We’ve no hand in controversial media bills –Presidency

Mr. Femi Adesina

The Presidency has disowned ongoing attempts at the National Assembly to amend the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) Act and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act, a move media stakeholders have described as an attempt to muzzle the press.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the initiative is a Federal Government thing that only the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, can address.

“That is not strictly a Presidency thing because the President has nothing to do with that. It’s a government thing and it’s the Minister that can talk about it. So, thank you,”he clarified when he spoke to State House Correspondents after the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Asked to react to ECOWAS Court ruling against Nigeria for suspending the micro-blogging platform, Twitter, Adesina said the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, was studying the ruling that Twitter users cannot be arrested or prosecuted and would advise the federal government on the next step to take.

Adesina affirmed that the committee made up of ministers to engage with Twitter has begun to meet.

Adesina said that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved that the Second Peer Review Country Self-assessment Report should be done.

“The only thing of interest I would like to talk about is the second Peer Review Country’s Self-assessment Report.

“Nigeria is ready for the second Peer Review Country Self -assessment Report to be done by AUDA-NEPAD. I think the last self-assessment report was done 10 years ago in Nigeria. Now, Nigeria is ready for the second review self-assessment report.

“It’s been discussed at the Council and the President has granted the approval that that peer review report can be conducted on Nigeria.

“Actually, if you have an insight into the report that was presented, which the woman in charge of NEPAD, Mrs. Akobundu, can give you, Nigeria has made progress in several areas and on several fronts.

“While 10 years ago, petroleum contributed more than 70%, even up to 90%, to GDP, you will find that today, petroleum contributes just about 45% and non-oil products contribute about 55% to the Nigerian economy.

“So, if Nigeria had been talking of diversification for 40, 50, 60 years, the economy can now be said to be diversified because our GDP, non-oil revenue, contributes about 55% to 45% of oil.

“So, it’s one of the highlights of the Peer Review Country Self-assessment Report that was presented at the Council meeting today. Details of that can be gotten from the AUDA-NEPAD office.”