Tinubu’s commitment to media freedom, economic resilience

In an affirmation of his commitment to an open and accountable governance, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu this week declared unwavering support for media freedom during a meeting with members of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) in Abuja.

The President, cognizant of the vital role played by the media in a thriving democracy, assured members of NPAN that his administration would uphold the principles of transparency and respect for divergent views.

This assurance, coming at a crucial time when media freedom globally is under scrutiny, not only underscores the significance of a free press but also highlights the President’s willingness to embrace diverse perspectives, whether critical or commendatory.

The President also addressed the concerns of NPAN regarding existing regulations affecting the newspaper industry, particularly those hindering local access to newsprint, with a pledge to carefully consider a review of policies impacting the industry.

Beyond media freedom, the President discussed the challenges faced by travellers during the festive season. The commitment to alleviating the high cost of transportation by granting waivers to operators in the air, road and rail transportation systems reflects a holistic approach to addressing economic concerns affecting ordinary Nigerians.

During the meeting, the President also highlighted steps being taken to reduce the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), showcasing a dedication to easing the financial burdens faced by the populace.

In a candid acknowledgement of the media’s role as a watchdog of society, the President expressed gratitude for the support, opinions and even criticisms directed at his government.
Emphasizing his commitment to a transparent administration, the President revealed a personal habit of reading every newspaper, and various opinions columnists. This admission not only humanizes the Presidency but also reinforces the President’s respect for the media as a vital pillar of democracy.
The President further outlined his administration’s economic agenda, characterized by bold decisions such as ending the petrol subsidy regime and initiating the ongoing unification of foreign exchange rates.

These measures, he said, are integral to reinvigorating, retooling and re-engineering the economy. The promise of a transparent government and efforts to create a favourable economic environment signals a forward-looking approach focused on sustainable growth and development.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, echoed the President’s commitment to a vibrant and responsible media landscape.
The minister stressed the need for a robust collaboration between the executive and the media, which he said is essential for a healthy democracy.
Underscoring the principles of transparency, accountability and the free flow of information, the minister emphasized the paramount role of the media, particularly newspapers, in upholding these democratic tenets.
The President’s dedication to fostering a transparent government, coupled with the Minister of Information’s emphasis on responsible media, sets the stage for a dynamic partnership.

The call for effective dialogue, advancing shared values and addressing national challenges reflects a nuanced understanding of the symbiotic relationship between the government and the media.
The president of NPAN and chairman of Media Trust, Mr Kabiru Yusuf, added his voice to the discourse by congratulating the President on his election victory and the Supreme Court affirmation.

Yet, he did not shy away from articulating the pressing concerns facing the newspaper industry. As a crucial employer of thousands of Nigerians, the industry’s challenges, according to Mr Kabir Yusuf, extend beyond economic considerations to the very foundations of democracy and the battle against fake news.
The collaboration between the government and the media, as articulated during the meeting with NPAN, signifies a collective effort to overcome challenges and build a resilient and vibrant future for Nigeria.