As shared on the Instagram page of the Senator Bukola Saraki
Ahead of the International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress being hosted by Nigeria in June this year, yesterday, I met with the Executive Director of the IPI, Barbara Traori, and members of the local organizing committee, which included Alhaji Ismaila Isa Funtua, patron of the API; Chief Nduka Obaigbena, the Founder of ThisDay Newspaper and the former Director-General of NTA, Dr. Tony Iredia.
In my remarks, I let the delegation know that Nigeria hosting this year’s IPI Congress is a great opportunity for the global press to have a better understanding of our country. I also emphasized that the meeting will also create an avenue for the global press to interact more in the interest of Nigeria and Africa.
This is because I believe that when the world starts getting an accurate report of what is happening in Nigeria, then, the world will be in a better position to understand how it relates with Nigeria. This is why I have always emphasized that the growth and stability of the continent depends on what happens in Nigeria.
Moving forward, as our democracy thrives, I believe that the freedom of the press and freedom of expression is very important — however, we must improve on the quality of reporting in our country. We don’t just need a ‘free press,’ we need a ‘quality free press.’ This is why I told the delegation yesterday that the strengthening of democracy of the country will rest not only on the media, but also on the legislative arm of government because we basically do the same thing — the legislature ensures that the executive arm of government is accountable to the people in the same way that the media ensures that all those who are in government are accountable to the people.
Therefore, we must constantly work towards strengthening the press and the parliament, not as individuals, but as institutions — to ensure that our people are better served.