Newly appointed Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan has solicited for the support of community media practitioners in the state towards propagating the programmes and activities of Lagos state government.
He disclosed this at a media parley with members of the Association of Community Media practitioners in the state at the state secretariat, Alausa in Ikeja.
In his address at the meeting, Mr Bamigbetan traced the history of community media in Nigeria to the days of the Nigeria’s nationalist movement.
‘The Nigerian nationalist movement was based, strengthened, inspired and driven by the community media. And until the enactment of the Richard’s Constitution which created regional government and transferred the locus of political activities from the community to the region, the community media newspapers were doing very well’.
He added that the potentials for community media in the state, ‘the potentials for community media, if the marketing dynamics were taken care of is actually huge. The only thing missing was that we did not culture and nurture the entrepreneurial element that will make that dream possible and that is basically what I did’.
Speaking further, he disclosed that the patronage he facilitated from the state government is to send a strong message that, with small capital, provided through Lagos state government advert patronage ‘is to make sure that with this seed funding, you can actually plan, produce and make more money. If we provided training, it was meant to let you understand that this business has gone farther than you think, and that you needed to use modern knowledge to run it. If we provided access, it is meant to give you the confidence that government is standing beside you and if government is standing beside you, and have so much confidence in you to put its messages in your paper, there is no other person in Lagos state that will not patronize you’ he said.
Also speaking at the parley, foremost publisher of Ikorodu based community newspaper, Oriwu Sun, Alh Monzor Olowosago who doubles as the patron of the body congratulated Hon Bamigbetan on his latest appointment, while charging community media practitioners to be diligent in the discharge of their duties to the public. He added that, the body should see the patronage of community media by the state government as a gesture that must be reciprocated by practitioners.
Other members of the body who spoke at the event commended the efforts of Mr Bamigbetan at identifying, mobilising and facilitating government patronage of community media, a feat that is unprecedented in the history of media in Lagos State. They also praised him for single-handedly facilitating the formation of the Association of Community Media Practitioners in Lagos state with a view to building a virile public-government engagement in the state.