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NAN E-I-C wants more incentives for editorial operations

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The Editor-in-Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria, Silas Nwoha, has called on the management of the agency to prioritise the funding of editorial operations.

Nwoha made the appeal on Wednesday in Ilorin in his remark at the opening of a two-day NAN Annual Editorial Conference.

He called for urgent approval of additional incentives for the editorial department to encourage hard work and total commitment.

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He also appealed to the management to review reporters monthly transport allowance upward and pay staff entitlements like transfer allowances as and when due.

The E-I-C noted that members of the editorial department were currently working under impossible conditions.

Nwoha said: “It is truly a miracle that NAN has continued to dominate the Nigerian media space in spite of the acute challenges.

“I give kudos to our men and women, who have had to train themselves on the job, use their salaries to ensure that they get things done for NAN to remain relevant.

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“I salute everyone as we continue to ask the government to look into the plight of NAN workers.

“We will do more if given the opportunity to serve the way we want to.”

Besides, he appealed to the Managing Director, Buki Ponle, to provide more funds for sponsorship of NAN correspondents to cover special assignments, recalling: “This is how it used to be.

“More so, the working environment needs to be seriously looked into, especially at the state and district offices.

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“Basic facilities such as chairs, tables, televisions and water dispensers should be provided for NAN offices nationwide.

“Management should please consider recruiting more hands for the editorial department.

“More district offices should be opened to report activities at the grassroots.”

According to Nwoha, the strength of the agency lies in its ability to report activities in Nigeria’s 774 local government areas.

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He said: “Training of members of the editorial department should be given urgent attention.

“The department is plagued by lack of trained manpower, especially with the few skilled ones steadily going into retirement.

“The future looks bleak, considering the quality of our output from day to day.”

According to him, the NAN Forum has continued to dominate the media space from week to week, highlighting the place of the agency as the dominant media house in Nigeria.

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Nwoha said: “We continue to advice ministers, government functionaries and captains of industry to take advantage of NAN Forum to showcase their activities.

“Records show that the editorial department turned out more stories, photos, television reports and news features this year, compared to the year 2020.

“This is in spite of the teething challenges facing reporters and editors in our daily efforts to do our duties.”

He listed the challenges to include lack of working tools such as midgets, computers, laptops, vehicles and even writing pads and biros.

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“No media house can function optimally when gadgets needed for modern-day journalism are totally lacking,” he said.

No fewer than 60 participants are attending the Ilorin retreat.

NAN recalls that the editorial conference was last held in 2019 in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

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Good governance, key socio-economic development – Gov. Oyetola

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Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola has declared that good governance is the key to sustainable socio-economic development of every given polity.

Oyetola made the declaration Wednesday during an engagement programme, organised by the state’s Civic Engagement Centre in Eti-Oni Asalu, Oriade South Local Council Development Area of the State.

The Governor who was represented by his Special Adviser on Civic Engagement, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, stressed that every responsible government at all levels must be committed to the sanctity of good and productive governance in the country.

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Oyetola pledged that his administration would continue to uphold the pace of good governance in both ideas and principles, especially in the area of infrastructural and human capital development.

He stated that the importance of good governance, policy consistency, reforms and sustainable economic growth could not be over-emphasised in achieving a virile polity to positively impact the masses.

The Governor noted that his administration has not reneged on executing series of programmes and policies initiated by his administration.

“The current administration has equally recorded a plethora of giant strides and achievements in critical sectors, such as infrastructure, health, security, education and social welfare, among others.

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“The essence of this quest is not only to position the state on the path of viable socio-economic prosperity but also improving people’s standard of living and wellbeing.

“It then behooves on the good people of this state to rally round the government beyond the current dispensation with a view to sustaining the development and allow continuity of value added services for the benefits of all,” he added.

Earlier in his remarks, the Oloni of Eti-Oni Asalu, Oba Rasak Aluko, commended the governor for completing Iperindo-Ipetu Ijesa road which was started by the immediate past administration.

