The management of the National Assembly has come under intense criticism over the new stringent guideline it announced Monday for the accreditation of media outfits and journalists ahead of the inauguration of the Ninth Assembly.
A press release titled ‘New Guidelines For Accreditation of Media Organizations, Journalists/Correspondents Covering The National Assembly’ dated May 15 and signed by NASS Director of Information, Mr Emmanuel Agada listed new guidelines for accreditation of news outfits and journalists to include proof of two year income tax return of companies, evidence of certificate of incorporation of the entities, registration with the Union of Journalists, National Library as well as evidence of at least 40, 000 daily print run for newspapers. There is however no credible evidence that any newspaper in Nigeria presently prints 40, 000 copies daily.
OPAN President, Austyn Ogannah described the guideline as “Silly, idiotic and crude. It is a ploy to gag the free and thriving press in Nigeria. We will resist this barricade to free reporting,” he said.
The Nigerian Union of Journalists, which gave the NASS management 24 hours to withdraw the guideline, the Peoples Democratic Party, and the Nigerian Guild of Editors also came down hard on the NASS management.
“We have given the National Assembly 24-hours within which to withdraw the satanic guidelines. The guidelines are meant to stifle the press. We will not accept it,” NUJ president, Mr Christopher Iziguzo, said.
The guideline is “vexatious, disrespectful and draconian. It is a scurrilous attempt to gag the press in a democracy and it cannot stand.
“These guidelines run contrary to the grains of reason, democratic ideals and they are a clear affront to the letter and spirit of the Nigerian Constitution which empowers journalists to freely practise their profession without any gag, muzzling and restriction,” the General Secretary of the guild, Mary Atolagbe, said.
The Special Adviser to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu said the guideline is anti-free press and the office of the Senate President has no hand in it.
The guideline is “poisonous and unbelievable. The colonial masters never asked for such devilish conditions when the country was under colonial rule. How can we have such under a democratic government? I want to appeal to the drafters of such guidelines to withdraw them immediately and even apologise to the Nigeria people,” the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, said.
Below is the controversial guideline:
NEW GUIDELINES FOR THE ACCREDITATION OF MEDIA ORGANISATIONS, JOURNALISTS/ CORRESPONDENTS COVERING THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
1.0 Number of journalists/correspondents to be accredited for prints, electronic and online media for Senate and House of Representatives respectively.
1.1 Television – 1 Reporter and 1 Cameraman
1.2 Radio 1 Reporter
1.3 Independent Producers – 1 Reporter and 1 Cameramen
1.4 Online Media 1 Reporter and 1 Photographer
CLASSIFICATION OF ACCREDITATION
2.1 Permanent Accreditation 2.2 Temporary Accreditation
2.3 Foreign/lnternational Media Houses 2.4 Freelance
3.0 REQUIREMENT FOR PERMANENT ACCREDITATION OF JOURNALISTS/CORRESPONDENTS FOR PRINT, ELECTRONIC AND ONLINE MEDIA ORGANISATIONS
3.1 Evidence of certificate of incorporation of the media organisation.
3.2 Evidence of membership of professional bodies for media organization.
3.3 Proof of membership of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) with registration number.
3.4 Code of certification from the National Library for the media organization.
3.5 Functional Bureau in Abuja (Staff Strength not less than 5 Editorial staff and daily circulation of 40,000 copies for the print media with evidence to support the claimed circulation figure.
3.6 Media Houses must be publishing daily and on weekend (Applicable to Online Media).
3.7 Re-certification form must be signed and endorsed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Media organization Bureau Chief, City Editor as the case may be.
3.8 The Media organization concerned must have experience of covering proceedings of the National Assembly for at least two (2) years before applying for permanent accreditation.
3.9 All media organization will submit a copy of its income tax return for the last two years.
3.10 All online media must have at least 5000 viewership per day, the site must have been in operation for 5 years and provide satisfactory evidence to this effect with clippings of the news utilized (especially parliamentary news).
3.11 Only television stations with national coverage and specific independent producers with current running programme on the National Assembly will be allowed access into the Chambers on a permanent basis (All the production crew will be accredited as entity).
3.12 All correspondents must attach photocopy of letter of appointment of the media organization on whose behalf request has been received for grant of accreditation.
3.13 All freelance journalist seeking permanent accreditation must show evidence of not less than 5 years coverage of the National Assembly proceedings/full editorial focus and publication on parliamentary reportage.
4.0 It is only Journalists and correspondence whose media organisations meet the above requirements for Permanent accreditation that will be entitled to carry National Assembly Identity Card/Membership of the respective Press Corp
5.0 All other media organization who do not meet the above requirement will be captured under the Temporary accreditation status and they will not be entitled to carry National Assembly Identity Card/Membership of the Press Corp of the Senate and House of Representatives.
6.0 All Temporary accredited media houses, journalists/correspondents shall be allowed permit into the National Assembly for specific coverage not exceeding one (1) week in the first instance and not more than twice in a month.
7.0 All foreign/international media houses seeking accreditation shall abide by all the Diplomatic Protocols established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for foreign media organizations, the Code of Ethics for Nigerian Journalists and security clearance before accreditation will be considered upon the recommendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
8.0 All permanently accredited journalists/correspondents shall subrhit recertification letter from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of their media organization on a sessional basis failure to which accreditation shall be withdrawn forthwith.
9.0 All accredited media organization will be considered as a single entity in the issuance of passes irrespective of their membership of Senate and House of Representatives Press Corp.
10.0 This new accreditation guidetines shall come into effect from June 11 2019.
Massive Redeployment In NNPC, See Full List
There has been a massive Shake-up at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as about 20 senior personnel of the oil firm and its subsidiaries have been redeployed.
In a document seen by THEWILL the Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Yusuf Matashi, was removed and replaced by Usman Yusuf, the Senior Technical Assistant to the Group Managing Director, in the latest reorganisation.
Other subsidiaries and arms of the corporation were affected by the redeployment. These include the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company, which is the marketing arm of the Nigerian Gas Company; Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company; and the Liquified Natural Gas arm of the group.
See full list:Usman Yusuf now Managing Director, NPDC.
Anas Mustapha Mohammed now General Manager, Operations, WAPCO.
Usman Frank, Manager now Executive Director, Asset Management, NGMC.
Ali Muhammed Sarki now General Manager, Chad Basin, FES.
Osarolube Ezekiel now Managing Director, KRPC.
Ihya Aondoaver Mson now General Manager/ STA Refining to GMD.
Abubakar Lapai now Group General Manager, NNPC Leadership Academy.
Umar Hmaza Ado now Executive Director Services, NPDC.
Garba Adamu Kaita named General Manager, HR and Admin services at Duke Oil.
Ossai Uche named General Manager, Support Services, NGC.
Usman Umar now Executive Director Operations, KRPC.
Ehizoje Tunde now General Manager, Upstream/STA to GMD.
Ahmed Mohammed named Managing Director, NGMC, Gas and Power.
Lere Isa Aliyu now General Manager/STA to GMD Downstream
Richard-Obioha Nkemegina now General Manger, New LNG Ventures, LIMS
Dikko Ahmed now General Manager NLNG, LIMS.
Ibrahim Ayobami, named Executive Director, ETSD, NPDC.
Sambo Sadiq now Group General Manager/STA to GMD
Buggu Louis, General Manager, Crude oil stock Management, COMD.