The International Press Institute, IPI Nigeria took steps to brace up to the World Congress Abuja is hosting next year with the setting up of a secretariat and the inauguration of a Steering Committee.

One of the resolutions taken at the meeting on Thursday hosted by the Daily Trust in Abuja indicated that IPI Nigeria will open up the event to the participation of all media organisations in the country.

The Steering Committee is being headed by the President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena who will be assisted by two deputies –Kabiru Yusuf, Chairman, Daily Trust, Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President – and three other members –Raheem Adedoyin, Secretary of IPI Nigeria and Head of the Secretariat, Mrs Funke Egbemode, President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors and a representative of the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

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In accepting to serve as the Chairman of the Planning Committee, Mr Obaigbena described the IPI World Congress in Abuja in June next year as “the most important media event in our country in the last 50 years.”

Calling for the support of all Nigerians in hosting the event, which he described as a “public-private partnership,” the NPAN President said “we must do everything to make our country great. We must not under-estimate or under-rate the greatness of our country.”

The Publisher of Vanguard newspaper, Mr. Sam Amuka-Pemu said that the hosting of IPI World Congress “is an awesome task which calls for the support of all Nigerians. It means a lot to the government and people of Nigeria.”

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The Chairman of IPI Nigeria Malam Kabiru A. Yusuf warned about the scepticism and image dissonance concerning Nigeria which, if not handled very well may torpedo the country’s hosting of the event. He therefore charged the newly-established secretariat to be ready to respond to international enquiries particularly with regards to the issues of safety.

The other members of the Planning Committee in attendance at the meeting include a veteran of the IPI, Malam Ismaila Isa, Malam Wada Maida, Mr Nnamdi Njemenze of the Nigeria Press Council, Mr Emma Agu and Mr. Timothy Oyedeji representing the Minister of Information.

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