By: Ade Adeleke
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Press Council (NPC), Mr Francis Nwosu, has charged the media and professionals in the industry to make policy makers and government’s officials to be more prudent and accountable about their decisions and activities that affect the livelihood of the people and development of the country.
Nwosu gave the charge in Osogbo, the Osun State capital while delivering his opening remark at a two day workshop on “the Role of The Media in Promoting Good Governance and Social Cohesion.”
Declaring open the workshop, the Osun State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode expressed concern that things were becoming more difficult for the media as a result harsh economic situation in the country.
Egbemode said the media is like dying craft, that needs to be rescued to enable it perform the role of promoting good governance and social cohesion.
Also speaking at the workshop, the Osun State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Wasiu Ajadosu, advised media professionals to be proactively alive to their statutory obligations in promoting good governance through an unbiased reportage and thorough assessment of government activities.
Welcoming the participants earlier, the NPC Executive Secretary, Nwosu noted that the public relies on the media for credible information to facilitate mutual understanding and to enhance national unity and cohesion, hence the need for the professionals to perform diligently their roles as enshrined in section 22 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The NPC Executive Secretary said, “the aim of the workshop is to enhance the instrumentality of the media to deepen democracy; good governance and social cohesion.
“The role of the media in fostering an environment of good governance is adjudged as one that cannot be overemphasized in a democratic society.
“As the watchdog and interpreter of public issues and events, the media is expected to provide analytical and factual news and opinion to the people.
“The public relies on the media for credible information to facilitate mutual understanding and to enhance national unity and cohesion. Similarly, the media can make policy makers and government officials to be more prudent about their decisions and activities that affect the livelihood of the people and the development of the society as a whole.
“Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution as amended gave the media the role to monitor government on behalf of the people. This role is very central. to the achievement of democracy.
“Good governance is one of the key concepts for democratic development in climes the world over. It entails the credibility and ability of a state to perform its key responsibility in response to the needs and aspirations of its citizens and to be accountable for what it does,” Nwisu said.
The NPC Boss also stated what the government doing to enhance social cohesion in the country.
Nwosu said, “It is no doubt in reaiization of this that the Federal Government recently announced improving governance and creating social cohesion as part of its nine point agenda which the administration intends to achieve in its remaining years.
“It is our desire therefore, that this btain thrust will, among others generate open discussion on the role of the media in nation’s building, analyze the dynamics and engender stakeholders’ Commitment (i..e the media) to monitor governance for participatory democracy, good governance, social cohesion and accountability; and identify the chailenges of the media in playing this role.”