The International Press Institute (IPI) has set up a secretariat and constituted a steering committee to organise the next world congress of the institute in June next year in Abuja.Â
The setting up of the committee was one of the resolutions reached at the meeting hosted by Daily Trust in Abuja yesterday.Â
The committee is headed by the President of Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, who would be assisted by two deputies – Kabiru Yusuf, Chairman of Daily Trust and Chairman of IPI Nigeria and Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.
Â Other members of the committee are Raheem Adedoyin, Secretary of IPI Nigeria and Head of the Secretariat, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, President of Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and a representative of the MinisterÂ of Information,Â Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The resolutions also indicated that IPI Nigeria would open up the event to the participation of all media organisations in the country.Â
In his acceptance speech, Chairman of the Planning Committee, Obaigbena, described the IPI World Congress as â€œthe most important media event in our country in the last 50 years.â€Â
Calling for the support of all Nigerians in hosting the event which he described as a â€œpublic-private partnership,â€ NPAN president said: â€œWe must do everything to make our country great. We must not under-estimate or under-rate the greatness of our country.â€Â
The Publisher of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr. Sam Amuka-Pemu, said the hosting of IPI World Congress â€œis an awesome task which calls for the support of all Nigerians; it means a lot to the government and people of Nigeria.â€Â
The Chairman of IPI Nigeria, Malam Kabiru A. Yusuf, warned against the scepticism and image dissonance concerning Nigeria which, if not handled very well, might torpedo the countryâ€™s hosting of the event.
He, therefore, charged the newly-established secretariat to be ready to respond to international enquiries, particularly with regards to the issues of safety.Â
The other members of the planning committee in attendance at the meeting included a veteran of the IPI, Malam Ismaila Isa, Malam Wada Maida, Mr. Nnamdi Njemanze of the Nigeria Press Council (NPC), Mr. Emma Agu and Mr. Timothy Oyedeji, representing the Minister of Information.