Nigeria’s House Of Reps Pledges To Review Laws Restricting Press Freedom

Nigeria’s House Of Reps Pledges To Review Laws Restricting Press Freedom

2 weeks ago
1 min read

Nigeria’s House of Representatives has said it would review laws and practices restricting press freedom and enhance the ability of media to carry out its constitutional roles in the country.

Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Akin Rotimi, stated this in his address to mark the 2024 World Press Freedom Day organised by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Nigeria on Friday.

According to the lawmaker, the legislature would prepare the basis for journalists to operate without any restrictions, given that they would adhere to the principles of their profession.

He said: “We will enhance good governance practices, transparency, and accountability through media chats, public hearings, town hall meetings, among other scheduled legislative activities in Agenda 6.”

Prime Business Africa reports that the International Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated every May 3, is a day of reflection among media practitioners and stakeholders on issues of press freedom and professional ethics.

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The 10th House of Representatives, led by Speaker Tajudeen Abbas, has accepted to work together with the media to ensure the successful running of the current government, Rotimi stated.

He said: “The role states that the press, radio, television, and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.

“Amongst many other challenges in the course of the discharge of this constitutional mandate, the press faces disproportionate exposure to harm in the face of the widespread insecurity challenges in the country.

“There are also issues around the dearth of funding, but I call on all stakeholders to continue with concerted efforts to address these challenges.

“There is no gainsaying that there are many miles to cover as far as media freedoms in our country is concerned, but we have greatly improved from the days of military intervention in our polity (particularly, 1983–1998),” Rotimi added.

Rotimi urged the media to encourage introspection and self-regulation and also look at the self-defeating ways that the press delegitimizes their own struggle by not upholding ethics and addressing them.

While speaking on the theme “Navigating the Intersection of Media Regulations, Press Freedom Advocacy, and Ethical Journalism in the Face of Environmental Crises,” Aiyetan, stated that NBC was established to have a formidable Nigerian media.

The NBC was not established as an attack dog for the government and, as such, would want the press to always work with it, she added.

“If a detail about a truth will set two tribes against each other, then there is something wrong with that truth.”

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