THE Federal Government says the willingness to assist the print and newspaper subsector of the media industry is being delayed by the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria which is yet to present a submission on how government can offer its support.
Disclosing this yesterday in an interview with State House reporters, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, after presenting a portrait of the Argungu Fishing Festival to President Muhammadu Buhari said government is ever ready to assist the newspaper industry as demonstrated in the past.
The Information Minister said, the government had done a few things to intervene in the broadcast industry and was still waiting for the NPAN to come forward with the proposal on how it could intervene and address the challenges facing the print sub-sector of the industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that the first thing the government did for the broadcast industry was to give a waiver of two months payment of license fees to all broadcast houses between May and July after which it gave an amnesty as 60 per cent discount or debt forgiveness, for all broadcast houses, except the Pay TVs, and also slashed by 30 per cent the licensing fees because of the COVID-19.
“I also met with the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, we met virtually and I am still waiting for them to come and make their submissions. Mohammed stated.
Continuing, “definitely, the government is willing to look into the hardships and the challenges the media is facing and within our means to see how best we can intervene. I am still waiting for the NPAN to come back to us to see what we can do to ameliorate the situation.”
Meanwhile, the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria is yet to make any official reaction to the development as the President Nduka Obaigbena has not issued any release to that effect.