The Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Buki Ponle, says efforts are being made to reopen the agency’s Bureau in Addis Ababa.
Ponle made this known in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when he paid a courtesy visit to Amb. Victor Adeleke, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the African Union and Ambassador to Ethiopia and the Republic of Djibouti.
He described the reopening of the office, which was closed down in 2015 due to funding issues, as important and critical considering the economic and political challenges being faced by the African continent.
“As Africans, we need to tell our stories ourselves with utmost sense of patriotism,” the managing director said.
He also identified unprofessional reportage, fake news and lack of patriotism as factors giving Africa a negative image.
When reopened, the Bureau which was initially established in 2010 would cover the positive strides of the Nigerian Embassy in Ethiopia, developmental programmes of the African Union Commission as well as the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the Horn of Africa.
Ponle, who solicited the support of the ambassador in the early take off of the office, said the current management was poised to reopen at least three of its foreign offices in Addis Ababa, Cote d’Ivoire and Johannesburg, South Africa.
He also told the Ambassador that the Agency was working toward collaboration with the African Union Commission and the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services for Africa (CISSA) in the area of balanced reportage on Africa.
Responding, Adeleke said it was high time African media took the driving seat in reporting African issues.
He described the proposed reopening of the NAN Bureau in Addis Ababa as a right step in the right direction, adding that African stories needed to be told differently.
Adeleke said there were many positive developments in Africa that were either underreported or not reported at all.
He thanked the NAN management for the visit and promised to provide necessary support to the new bureau.
The managing director had earlier paid a courtesy call on the Executive Secretary of CISSA, Amb. Zainab Ali-Kotoko, at the CISSA Secretariat in Addis Ababa.
He also had discussions with the AU Director of Communication and Information, Ms Leslie Richer, who was represented by the Head of Information Division, Mrs Esther Tankou, on possible collaboration between NAN and the AU on information dissemination and training.
NAN reports that the managing director was accompanied to Addis Ababa by the Agency’s Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr Dele Ojo, and the Director of Administration and Human Resources Management, Mr Abdulhadi Khaliel.(NAN)