By Ajibola Abayomi,
September 24, 2018.
He came at a time the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council was in dire need of a new pilot to lead the body through another path.
Then, there came an intellectual, a unionist and non-compromise. True to him name, Akinreti, meaning the warrior in waiting, the season came, the strong pen pushers yearned for a change of baton.
On September 29, 2017, that was the defining moment for Lagos Journalists. A choice was made to elect Qasim Olalere Akinreti, a Mass Communication PhD holder from the prestigious Babcock University, Nigeria, and an Assistant Director, Voice of Nigeria (VON), as chairman.
The Ife, Osun State born Akinreti is a well traveled and multiple intentional award winning media practitioner who is an online journalism guru, global resource personality, international media trainer and highly rated author. His victory was dubbed a round peg in a round hole.
The chairman since assumption of office had opened a new chapter of for union along the path of integrity and honour.
For record purposes, his campaign promises were: intercity of the Union Accountability, Capacity building/Trainings, and Media Investment
Hitting the ground running, the first week of his administration saw capacity building/training for Lagos Journalists, on the New Media skills anchored by Mr Lekan Otufodunrin, the Managing Editor, The Nation Newspaper Online and the chairman Lagos NUJ Committee on Training and Education.
This was followed with Quality Assurance skills for international Organization standard Certification by UNIDO, Journalists Safety Techniques For 2019 Elections and Election Coverage skills by the International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress, Abuja.
The International Women In Media Conference in Ibadan, Journalists Tweets and Tons workshop by the International Press Center as the Online Journalists and Bloggers Training, Abeokuta by EU-IPC funded programme for 2019 were in the park.
Interestingly, a Josephine Agbonkhese, from Vanguard newspaper from Lagos council represented Nigeria in a one week The African Journalists training in Cairo, Egypt courtesy of the Waheed Odusile led NUJ Presidency.
Dr Akinreti raised the bar of the Union’s integrity through visits to Foreign embassies in Lagos for international collaborations. The UK and German consular officers have engaged the union thereafter.
The US Public Affairs Section will be visiting to the union Secretariat by October. When good thinking meets with good product, nothing short of good result, development and progress is expected.
In the areas of media investment, his administration has embarked on purchase of Treasury Bills , acres of Land off Kobape, Lagos-Abeokuta expressway for agriculture.
He has also commenced paperwork on the Establishment of Community Radio in collaboration with Badagry community.
In order to enhance accountability and transparency of it activities is on record that the chairman, instituted fact finding committee into alleged fraud on union finances, remittances on light House rent and Abaren Land Scheme under former Chairman, Mr Deji Elumoye.
Efforts on recovery of stolen funds are on, the NUJ Light House estate agent sacked and recommendations on Pen Jewel Estate and Abaren Land Scheme are ready for implementation after National Executive Council (NEC) of NUJ’s approval.
Other areas of successes include partnerships with local and international companies e.g Nestle, First Bank and others, presentation of a school bus to the Journalists International School, Arepo Ogun state.
Also, partnership with institutions like the Nigeria Rapid Response Squad, (RRS), the Nigeria Army (81 Command), Nigerian Army school of Public) Relations (NASPR), Civil Defense and the Nigeria Immigration among.
Celebration of June 12 in collaboration with the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) Provision of welfare packages to members including Health Screening, payment of Surgeries and drugs for members to mention but a few.
The administration is proud of unique contributions of committees, elders’ council and the unity of purpose of the current executives.
A new beginning is here! A new beginning has come to stay. Happy 1st Anniversary