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NPAN demands zero tariff on newsprint, condemns breach of free speech in Nigeria

*Newspaper business is an educational venture, and the government must promote education, constitutional and civic duty of the media at holding it accountable to the people ─Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In view importance of newsprint to publishing of newspapers, magazines, journals, books, and other educational materials, the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) has called on the Federal Government to grant zero tariff on newsprint in the country.

The NPAN Tuesday, December 8, 2020, said while the newspaper business is an educational venture, the government must promote education as well as the constitutional and civic duty of the media at holding the government accountable to the people.

The Association made the call at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at its new secretariat in Lagos.

The newspaper proprietors at the meeting also urged the Federal Government to be alive to its responsibility of protecting lives and property of citizens by stamping out terrorism, banditry and kidnapping in the country.

In its communiqué at the end of the AGM, NPAN tasked government on many burning national issues.

Malam Kabiru Yusuf, newly elected President of NPAN, and Alhaji Mohammed Idris, Secretary, in a communiqué, stated: “That as the media is evolving because of digital intrusion, the Association may need to, at the Executive Council, take another look at the situation and respond as appropriate.

The Association urged the Federal Government to revisit its response to the COVID-19 pandemic by making aggressive effort at procuring the vaccines from whatever sources as may be available and vaccinate its citizens against the deadly disease.

NPAN said: “It reflects vigorously on the absence of paper culture on the newspaper industry in particular and the Nigerian economy in general.

Newspaper rolls at the press

“It urges the Federal Government to make a conscious effort to revive the newsprint factories in Nigeria towards improving the health of the newspaper business and paper industry.

“That the NPAN views seriously the steady encroachment on freedom of the press and free speech, especially by state actors and urges resistance through all legitimate means to any infringement on press freedom and free speech.

The Association also maintains that the right to protest is a fundamental human right that must be guaranteed by the Nigerian state in such a way as to stave off violence.

“That the NPAN in particular, pays deserving attention to media education in Nigeria and supports the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) to achieve the stated objective for its establishment, including an upgrade to a degree awarding media training institution in the future.”

Highpoint of the NPAN AGM was the election of its new Executive members, with Malam Kabiru A. Yusuf, Chairman of Trust Media Limited, emerging as the new President, while Lady Maiden Ibru, Chairman of Guardian Press Limited, was elected the Deputy President.

Other new members of NPAN Executive are Chairman, Blueprint Newspapers, Mohammed Idris, Secretary; Chairman, The Nation Press Limited, Mr. Wale Edun, Treasurer; Managing Director, Champion Newspapers, Nwaduito Iheakanwa, Publicity Secretary; and Chairman, Daily Times of Nigeria, Fidelis Anosike, Assistant General Secretary.

Chairman of Leadership Group Limited, Sam Nda-Isaiah; Chairman, Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ); and former Publisher of Newswatch Magazine, Ray Ekpu, and Publisher of The Nigerian Pilot, Dennis Sami, were confirmed ex-Officio Members.

NPAN also elevated Prince Nduka Obaigbena and Sam Amuka to join Segun Osoba as its life patrons.

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