Lagos NUJ inaugurates powerful Pen chapel
.Tasks maritime reporters on investigative journalism
.NAGAFF founder calls for immediate return of SON to seaports
By Udeme Clement & Silas Onuoha
Journalists covering the maritime industry in Nigeria have been urged to embrace investigative journalism as the best approach to following government policies on crucial matters in the sector.
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos State Council, Dr Qasim Akinreti made this known during inauguration of the Powerful Pen Chapel in Lagos.
He explained that investigative journalism will pave the way for reporters to analyse government policies objectively, in order to see how such policies are working to enhance economic prosperity in the interest of the people.
Akinreti stressed that investigative reports will make journalists to explore new windows of investment opportunities and advise government appropriately on how to harness enormous potentials abound in the maritime sector.
He pointed out, “over 80 percent of goods and services pass through the sea. These involve people, cargoes and the vessels. Therefore, maritime reporters should be able to break down government policies on this vital sector of our economy.
“We should question government on why the deep seaport in Badagry is not functional till now. Our reports must be target oriented, with a view to supporting economic growth and development.”
Speaking further, Akinreti highlighted some of the projects embarked upon by the Union to improve the welfare of members.
Such projects include capacity building programmes, reconstruction of the secretariat to give members a benefiting place of meeting and plans to set up a community radio, which will create jobs for members, among other laudable initiatives.
In his remarks, the Founder, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarder, NAGAFF, Dr, Boniface Aniebonam called for immediate return of Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, to the seaports.
He said, “Government should as a matter of urgency return SON to the seaports, to prevent sub-standard and life endangering goods from flooding the Nigerian markets.”
He emphasised, “With the free trade agreement in place, we need SON in our seaports to check the standard of products coming into our local markets to be consumed by Nigerians.”
He went on, “For Nigeria not to become a dumping ground for fake and sub-standard goods, SON that has the mandate to set standards for products must be on ground in the seaports always.
“Imagine how many houses can go in flames if SON is not at the seaports to check the type of electrical cables coming into Nigeria”.