” he said.

Khalil stated that NAN also had many foreign offices, adding, “but with the dearth of funds, only the New York office is currently functional.

He added, “With the advent of social media, there has arisen a huge challenge to NAN to do even more, since its monopoly of being first with the news is under threat.

“The challenge means that we have to scout for more modern equipment so as to compete favorably in the ever-competitive media space.

“Added to this is the need to train our personnel to handle this new equipment and use them optimally for the benefit of the country.

“We have prepared a document to the Honourable Minister which contains all these requirements.

“We shall be happy if the honorable Minister is able to go through it as we shall soon start knocking your door with concerns.”

NAN reports that the minister was conducted round the facilities in the agency by Khalil, accompanied by other management staff. (NAN)

Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani

Philip Daniel Yatai

Principal Correspondent, NAN Abuja
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