Ndifreke Enefiok, Uyo.
Burdened by the need to have an umbrella body that cater for the overall welfare of independent state newspaper publishers, the AMALGAMATED NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION, ANPA was birthed Tuesday, 18th August with a new slate for development.
The new publishers’ body which will accommodate, promote, unify and create a sense of purpose for all publishers in Akwa Ibom State inaugurated its executive members in an high-flying ceremony.
The body which will be man by an 8-man committee members has Comr OsuiniAbasi Alfred, Publisher of Eagle Eye Newspaper as its Chairman, Comr Ofonime Isong, Publisher of Prime Voice Newspaper as Vice Chairman and Comr Ubong Etetor of Ibom Nation Newspaper as Secretary.
Other Exco members include Comr Ephraim Ikpe of the Wave Newspaper as Financial Secretary, Comr Ekaette Okon-Joseph of Niger Delta Post as Treasurer, Comr Imo Udoima of the Informer Newspaper as Public Relations Officer, Comr Udeme Hosea of SkyNet Newspaper as Auditor which Comr Victor Ukpong serves as Director, Contact and Mobilization.
The group is also headed by Comr Ernest Akpan of Town Crier Newspaper as Chairman, Board of Trustees, while Comr Nsibiet John of the Ink Newspaper serves as Secretary of the Board.
Also, the inauguration an epoch-making event attended by créme dé la crème in the publishing business was held at Watbridge Hotel & Suite, IBB Way, Uyo with a large assemblage of media practitioners cum active publishers in the state.
The inauguration ceremony was witnessed and Exco members sworn in by Barr. Samuel Sammy Etuk who is also a member of the group.
Other dignitaries who graced the inauguration were: Chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists, Comr Amos Etuk; Dr. Udeme Nnanna, Senior Lecturer of Mass Communication, International Institute of Journalism; Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Local Media, Comr Emmanuel Sam; SA Research and Documentation, Comr Essien Ndueso; SA on Media, Rev’d Richard Peters, SA Talent Hunt, Mr Emmanuel Owuala, Comr Edet Ikotidem of the Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, AKBC, among others.
The BoT Chairman, Comr Ernest Akpan who doubles as the Special Assistant to Governor Udom on Project Monitoring while setting the pace for the offshoot of the group hinted that the group was borne out of the need for publishers to ”not only interface and collaborate to achieve overriding objective of a just and egalitarian society, but to project and chart a pathway for general welfare of members.”
Akpan thanked all publishers who identified with the body as well as signed up to the group’s ideology of contributing their quota to nation building as responsible news proprietors and gatekeepers, stressing that the decision is critical to setting agenda, mass mobilization, peace and stability in the nation.
Also, he expressed confidence in the OsuiniAbasi led Exco, he maintained that the association will not only thrive under his leadership but will serve as the beginning of greater accomplishment for its members.
Akpan appreciated Governor Emmanuel for appointing members of the fourth estate into his cabinet and also donating mobility aid (cars) to publishers in the state. Further, he commended the immediate past Commissioner for Information and Strategy now Commissioner for Environment, Sir Charles Udoh for the harmonious relationship and proactive approach to the realization of the Akwa Ibom project through the effective management of the information machinery in the State.
In his goodwill message, the Special Assistant on Local Media, Comr Emmanuel Sam observed that the culture of breaking out of warring groups was not an ideal approach but rather peace and sense of purpose should be prioritized to curb further breakage. While suing for the prioritization of members welfare, Sam added that every member should be carried along in the scheme of things.
Also agreeing with his colleague, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Research and Documentation, Comr Essien Ndueso lauded the group for the initiative. He advised that better welfare incentive should be sort for members to help boost the publishing industry.
He appreciated the Governor for providing an enabling environment for business to thrive, adding that the publishers are beneficiaries of such feat by the governor.
On his part, Chairman NUJ, Akwa Ibom State Council Comr Amos Etuk charged the body to set smart goals and objectives that will help galvanize the pen profession.
While commending the publishers for their dexterity and doggedness despite the harsh reality forced on businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic, the NUJ boss reiterated that only passion and consistency can drive and sustain them in the publishing business.
” For us to succeed, the cardinal thing in publishing business is passion and that passion is consistency; that consistency will serve as a mileage.” He added
In concordance with other speakers, Dr. Udeme Nnana congratulated the body for birthing the dream of uniting and building pillars of help for publishers in the state.
The Mass Communication expert cum lecturer praised the publishers for resorting to self-help in employment thereby boosting and contributing to the flattening of unemployment curve in the country.
Profering solutions for the development and emancipation of publishers in the state, Dr. Nnana called on the state government to move a step further by empowering publishers through the gift of grants and other soothing incentives. Continuing, Dr. Nnana advised the body to form cooperative where members can access funds, stressing that the independence of media houses can make them become veritable tool in a democratic society.
Presenting his inaugural speech, the ANPA Chairman, Comr OsuiniAbasi thanked the Exco and other members for finding him fit to led them. He maintained the existence of the group will lead to the growth, interest and transformation of newspaper publishing (publishers) in the state.
He pleaded with members to purge their minds of double thoughts on the formation of the group, maintaining that its essence is to serve as pavilion of development, unity and progress of the publishing industry and the state at large.