Premier Lotto, Baba Ijebu receives NIJ fellowship award, says Press does not get anything from the government’s budgetary allocation
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EKO HOT BLOG reports that philanthropist and business mogul, Chairman, Premier Lotto, Sir Kessington Adebutu, popularly called, “Baba Ijebu,” has said the press is the only arm of government – the fourth estate of the realm that does not get anything from the government’s budgetary allocation.
He noted that three other estates – the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary – get an allocation.
Adebutu spoke at a special convocation of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), on Thursday, in Lagos where he was honoured with a fellowship of the institute.
The ceremony was part of the celebration to mark the institution’s golden jubilee.
Adebutu said: “The press needs the support of all of us. As the fourth estate of the realm, the press seems to be on its own.
“The Executive, Legislature and Judiciary get allocations, but the press gets nothing from budgetary allocations. The press must be supported to truly be the watchdog that the masses can lean on.”
This, Adebutu said, makes it imperative to support the media.
“The importance of journalism cannot be overemphasized; that is why it needs all the support it can get so as to thrive well.
“The press is vital and very important because it is a major source of information which determines what happens to the society. It is essential that they get all the support they need.
The business mogul appreciated the institution for deeming it necessary to award him the fellowship and pledged his support for the media and urged others to do the same.
“I’m very grateful for this award given to me and I promise that I wouldn’t relent in my efforts in serving the people,” he said.
The Chairman, Governing Council of NIJ, Chief Olusegun Osoba, while conferring the award, commended Adebutu for his humanitarian services in the country.
He noted that the award was approved by the International Press Institute (IPI) which was made up of editors, media executives, and journalists.
He said, “This award is of utmost importance because of the humanitarian services this wonderful gentleman has rendered to this institution and the country as a whole.
“All your contributions to society have been deservedly noted and the IPI has approved this award for you as your contribution is genuinely appreciated.
“We hope that this will serve as a springboard for other people to take a cue from your cap and also impact society in more ways than you have done.”
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu commended NIJ for maintaining its code and ethics in the teaching of journalism.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, called on Nigerians to impact other people’s lives.
“The NIJ must be commended for the great job it has been doing in bringing up professional journalists who are knowledgeable, fearless, and abide by the rules of the profession.
“Also, the Golden Jubilee Special Convocation for the conferment of the fellowship award must be applauded as it shows that the recipient’s contribution to society hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“Mr Adebutu has been carrying out several humanitarian efforts for decades and he is deserving of this award, but I’m also appealing that he should not stop. He should continue to impact and improve the lives of the people,” he said.
In his speech, the Provost of NIJ, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, described Adebutu as a global icon of philanthropy, an illustrious son of Africa and a proud Nigerian.
He said Adebutu’s colossal investments in the lives of others had affected the socio-economic, political and cultural landscape of the country and, by inference, the media industry.
Adefaye said that NIJ was a unique centre of communication excellence driven by the critical stakeholders in the media sector.
“As a public trust, NIJ requires continuous support from the public and private organisations and well-meaning individuals to assist her to fulfil the mandate of training critical drivers of democracy and sustenance of good governance.
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“The training and retraining of those charged with this onerous responsibility of the watchdog and holding government accountable cannot be taken for granted,” he said.
Dignitaries at the event include Chairman, Channels Television, Mr John Momoh; Chairman, Guardian Newspapers, Mrs Maiden Alex-Ibru; Head of Lagos, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Sheyin Ephraim; Chairman of Biscon Communications, Prince Bisi Olatilo; royal fathers, among others.
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