OrderPaperToday – Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, has said the role of the media is central to the development of democracy in Nigeria.

Dogara who received the management of New Age Media led by its chairman, Ibrahim Buba, in his office on Thursday, commended media practitioners for their role in deepening democracy in the country.

A press statement issued by his spokesman, Turaki Hassan, said the speaker hailed the valuable contributions of journalists to social progress and economic development of the country.He said: “We all know the role of the media in promoting democracy, social progress and economic development. Media agencies amplify voices and I believe that beyond all the roles played by other organisations, the media remains far ahead as it provides information to citizens, which in turn enables them to hold leaders to account.”

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He also urged media agencies to put the people first by ensuring that their reportage is fair and balanced, saying: “manipulating information misleads the populace, and the profession should come before patronage or personal interest.”

The Speaker urged New Age Media to delve deeper into proceedings in the House, as most people are of the opinion that plenary is the only activity which lawmakers engage in, and often tag those who do not make frequent contributions as inactive, when in fact, many of them are very active at committee level.According to him, “it is at committee level that most of the work is done, and this includes oversight functions. Some lawmakers are not very active on the floor of the House, but they are very good at investigating and analyzing situations, and in turn make recommendations to the House.”

Speaking earlier, Mr. Buba reiterated the commitement of New Age to deepening democracy through effective coverage of activities of the National Assembly.According to Mr. Buba, “our relationship with the House began at the dawn of the Fourth Republic; we have been reporting on the House for the past sixteen years and if anyone needs detailed footage on the history of the House since then, New Age Media is the only organization that can provide it.”

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