By Stanley Onyekwere
In a bid to boost the capacity of journalists, the Abuja Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Ltd, operators of ASO Radio /Television, has indicated keen interest to convert one of its abandoned broadcasting facilities to a training centre for media practitioners.
Making this disclosure yesterday in Abuja, the ABC’s Managing Director, Alhaji Ibrahim Damisa, revealed that management team of the station has already recommended to the FCT Minister, the need to convert the station’s abandoned facilities to a training centre, where media practitioners’ capacity would be built through regular training.
Damisa, who spoke yesterday during a tour of its headquarters by members of the FCT Ministers Press Corps, frowned at the damaging effects of fake news on the image of the country, as being promoted by citizen journalists on social media.
He however urged professional media practitioners to remain distinguished and always be committed to the ethics of the profession.
His words: “We are looking at how we can use our facilities at Abaji to build capacity for journalists, if our recommendations are accepted, we shall proceed to establish a training school there.
“As reporters and editors we need to know what the policies of government are; in order for us to report adequately to the public. And that would enhance accountability and democratic governance.
“I give you Kudos, those of you that cover and work in the FCT, you are the number one chapel in the country, because you cover the seat of the FCT Administration, and by extension the governor general of the FCT, who is Mr. President. In whatever we are doing, we must make sure that we are objective, truthful and accountable”.
While attributing the rapid transformation in the station to the resolve of the Minister, Mallam Muhammad Bello to revive all revenue generating agencies under his administration, he equally reiterated commitment to the welfare of staff , which he said was utmost to the sustainability of the ongoing transformation.
He however called on policy makers to always recognise media practitioners as well as carry them along in policies formulation and implementation.
According to him, implementation of many of government’s policies fail, when the media is not properly incorporated into the processes and also empowered to bridge the communication gap between government and the people.
Damisa also opined that the backlash that followed the recent increments in electricity tarrif, petrol pump prices, and even the subsidy removal was because the media were not recognised as a stabilising factor.
“You (journalists) are the ones bridging the communication gap between the people and the government. When it comes to communications, journalists play a very good role, they play the role of preparing the minds of the people to be receptive to the policy implementation.
“When electricity tarrif was increased the journalists were not recognise, the journalists would have taken sensitization about the increment to the people”, he stated.
Earlier in his remarks, Chairman of the FCT Minister Press Corps, Comrade Attah Ikharo noted that with what the media organisation, which was established by the FCTA have on ground, the station will compete favourably with sister organisations both within and outside the FCT.
Attah, who spoke through his Vice Chairman, Alhaji Hudu Yakubu, who led the delegation to the station, said the visit was in recognition of the noticeable achievements in the media organisation.