BY RAYMOND OSHO
IBESE-YEWA – The giant cement company, Dangote Cement Company, Ibese has lauded Publishers of Community Newspapers, describing it as tool for promoting press freedom in the country.
Mr. Azad Nawabuddin, the Plant Director, Dangote Cement, Ibese Plant stated this on Thursday, January 14, 2021 when he played host to the Elhadj AbuSatar Hamed-led Executive of the Federated Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ogun State Council.
The union executive which was on a courtesy visit to the company also used the occasion to present Dangote Group, the prestigious – “Corporate Brand of the Year Award” for its giant strides towards socio – economic development and youth empowerment in the country.
Mr. Azad Nawabuddin maintained that since the Community newspapers were grassroots – based, they remained the catalysts behind the nation’s development and growth.
The Director attributed the independence of the nation to the impact of Community Newspapers which importance in generating and reporting news couldn’t be overemphasized.
His words, “All over the world, Community Newspapers are respected and the most powerful medium. I’m happy to know that this group also exists in Nigeria and appreciates their contribution towards the growth of the country.
“When the companies progress, the community progresses, when the community progresses, the state progresses and when the state progresses, the country progresses at large, Community Newspapers are mostly responsible for the progress through the positive reportage of event from the grassroots.
Azad added, “Community Newspapers publishers are the ones behind the development. They are the catalysts behind the growth of the country. You are the ones that give direction to the nation through your dissemination of information.
“When we talk about independence in all ramifications, we are talking about Community Newspapers which promotes independence in the nation and this is because it’s an independent body.
He however called on the Publishers and Editors of Community Newspapers and online to always be mindful of every story they publish, saying, “My candid advise is that Publishers and Editors of Community Newspapers and online publication should be courteous of what they publish.
“I mean they should not publish stories that could cause crisis in the country or stories that could incite the people against the government.”
He stated further, “I want your union and the NUJ to rise against fake news and fake journalists that are now rampant in the country.”
Mr. Azad Nawabuddin expressed the management’s joy and happiness over the award bestowed on the Dangote Group, saying the company shall continue to build on the good relationship it has with journalists in Ogun State and the country as whole.
Contributing, the Manager,External Relations, Dangote Cement, Ibese Plant, Pastor Joseph Alabi thanked members of the Federated Chapel of Ogun NUJ for the visit and the award presented to the organization.
Pastor Alabi who also called on the leadership of the profession to curb fake news and non professionals amongst them assured the union of the company’s continued support towards building an egalitarian society.
In his earlier speech, the Chairman, Federated Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ogun State Council, Elhadj AbuSatar Hamed who led members of his Executive to the Ibese Plant of Dangote Cement, described Dangote Group as an organization that had greatly impacted on the socio-economic growth of the country and youth empowerment.
Hamed noted that “based on the Dangote Group feats, the Federated Chapel of Ogun NUJ, is doing this in our modest way of appreciating and encouraging others to emulate the conglomerate towards development and empowerment of Nigerian youths.
He disclosed that Publishers of Community Newspapers are independent on what story to publish according to the ethics of the profession without anyone influencing them.
The veteran journalist disclosed that his union will soon embark on the training of Publishers and editors with a view to updating them in the business of grassroots publication.
He posited that the union is also working together with the security agencies in Ogun State on the ways to check fake news and fake journalists.