By Umar Muhammad Puma
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has challenged the media to contextualize their reporting so that those who destroyed Nigeria will not be made to look like the country’s new saviours.
The Minister said this when the Chief Executive Officer of TVC Communications, Mr. Andrew Hanlon, led a team of top officials of the company on a courtesy visit to the Minister in his office in Abuja on Tuesday.
‘’We are on a rescue mission. However, the way a section of the media is reporting the challenges facing the country today does not reflect that understanding. They are making a corrective administration to look like the culprit, to give the impression that the rain started beating us in Nigeria only from 29 May 2015, to play down the challenges that this Administration has faced and which it is successfully tackling.
‘’For example, we did not get to where we are today in just three years. It has taken successive decades of bad governance, unbridled corruption, lack of probity, a culture of impunity and a near state of anarchy. These are the ills this Administration inherited and which it has set out to tackle. And this is what the media must reflect in their reporting,’’ he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said but for the prudence, probity and the anti-corruption stance of this administration, the situation could have been worse, adding: ‘’Instead of recession, we could have had a total collapse of the economy. The power grid could have collapsed altogether. Corruption could have overwhelmed the society. Boko Haram could have turned Abuja to Bama or Konduga. Food imports could have tripled what it was pre-May 29th 2015 and the Naira might have been worse hit.’’
He, therefore, challenged the media to do more to educate Nigerians ‘’that it is hard to build but easy to destroy, that the same people who presided over yesterday’s looting of our treasury are today posing as would-be saviours of Nigerians, that this administration is rebuilding almost from the scratch with 60% less revenue, that the corrupt ones are spending millions of Naira to paint the government of the bad, and that Nigeria is not returning to Egypt’’.
He said a free press is indispensable to democracy, and assured that this administration will not do anything to stifle the press.
Earlier, Mr. Hanlon had assured the Minister of TVC Communication’s commitment to the country’s audio-visual landscape, while announcing that a new radio station will open in Abuja in April as part of the company’s aggressive investment programme.