The Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Buki Ponle, has expressed optimism over the agency’s proposed additional budget to operate foreign offices that had been closed over the years.
Ponle made this known in an interview on Thursday, shortly after the Vice Chancellor, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Prof. Aliyu Shugaba, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
The managing director noted with concern that seven out of the agency’s 10 foreign offices had remained closed due to paucity of funds.
“We solicit for additional budget to be provided. If we are given enough we will know what to do and we will know the areas to concentrate on as our needs arise.
“With the President’s fatherly disposition, I am optimistic that he will assist in ensuring that we open those offices that were closed a long time ago,” he said.
Ponle disclosed that the only three offices currently operational were in New York, South Africa and Cote D’Ivoire.
According to him, in view of the credibility that NAN had built over time, it is important to have reporters on ground in other countries to report issues first hand.
“We need the offices opened for effective performance to expand our coverage of international activities. When you are there, what you see is different from what you read.
“When you are on ground you judge for yourself and report from all relevant angles, instead of relying on what somebody has reported, which may have colouration.
“When you are there, you remove all forms of colouration,” he said.
He gave assurance that the agency under his leadership would continue to strive to ensure objective, balanced and credible reportage.
NAN is a news reporting agency owned and run by the Federal Government.
The agency, which commenced operation in 1978, provides General News Service to subscribers.
It disseminates news using multiple media platforms and it has network of reporters covering all states of the federation and some foreign offices.