September 06, 2016

Reports Of Hardship In Nigeria Are ‘Mere Propaganda’ – says MD of NAN

Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Bayo Onanuga, has accused the media of “over-sensationalization”, and insisted reports about hardship appeared to be a “mere propaganda”, inflamed by those who lost the 2015 election.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Onanuga said his findings showed that the cost of food items had not gone up, contrary to reports in the media.

“I was in Bauchi and Jos at the weekend, I also found that food was cheap everywhere,” said Mr. Onanuga, who appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari last May.

He continued: “In our hotel, we paid about N700 for a plate of semovita, or eba with a choice of cat fish or chicken. On the roadside, I found to my surprise that with just N1000, I bought over 50 oranges, two giant water melon and 10 pieces of sweet potato.

“I had experienced a similar thing in the market at Abuja, where I found that with N1,400, I could make a big vegetable soup, with tomato, pepper and roasted Titus fish.

“Are the media and bloggers really painting a correct image of our country? It’s time for the media to objectively conduct a reality check about our reports, whether we are not over sensationalising so-called hardship that we talked about.”

Mr. Onanuga also faulted recent media reports that due to the grinding hardship, foreign airlines fly almost empty out of Nigeria.

He said, "My daughter was on the Virgin Atlantic Flight that took off from Lagos to London today. I asked her to find out whether the plane was filled up or going to London near empty judging by the noisy campaign from a section of the country about the ‘hardship’ in our country.

“My daughter sent back this one-line text, after boarding: 'daddy, the flight was filled up o'.

“This makes me to wonder whether all the seeming orchestrated campaign in the media was not mere propaganda to make the Buhari regime look really bad.”