The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and former Managing Director of Champion Newspaper Limited, Emma Agu, have congratulated the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) over its just-concluded biennial convention.
Mr. Wike in a statement by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, specifically congratulated Funke Egbemode, for being elected president of the Guild.
The governor also congratulated a director with the Tide Newspapers, Juliet Njiowhor and others who were elected at the 2017 convention of the body.
He urged the NGE president and the new executive to work towards promoting professionalism, objectivity and development of the country and wished the elected officers fruitful term in office.
On his part, Mr. Agu urged the NGE to come up with capacity-building programmes for its members, to engender professionalism in the practice.
Agu, now publishes Zest Traveller Magazine, was speaking in Lagos, Saturday, Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja where the Guild held its convention.
He advocated professionalism over trade unionism, to get the nation out of recession.
“Professionalism is the path to knowledge, respect and efficiency. To insist on trade unionism will continue to retard corporate growth, diminish individual ambition, breed quackery and erode respect,” he said.
“Like the accountants, lawyers and engineers, journalists in Nigeria should go the professional way. This entails a qualifying examination, a code of conduct and a set of sanctions for breaches of the code.
“By extension, it is in the interest of the media to have an effective media council that serves as an arbitrator in disputes.”
Mr. Agu explained that capacity-building for journalists was important and would equip them with adequate knowledge for proper information dissemination.
Speaking on the topic: “A Nation in Recession: Whither the Nigeria Media,” Mr. Agu said it was important to address the challenges facing the media and the nation.
“If you asked many a journalist the last time he or she attended a capacity building programme at the instance of his/her organisation, you will be shocked to your bone marrow at the response you will get.
“So, on what intellectual or professional basis is the person reporting in a rapidly changing environment? This, perhaps, is one of the benchmarks that should drive the incoming leadership of the NGE.
“The Guild should establish mandatory, periodic professional enhancement and capacity building programme as the accountants and engineers do,” he said.
Agu said recession was not peculiar to Nigeria, adding that the media industry had started experiencing recession long before it hit the nation.
He stressed the need for editors to be empowered to adequately confront issues affecting the nation and the industry.
The guest speaker called for restructuring of the nation to ensure healthy competition among the regions and to speed up the growth of the economy.