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Government appreciates the need to protect journalists- Lai

The Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed has commended UNESCO for its efforts at promoting an enabling environment for the entrenchment of freedom of expression and the safety of journalists across the globe.

The Minister gave the commendation when he featured virtually at the West Africa Regional Forum on the presentation of the 2021/2022 Report on the Global Trends in freedom of Expression and Media Development.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed who said that the issues surrounding freedom of expression and safety of journalists are topical and dear to democracy expressed optimism that the report would further provide leaders, media administrators, practitioners and the various stakeholders in the information sector insights into the successes achieved and the multidimensional challenges to freedom of expression and media development.

The Minister of Information and Culture said government appreciates the need to protect
journalists, as well as build their capacities to conform to the ever-changing standards of practice, especially with emerging technologies and particularly social media, a feat he commended UNESCO for providing

He said Nigeria has always championed the observance of rights of freedom of expression and the safety of journalists but has always insisted that this right that we all enjoy, especially as media practitioners, comes with a huge responsibility of being circumspect in the use of information at our disposal to avoid misinformation, fake news and hate speech.

Lai Mohammed explained that Nigeria has a vibrant, pluralistic and free press, and this would not have been possible without an enabling environment provided by the government.

The Information and Culture Minister reiterated that under the watch of the Buhari administration, the media would never be seen as a threat, but as key partners in national development.

He praised UNESCO and its partners for putting up the report, adding that Nigeria would study the report and the recommendations contained therein with the seriousness it deserves.

Editing by Tina Oyinsan