Nigeria and India ties go deeper


Nigeria’s High Commissioner to India has pledged to deepen existing relations between the two countries by initiating a new venture in trade, culture and economy.

Major General Chris Eze gave the assurance in New Delhi on Saturday, when he received Nigerian journalists currently attending the 70th Session of Development Journalism Programme at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC).

The envoy emphasised that he would break new grounds that would give Nigerians living in India greater sense both in the public and private sector of that country’s economy.

Key sectors
General Eze listed some of the key sectors to explore as Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Agriculture, Telecommunication, as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

No fewer than 50 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were signed between the two countries since Nigeria-India diplomatic relations was established in 1958.

Call for greater cooperation
General Eze therefore called for ”greater cooperation between Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Nigerian Government on information dissemination to boost economic relations.”

The envoy commended the three Nigerian journalists attending the IIMC 70th session for doing the right thing by identifying with the high commission.

”The ideal thing should be that MDAs sending delegates abroad would communicate with the country’s embassies in the destination countries ahead of time for proper reception and documentation and expressed concern over the trend of some government officials and Nigerians coming to India without identifying with the commission,” General Eze explained.

Mr Omini Oden of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) who spoke on behalf of the journalists, thanked the high commissioner for the reception.

He said “we have come to inform you that we are in your territory. We do not want to wait till we have challenges before coming to identify with you.”

The journalist pledged to collaborate with the commission on the coverage of the Nigerian Day coming up on October 1 and other activities of the commission during the period of stay in India.

Meanwhile at the orientation lecture organised by IIMC for the 2018-2019 new students and foreign scholars at the IIMC, speakers urged participants to be objective, critical, dynamic and to see journalism as a mission.

One of the guest speakers, Ms Navika Kumar said that the mission of journalists was to separate facts from fiction and present the plain truth to readers.

Kumar who spoke on the topic “Journalism of mission,’’ urged journalists to go beyond writing press statements from government agencies to doing investigative reports.

“Our mission is to go behind the scene and bring the happenings to our readers and viewers; our mission is to present facts to the people,” she stated.

Kumar said journalists should always put the interest of their nation first while reporting instead of their organisations or personal interest.

Ms Navika Kumar is a Managing Editor with Times Now, an Indian News Channel.

The Global Head, News Partnership, Facebook, Ms Campell Brown told participants at an interactive session that technology had changed the face of journalism.

She said “there is difference between the ways journalism is practiced now and before because of technology; technology has brought so many sources of information to journalists which makes the profession competitive.

“We are not going back to traditional method; social media is taking over the profession, 50 per cent of population take their news from social media, so, we have to adapt to the changes the new media has brought to be relevant.”

No fewer than 25 journalists from developing countries are currently attending the 70th Diploma Course in Development Journalism (DJ) at IIMC, New Delhi.

The course is designed to upgrade the skills of journalists and to theoretically equip them to deal with the challenges they face in communicating development and economic issues.

The course, held twice a year, is organised under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme and Special Commonwealth African Assistant Programme (SCAAP) programmes of Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.



Mercy Chukwudiebere