By Yemi Akinsuyi
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, has described Nigerian journalists as key partners in the execution of President Goodluck Jonathan's Transformation Agenda.
He said that journalists were Nigeria's Trade and Investment Ambassadors, noting that trade and investment would thrive and adequate jobs would be created when the media collaborate with government to project a good image for the country.
Aganga spoke while addressing members of the National Executive of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
He said: “There is no way we can succeed, not just as a ministry, but also as country, without the support of the media. We need the support of the media in disseminating accurate information concerning government activities, policies and programmes. In addition to this, the media plays a crucial role in letting the government know what the people feel about its activities as well as in projecting positive image of our country to the world.
“Nigeria is our country and both the government and the media are all stakeholders and partners. So, I encourage the media to feel free to let us know the things we are not doing well enough in the Ministry of Trade and Investment because we are ready to learn so that we can serve the Nigerian people better. It is only a fool that believes that he has all the knowledge. The reality of life is that you keep learning everyday because there is always an opportunity to learn new things. Therefore, we must take those opportunities to learn.”
Speaking during the event, the National President of NUJ, Mallam Muhammed Garba, said there was the need for the Nigerian media to exhibit patriotism while reporting, stressing that it would help build a better country for all Nigerians to live.
He said: “This is the first ministry that we are visiting since the inauguration of this current NUJ Executive. Our visit has been necessitated by the high level of passion, patriotism and commitment so far exhibited by the Minister in charge since his appointment.
“We have been monitoring the activities of the minister since he was appointed, first as finance minister, and then as the Minister of Trade and Investment, and we deeply appreciate his efforts in developing and implementing policies to boost trade industry and make the business environment friendlier.”
He added that the ministry would not have been able to record much success in turning the old name around without the cooperation and hard work of the Minister of State, Dr. Samuel Ortom.
The NUJ president said, "We agree and believe that the issue of projecting the positive image of the country is one area where the media can assist the government in its efforts to build a better country for all Nigerians.
“Therefore, there is the need for all of us in the media to show patriotism in the way we report issues about our country. We are trying to see that patriotism is included in the Mass Communication curriculum of higher institutions in Nigeria, so that as we write our stories and make our analyses, we will always bear in mind that first of all, we are Nigerians. We want to assure the minister of our continued support for those good policies that will make the country better for all Nigerians.”