NIMASA Will Give Journalism Legitimate Support, Says Dakuku
February 13, 2018
The Managing Director of Thisday newspaper, Mr Eniola Bello has declared that the dream of accomplishing a blue economy in the Nigeria maritime sector would remain a mirage without spelt out benefits for the media sector.
The media chief made the submission at a one day seminar for maritime media stakeholders organized by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Lagos.
The event had as guest lecturer Mr Sam Omtseye, the Editorial Board Chairman of The Nation newspaper who broadened the minds of the participants about the theories of red, green and blue economies and other media ideologies.
According to Sam, blue economy encompasses the fusion of ideologies of both the conservative, capitalist, left and right economic advocacies.
Eniola who applauded NISAMA for the lofty idea of blue economy argued that a lot of things needed to be fixed for smooth operation of the concept.
“I speak from the perspective of media relation. What will you achieve with blue economy if the media are not taking into the concentration in the budgetary allocation of government agencies? The media in Nigeria is challenged in several ways. No regular salaries for journalists and many of the obligations of the government to the media establishments as forth estate of real are neglected.
“Thisday and other frontline newspapers like The Punch, The Guardian and others have been making the dilapidated infrastructure in Apapa the gateway to the nation’s ports a front burner issue for years yet government behaves like deaf dump. Agencies are asking for partnership from media houses yet they are not willing to patronize us in return through adverts.
“So call it blue, red, green or any economy, it cannot work properly if government did not play its role effectively by addressing issues being raised by the media”
Responding, Director General of NIMASA, Dr Peterside Dakuku sympathized with plight of the media outfits amidst economic challenges and pledged to do all that was lawful within his power to promote and support journalism in the country.
“All what Eniola Bello said were true but we should please endeavour to also understand development from the angle of government to balance things. In government, we deal with decision making and allocation of resources. But in all of these I want to plead for understanding as we move on.
“I am willing and will always support all media activities provided it is within the ambit of the law and the budget of NIMASA. However as a people we must embrace the message of change of this government because it is longer business as usual.”
Peterside said the salient message of blue economy as being canversed by the NIMASA in the maritime sector was to ensure sustainability of the economy growth both through on and off sea operations in Nigeria.
“To get things right, we need the media to partner us to send the right messages across. As at the moment, oceanic business needs knowledge which we lack and policy frame work to enable people take advantage of the process.
“Knowledge about ocean economy is needed. We require investment both through the government and private initiates in the sector. Now we must brace up for water mining particularly in shipping and deep sea fishing.
“We are going to encourage and promote indigenous ship ownership by working on conferences that will bring about deep understanding of blue economy” he said.