The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria wishes to deny; disassociate itself from and debunk the impression being created that the Honourable Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed met with Online Publishers of Nigeria as widely reported in print and online media outlets in the last few days.
While we recognize the right of the Ministry of Information and indeed the whole communication structure of the Government to engage with all media practitioners of all genres; we believe that engagements should be with titles and their designated representatives.
An association of professionals created to ensure standards has the fundamental responsibility to remain fair, objective and balanced both in its conduct and engagements in a manner that ensures its mandate remains that of its industry and members.
The meeting widely reported is one we believe was held with a group of online practitioners who had sought registration but was asked by the Corporate Affairs Commission to drop the use of its name as it conflicted with OPAN, the pioneers. This group later amended its name, and is still being promoted as a private project by a Special Adviser in the Presidency.
This propaganda-premised platform is now being represented as the industry. This is not the case and the members of the public are advised to be aware.
We advise that the generic use of the word “meeting with online publishers in Nigeria” by a government that is yet to recognize the role, place and value of online publishing in our extant laws is dubious at best.