NAN MD wants improved funding, says agency underfunded

 Mr. Buki Ponle, the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has appealed for improved funding in the 2022 budget, to enable the agency function effectively.

Ponle said this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Value for the 2022 budget defence on Wednesday in Abuja.
“He who wears the shoe, knows where it punches, NAN does not even have a shoe.
“If there is any government media organisation that is starved of fund, it is NAN. This is a special appeal to the committee to help increase funding for NAN in the 2022 budget,” he said.

Ponle while appreciating the lawmakers’ support stated that they had been very supportive to the agency in terms of funds allocation, while calling for continuous support to the organisation.

“I thank you for your support so far, your approach wears human face and I believe you will continue to support us,” he said.

Ponle said that the agency has been able double its news generation starting from 2020, saying that media organisations would have no excuse not to patronise it.

He said that the agency was reaching to stakeholders towards widening its scope of operations for enhanced revenue generation.

Rep. Olusegun Odebunmi, the Chairman of the Committee urged the organisation to strive hard towards improving its revenue generation.

“I think you can do more on what you are generating as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR),” he said.
He urged the agency to be more proactive in its revenue drive, while offering to assist in proffering solution to the agency’s revenue shortfall.

The chairman said he wanted the agency to generate more revenue in order to attend to its needs, adding that judging by the situation in the country, there was need to be proactive in revenue generation.

Mr. Osita Okechukwu, the Director General, Voice of Nigeria (VON) appealed to the committee to help increase its 2022 budget.

”Going by what we have here, we know you are the only one that can upgrade us, we cannot go far with this budget,” he said.

Mr. Francis Nwosu, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Press Council (NPC), stressed the need for the regulation of media practice in Nigeria adding that journalists must be made to register with the council.
Nwosu said that the council must be allowed to supervise journalism training institutions in the country in order to train journalists on professional ethics. (NAN)

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