While noting that the road would serve as a socio-economic catalyst and succour to people of the area, the royal father described Oyetola as the true face of continuity, upholding the progressive’s developmental agenda.

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He, however, urged him to consider some other demands from the people of the area, such as grading of rural roads, electrification and water supply, among others.

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Aviation threat: We’ll ensure safe operation of 5G in Nigeria – Danbatta

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Executive Vice-Chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta has promised the public of measures to ensure the safe operation of 5G in the country.

MTN and Mafab Communications in December emerged winners in the country’s 5G spectrum license.

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While congratulating the two companies, Danbatta said the country was ready to commit to technological developments.

“It is my pleasure to announce that at the end of the auction, Mafab Communications Limited and MTN Communications Nigeria Limited emerged as provisional licence winners,” he had said.

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Danbatta’s reassurance is coming amid the raging controversy of the effect of 5G services on aviation safety in some parts of the world.

Global concerns over the compatibility of 5G operation with aviation services heightened on Monday when the chief executives of major US passenger and cargo carriers warned of an impending “catastrophic” aviation crisis in less than 36 hours when AT&T and Verizon deploy new 5G service.

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The airlines warned the new C-Band 5G service set to begin today could render a significant number of widebody aircraft unusable, “could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas” and cause “chaos” for US flights.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had also warned that potential interference could affect sensitive airplane instruments such as altimeters and significantly hamper low-visibility operations.

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“With the proposed restrictions at selected airports, the transportation industry is preparing for some service disruption. We are optimistic that we can work across industries and with the government to finalize solutions that safely mitigate as many schedule impacts as possible,” plane maker Boeing said on Monday.

Action is urgent, the airlines added in the letter also signed by UPS Airlines, Alaska Air, Atlas Air, JetBlue Airways and FedEx Express. 

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“To be blunt, the nation’s commerce will grind to a halt,” the letter reads.

The letter was sent to Brian Deese, White House national economic council director, Pete Buttigieg, transportation secretary, Steve Dickson, FAA administrator, and Jessica Rosenworcel, federal communications commission (FCC) chairperson.

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AT&T and Verizon, which won nearly the entire C-Band spectrum in an $80 billion auction last year, on January 3, agreed to buffer zones around 50 airports to reduce interference risks and take other steps to cut potential interference for six months. They also agreed to delay deployment for two weeks until Wednesday, temporarily averting an aviation safety standoff after previously delaying service by 30 days.

But Airlines for America, the group that wrote the letter, had not believed that was enough.

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Speaking to QUICKREAD, Danbatta said, “Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) to other services that may arise from the rollout of 5G services is a source of concern to the global telecommunications community, including Nigeria.

“We are (the NCC) studying the situation closely and would put measures in place, consistent with global best practice, to ensure Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) of 5G services with other services.”

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There is precedence elsewhere in Europe, where following years of international discussions, the European Union in 2019 set standards for mid-range 5G frequencies in the 3.4-3.8 GHz range.

They have been auctioned and taken into use in many of the bloc’s 27 member states so far without issue.

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Last month, The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which oversees 31 states, said the latest discussion was specific to US airspace. 

“At this stage, no risk of unsafe interference has been identified in Europe,” it said.

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On Tuesday AT&T and Verizon Communications agreed to temporarily defer turning on some wireless towers near key airports to avert significant disruption to US flights as they roll out 5G service.

President Joe Biden hailed the agreement, saying it “will avoid potentially devastating disruptions to passenger travel, cargo operations, and our economic recovery while allowing more than 90% of wireless tower deployment to occur as scheduled.”

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But airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration warned that new restrictions as a result of 5G service, which Verizon and AT&T are to launch on Wednesday, would still prompt some flight disruptions. Delta Air Lines said while the wireless moves were a positive development, “some flight restrictions may remain.”

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