Niger Gov Tasks Media on Climate Change Reporting
The Governor of Niger State, Mr. Muhammed Bago has urged the Nigerian media to show more interest in reporting issues revolving around climate change.
He added that disasters caused by climate change are being under reported by the media.
The governor made the call at the opening ceremony of the 2023 retreat of the House of Representatives Press Corps, held in Minna, the Niger State capital.
The governor observed that the media is not adequately equipped to handle the issues and empathized on the need for journalists to acquire the necessary skills and tools to mainstream climate change.
“This retreat could not have come at a better time since it precedes the first Green Economy Summit in Nigeria to be hosted by Niger State in a few days’ time. The theme of the retreat is indeed very germane to the intent of the Summit because whatever we discussed and whatever resolutions arrived at, if the media does not convey to the public, the essence would have been defeated.
“This can enable you to set an agenda for the Legislature and indeed the Executive. I hope that at the end of this retreat, you will all be better positioned to inform, educate and enlighten the society on the implications of climate change. Do not concentrate on reporting politics alone but also pay due attention to climate change because it directly affects human welfare and condition of living.
Governor Bago, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Yakubu Gambo assured the participants that his administration is prioritizing climate change to mitigate natural and manmade disasters through public awareness campaigns on preventive measures to save lives and reduce damage to property and infrastructure.
“As a former legislator, who spent 12 years in the National Assembly and precisely the House of Representatives, I had a fruitful relationship with the media because its criticisms kept me on my toes and helped spur me to do more for my constituents and the nation. Let me state without equivocation that I am not averse to objective media criticisms because they helped in bringing out the best in me. ” He said.
The governor noted that climate change is one of the biggest problems confronting nations today, and in Nigeria, it is a matter of concern to governments and experts because it is happening at a very frightening level.
The Commissioner For Environment And Climate Change, Niger State, Yakubu Mohammead Kolo, said that the media has been and still remains key stakeholders in the drive for a better environment.
He said that the retreat would bring about more enlightenment to the dangers of climate change to the world.
Similarly, the Commissioner For Information And Strategy, Niger State: Binta Mammam, commended the media for celebrating the journey to Minna despite negative narratives flying around.
The Chairperson of the House of Representatives press corps, comrade Grace Ike, said that the governor’s decision to organize the Green Economy Summit in the state was an indication that he was at home with contemporary developmental issues.
She noted that it is the responsibility of journalists, especially as parliamentary reporters, to communicate climate policies effectively to the public, as well as communicate the feedback of the people to the government. That way, the government and the people can be on the same page on the various climate change policies of the government.
“The Niger State Green Economy Summit, which is scheduled to be held next week, is here. While other states are lamenting about the effects of climate change, our dear governor is taking laudable steps to effectively position Niger State with the Green Economy initiative. More grease to your elbow, our dear governor. Your innovative ideas in the area of economy and security have caught our attention.” Comrade Ike said.
She urged the participants to utilize the opportunity presented by the training.
While presenting his Keynote address, the Director General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Prof. Abubakar Muhammed also commented on the media for the interest in mainstreaming the Climate Change agenda.
There were paper presentations on “The Media, the Parliament and Climate Change” by Hon Sam Onuigbo, Effective Reporting of Green Economy, and the Prospects and Challenges by Dr. Uche Anunne and Reporting the Parliament in a Digital Era, by Mr. Mboho Eno.”