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OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT NAN RETREAT HELD AT THE CONFERENCE CENTRE OF NTI KADUNA       

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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT NAN RETREAT HELD AT THE CONFERENCE CENTRE OF NTI KADUNA                                                                                                              03-24-24

PREAMBLE
As a follow-up to its Strategic Management Retreat held December 21-December 23, 2023, the management of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) organised a five-day retreat for its editorial management members.

The retreat, which had as theme “NAN: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” held in Kaduna February 21-February 23, 2024.

ATTENDANCE
In attendance were: The Managing Director, Ali Muhammad Ali; the Editor-in-Chief, Mr Ephraims Sheyin; the Director, Special Duties, Mr Mufutau Ojo; the Head of Lagos Operations, Mr Kayode Olaitan; Head, Editorial Operations (Lagos),Mr Joe Idika, as well as Zonal Managers, Heads of Desk and Units and ome State Correspondents.

To ensure inclusivity, all other members of the management team were also participants at the retreat.

They included the Director, Administration and Human Resources Management, Malam Abdulhadi Khaliel, Deputy Director, Technical/ICT, Head of Planning, Research and Statistics Department, Dr Rasaq Owolabi, Deputy Director, Technical/ICT, Mr Aaron Miller, Head of Marketing Department, Mr Martins Asuquo, Deputy Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr Sola Kehinde and Board Secretary, Mrs Ngozi Anufoche

Others were the Head of Audit Unit, Mr Amusa Manga, Head of Procurement, Mr Ugochukwu Nwogute and the General Manager of NAN BizCom, Ms Juliet Ogunyemi.

In his address of welcome, the Managing Director said the retreat was in line with management’s strategic plan to update the knowledge base of the workforce, particularly the editorial management staff, in a constantly changing media space.

The Managing Director recalled that at the first inaugural management meeting of 23rd October, 2023, he had told management members that NAN was sitting on a gold mine and all that was needed was the willpower, creativity and ingenuity to harness the agency’s human capital and material resources to reach full bloom

He concluded that for NAN to tread the path to a prosperous future, management must first embark on deep introspection on the agency’s past, reflect on its current realities and set the template to harness the immense opportunities available in the media space.

Citing the example of Kodak which has gone into extinction, the Managing Director insisted that NAN must innovate or perish.

He enjoined participants to either shape up or ship out!

PAPERS

Eminent media scholar, and Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Kashere, Prof. Umaru Pate spoke on “Traditional Media and the Onslaught of a New World Order“ while presidential aide and former Managing Directorof NAN, Mr Bayo Onanuga gave his insights on a “A subscriber’s Expectation of the NAN Copy.’’

The paper on “The Future of News Agencies in the Era of Digital Journalism,” was presented by Dr Emman Shehu, a veteran journalist and Provost of the International Institute of Journalism, Abuja, while a management consultant, Alhaji Musa Saleh, offered profound perspectives on new bureaucratic rules in his paper entitled ” New Public Service Rule and Emerging Trends in the Public Service.”

While a former Editor-in-Chief of NAN, Alhaji Alli Hakeem, spoke on “ Gaps in NAN contents: An Insider’s Perspective,” the current Editor-in-Chief, Mr Ephraims Sheyin delivered a paper on ” Promoting Service Delivery Through Effective Supervision and Mentoring.’’

To obtain and distill information from across the country, the Zonal Managers also made presentations on their operations, successes, challenges and recommendations going forward.

Similarly, Heads of Desk made submissions on their expectations from Zonal Managers.

OBSERVATIONS

The participants observed as follows:

1.The media landscape is rapidly changing and it is imperative for wire agencies like NAN to either innovate or perish.

2. Technology is redefining media practice, content and consumption pattern and there is urgent need for innovation in order to meet the content needs of NAN subscribers.

3. Digital media has come to stay but will not kill conventional media.

4. As the largest news agency in Africa, NAN has a major role to play in agenda setting on the continent as well as leading the charge in changing Western media stereotypes.

5. NAN still faces challenges posed by the advent of New Media.

6. Some reporters, editors and controllers have become lackadaisical in their approach to their duties and this has affected the quality of contents delivered to NAN subscribers.

7. There is infrastructure decay in some zonal and state offices in the faceof severe paucity of funds.

8. Participants appreciate the management for organising the retreat and urged it to continue with such initiatives aimed at boosting officers’ performance through training and interactive sessions such as the retreat.

9. Participants also commend partner organisations which supported NAN in actualising the retreat.

RECOMMENDATIONS

A. Innovation is imperative and it is incumbent for NAN to leverage emerging media technologies including, Artificial Intelligence.

B. NAN offices in states should be given a facelift in order to provide a conducive atmosphere for officers to excel in their duties.

C. The prevailing communication gap between zonal managers and marketing department should be bridged to enhance Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the agency.
Zonal mangers and marketers should see themselves as collaborators not competitors working toward boosting the agency’s IGR drive.

D. Management should create the enabling environment necessary for officers to meet the demands of an evolving media landscape and opportunities therein.

E. In view of its strategic importance in shaping narratives of the country and Africa to the rest of the world, greater funding of NAN by the Federal Government is imperative.

F. Zonal Managers and state correspondents should take advantage of their relationship with local, business and political actors to boost the fortunes of the agency.

G. The agency should look beyond conventional sources of income such as radio and newspaper subscription while exploring such sources of income as data journalism and partnerships with state governments as well as multinational companies in the areas of special reports and documentaries.

H. The management of NAN should provide the enabling environment to ensure that the agency leverages on its global reach, reputation, relevance and resilience.

I. The management should adopt the carrot and stick approach for reward and punishment.

PARTNERSHIPS

The retreat was organised in partnership with Seplat Energy, Nigeria National Petroleum Ltd, Katsina State Government, Kaduna State Government, Benue State Government, Bauchi State Government, Kano State Government and Nigerian Railways Corporation.

Signed:
Communiqué Drafting Committee

Dr Uche Anunne
Chairman

Alhaji Mahrazu Ahmed
Secretary

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