The Federal Government on Saturday in Doha sought the collaboration of Al Jazeera broadcast media organisation in the area of capacity building for journalists in the public media organisations.
This is contained in a statement credited to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, at a meeting with the Acting Director-General of Al Jazeera, Mostafa Souag.
The statement was issued by the Special Adviser to the minister on Media, Segun Adeyemi, and made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday.
Mr. Mohammed said the ministry was making efforts to restructure the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and other publicly-funded media establishments to enhance their performance.
He said the collaboration could be in the areas of capacity building as well as exchange of programmes and personnel.
“Our plan is to reposition the public media organisations to make them effective and competitive, irrespective of which government is in power.
“For a long time, government media organisations have lost their independence and credibility. I want to restore the glory and credibility of the public-owned media organisations,’’ he said.
The minister also called for a ‘special relationship’ between Al Jazeera and the Federal Government in the coverage of key policy areas of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He listed the key policy areas to include the fight against corruption and terrorism as well as the efforts to revamp the economy.
He assured Al Jazeera that the present administration in Nigeria “is an extremely open government’’ and that the organisation would not have any problem working in the country.
Responding, Mr. Souag hailed Nigeria for providing conducive environment for the media to carry out its duties.
“Despite a lot of conflict and tension, you have managed to create conducive environment for the media.
“This is very important for us in the media and we hope to see more freedom and more protection for the media,” he said.
Mr. Souag said Al Jazeera was willing to cooperate with the ministry in the area of training.
“Our training centre is one of the most professional in every aspect of the media; we are more than happy to work with you,’’ mr. Souag told Mr. Mohammed.
The minister was in Qatar to attend the 2016 Annual Congress of the International Press Institute, which was due to open later on Saturday.