By G9ija

Mr Buki Ponle, the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), says the agency is on the right track to the Promised Land of becoming the biggest News Agency in Africa.

Ponle made this remark at the send-off of a Deputy Editor-in Chief in the agency, Mr Julius Enehikhuere, on Monday, in Abuja after attaining the retirement age of 60.

“Today, NAN is making impact in journalism in the country.

“We are going to the Promised Land and we shall get there. I urge all of you to contribute your quota.

“Everyone has a role to play in the new NAN and with your support we shall get there.

“Some years ago, NAN reporters were not accorded the expected respect but that today, they are held in high esteem,’’ he said.

Ponle described Enehikhuere as a talented journalist, who had contributed his to the success of the agency.

“Everyone in NAN has a talent. If you cannot be the sun or the moon, you can be a star. We salute his efforts in NAN and will continue to remember him.

“Nobody is a Dead Sea in NAN. Everyone is a star,’’ the managing director said.

He said that many members of staff in the agency started and ended well and moved into different directions, adding that “today I am back as the Managing Director of the agency.’’

The NAN boss said that he was happy for the retiree, who was supposed to retire as a director, “which he never was’’.

“Such will never happen again. Many retired as deputy directors; I wish, when the time comes, the promotion will be backdated to include those who retired as deputy director,’’ he said.

Also in his remark, the Editor-in-Chief, Mr Silas Nwoha, congratulated Enehikhuere for retiring in good health, sound mind, body and soul.

“Mr Enehikhuere is a nice person; he has done so much for the agency.

“He is always interested in resolving issues both official and private in the agency,’’ he said.

A Deputy Editor-In-Chief, Mrs Grace Yussuf, described Enehikhuere as a blunt staff, “who says things the way they are without any form of coloration.’’

“He is a man, who is took his job seriously and mentored many young journalists and today he is going with head high,’’ she said.

Yussuf prayed that God should bless his future endeavours, adding that his later days would be better after his retirement.

Many members of staff also showered encomium on the retiree, recounting his good deeds and prayed for a better life in retirement.

In his response, Enehikhuere, who was the Head of External Relations and the Head of Metro Desk, admitted that “he is a blunt man with the reputation to resolve crisis in and out of the newsroom.

“It has been a good thing working for NAN. It is only rational that after putting in 30 years of my time and energy into the agency, I need to leave.

“I thank God that I am leaving in good health, energy and with the heart to serve in any capacity after my retirement.’’

The high point of the event was the presentation of gifts to the retiree.