FG will uphold media freedom, respect divergent views, Tinubu assures

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By Ismail Abdulaziz

President Bola Tinubu says his administration will always uphold media freedom and respect opinions, whether they are adversarial or complimentary to his government.

Tinubu’s media aide, Mr Ajuri Ngelale, stated in Abuja on Monday that the president made the pledge at a meeting with members of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN).

The president assured NPAN members that he would consider their request for a review of policies affecting newspaper publishing and acknowledged concerns raised by the association about regulations inhibiting access to newsprint.

Also at the meeting, the president assured that the Federal Government would cushion the high costs of transportation by granting waivers to airlines, road and rail transport operators in the spirit of the Yuletide.

He also said steps were being taken to reduce the price of cooking gas.

“I care about what is going on in the country. I thank you for your support and opinions, even the criticism of our government.

“Without the support of some of you, I will not be standing here as president.

“You have held our feet to the fire, and we will continue to respect your opinions whether we agree with them or not.

“One thing I must say is that I read every newspaper, various opinions, and various columnists,’’ Ngilale quoted  Tinubu.

The president also said that his administration would remain steadfast in reinvigorating, retooling and re-engineering Nigeria’s economy.

He cited decisions already taken to end petrol price subsidy and to initiate the unification of foreign exchange rates.

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“I promise you a very transparent government. We will try our best to draw water from a dry well and create a good economic environment that will serve the people.

“The future of our country is clear with committed investments in health, infrastructure, transportation, and education, among others.

“We have to take care of the poor. If we invest in our own children and leave the children of the poor, the children of neglect will attack your investments,’’ he told the newspapers publishers.

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In his remarks, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to fostering a vibrant and responsible media landscape.

“Our democracy thrives on the principles of transparency, accountability, and the free flow of information.

“The role of the media, particularly the newspapers, is paramount in upholding these principles,’’ the minister said.

He commended the NPAN for providing a platform for national discourse and for its diverse voices.

Idris also implored the NPAN to collaborate with the Tinubu government through effective dialogue, advancing shared values, and addressing challenges confronting the nation.

Earlier, Mr Kabiru Yusuf, NPAN president and chairman of Media Trust, congratulated Tinubu on his election victory.

“Our particular concern is the newspaper industry which employs thousands of journalists, marketers, distributors, administrators and accountants.

“Newspapers are also part of the building blocks of democracy and reliable sources of information in a world that is overwhelmed by fake news,’’ Yusuf said.

Edited by Alli Hakeem

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