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April 24, 2024
You are currently viewing NAN strives to retain place as foremost news agency in Africa – Ali
Mr Ronald Kayanja, Director, UN Information Centre (UNIC) and Managing Director of NAN, Malam Ali Muhammad Ali. (NAN)

NAN strives to retain place as foremost news agency in Africa – Ali

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By Fortune Abang

The Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Malam Ali Muhammad Ali, has reiterated the agency’s resolve to work assiduously to retain its place as the foremost news agency in Africa.

Ali said this when he received in his office in Abuja, Mr Ronald Kayanja, the Director, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Nigeria, who was on a working visit.

He noted that no media organisation in Nigeria had as much workforce spread across the country as NAN.

He observed that such spread had enabled the agency to cover the country effectively and objectively.

According to him, the agency has reporters covering all the 109 senatorial districts, with the state offices having not less than two reporters.

On funding, Ali stated that the agency is 100 per cent funded by the Federal Government, adding that with dwindling resources, it had become obvious that the agency would have to do more to generate income.

“The agency has a wire service and other income sources, but all the funding models globally have collapsed because of the digital media.

“This is why we said there are some things we need to do to bring about alternative funding and training. And we can collaborate with the UN to train some of our journalists and equip them.

“Also on infrastructure and equipment, there is the need to get the UN to support us by equipping our multimedia centres.

“We have multimedia centres across the nation, particularly in the geo-political zones.

“Unless you innovate, it will be a difficult task ahead. We have seen the case of the Pan-Africa News Agency (PANA), which is now history.

“But we are trying to see how we can evolve.

“This is why we are trying to ensure that our multimedia village becomes the focus because it’s the future,” he said.

The NAN chief, who likened NAN to Xinhua News Agency, the largest official news agency in the People’s Republic of China, which has established both television and radio news outlets, said NAN could do the same.

“We want to be digitally safe. We want to discard the old ways of news hunting because now, clearly, local news is there.

“Everybody everywhere now has smart devices and they can promote themselves.

“This is why our multimedia and social media platforms are augmented to attract people to our YouTube channel, Instagram, and TikTok because these are alternative news feeds and we want to popularise them.

“Until recently, these platforms were not on the front burner.

“So we’re trying to go with the times and this is where we find funding a bit challenging because government has its plate full.

“This is why we are trying to partner with big organsations and agencies. We already have MoUs with the Bulgarian News Agency; BTA, Reuters, German news agency, TASS, the Russian news agency,” Ali said.

He disclosed that NAN recently signed an MoU with the Moroccan press agency.

Ali added that NAN would soon enter into a partnership with the Egyptian news agency for the exchange of knowledge and news as well as capacity building for reporters through training.

He explained that it is by doing so that the agency would be able to augment the funding coming from the Federal Government.

“Whether the products we sell – general news service and PR wire – are revenue streams for the agency independent of government, but what they bring into our coffers is a drop in the ocean,” he said.

Speaking earlier, Kayanja commended NAN for its resilience in sustaining its operational standards over the years.

He applauded the agency for being able to survive the competition from digital media.

He said his visit to the agency was to seek partnership with NAN in the area of promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in the fight against fake news. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Auwalu Birnin Kudu/Emmanuel Yashim

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