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Tinubu pledges to review policies on newspaper industry

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has assured members of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) that he would carefully consider their request for a review…

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has assured members of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) that he would carefully consider their request for a review of policies affecting the paper industry.

The president gave the assurance on Monday during a meeting with NPAN members at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Tinubu, who acknowledged their concerns about existing regulations hindering local access to newsprint, pledged that his administration would always uphold media freedom and respect opinions, whether they were adversarial or complimentary to his government.

The President said the federal government is taking measures to alleviate the high cost of transportation by granting waivers to operators in the air, road, and rail transportation systems.

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‘‘I care about what is going on in the country. I thank you for your support and opinions, even the criticism of our government. Without the support of some of you, I will not be standing here as president.

“You have held our feet to the fire, and we will continue to respect your opinions whether we agree or not. One thing I must say is that I read every paper, various opinions, and columnists,’’ the President said.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, reiterated the federal government’s commitment to fostering a vibrant and responsible media landscape in the country.

‘‘Our democracy thrives on the principles of transparency, accountability, and the free flow of information. The role of the media, particularly the newspapers, is paramount in upholding these principles,’’ the minister said.

Malam Kabiru A. Yusuf, NPAN president and Chairman of Media Trust Group, while congratulating President Tinubu on his election victory and Supreme Court affirmation, raised pressing concerns facing the newspaper industry.

‘‘Our particular concern is the newspaper industry, which employs thousands of Nigerians; journalists, marketers, distributors, administrators, accountants. Newspapers are also part of the building blocks of democracy and reliable sources of information in a world that is overwhelmed by fake news,’’ he said.

The NPAN president had at the Annual General Meeting of the association held in Lagos last month disclosed the plan to engage the federal government in a bid to revive the three government-owned newsprint mills, which have gone moribund.

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