Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has said that his administration would create a Journalists Estate that would provide affordable and befitting houses to journalists in the state.
The estate, the governor disclosed would be sited close to the new workers’ estate to be built by his government along the Kobape- Abeokuta road.
He acknowledged the role of Journalists as watch dogs during his visit to the Nigerian Union of Journalist’s secretariat in Abeokuta.
He also acknowledged that the media professionals have been instrumental to the success his administration achieved in the first term, hence the need to involve them in serving the people better.
He also said his administration would build a befitting hall at the union’s new site, while renovation work would be carried out at the existing Union Hall built by the former governor Chief Olusegun Osoba, to change the face of the profession in the state.
He implored the leadership and members of the NUJ to be responsive in their activities and reports.
The governor said that his government is not averse to constructive criticism, noting that positive criticism would spur his team to work harder for the betterment of the state.
“This fundamental principle of journalism as illumination of the society is regrettably defeated if the criticism is based on malice, parochial tendency and self-aggrandizement; such is destructive and a disservice to our collective aspirations and desires.
“Please make your reports objective and your criticism constructive, devoid of malice. On our part as a government,
we shall continue to support your union in all ways possible to ensure you seamlessly deliver your statutory obligations in a media-friendly environment and without any form of intimidation whatsoever,” the governor assured.
He said that he would engage competent journalists to serve in his administration just as the State Council of the NUJ, would be involved in selecting his media team for his second term in office.
He said: “I want to thank you for many of your reports in the past years, which had objectively and constructively assessed our policies and subsequently served as the impetus for us to improve the quality of our democratic deliveries and serve our people better.
“I want to commend your consciousness for professionalism, by being objective and patriotic in your reportage with the focus of building a strong socioeconomic bridge for our dear state and the coming generations,” he added.
He said as critical stakeholders in the state’s project and a watchdog to society, journalists needed to be professional by being objective in their reportage, as members of the public look up to them as the mirror of society.
Governor Abiodun stated that the visit to the Press Centre was in line with his promise to constantly engage the men of the pen profession in building a synergy that would engender good governance and fast-track the socio-economic development of the State.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of NUJ, Ogun State Council, Comrade Wale Olarenwaju, urged the governor to appoint capable media practitioners who would be able to liaise with their colleagues in projecting the laudable achievements of the government to the public.
He appreciated the governor for being the first Chief Executive to visit and interact with journalists in the centre, just as he lauded the governor for donating a brand new bus to the union, pledging to support the government to serve the people better.