The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has charged journalists to remain focused while it is believed media has earned for itself a pride of place in the minds of the common man over the years noting that science and technology remains the hub on which the wheels of development revolve.
The minister said that Nigeria’s efforts to attain greatness cannot be successful without the proper deployment of science and technology.
This was contained in the minister’s speech at the fourth edition of OFAB media award ceremony and gala nite at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.
Speaking on the media award gala nite, chief guest speaker, Mr Francis Nwosu, Executive Secretary Nigeria Press Council, urged Media Practitioners to desist from spreading fake news, which has the capacity to make readers and viewers lose trust in news and can infact send a media organization out of business and jeopardize the foundation of Nigeria’s democracy.
Nwosu said, the Nigerian Press Council as an organization saddled with the mandate of fostering the maintenance of high professional standards in the Nigerian Press has been engaging and will continue to engage the media to play its role in utilizing the best practices devoid of false or fake news. As science journalist, staying with science places you in a vantage position as specialized journalist.
Also speaking at the award night, country coordinator, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), Nigerian Chapter, Dr. Rose Maxwell Gidado and the Acting Director General of National Biotechnology Development Agency, Alex Akpan, called for the advocacy for the deployment of Science and Technology towards transforming agriculture through Biotechnology to counter the effects of climate change and food insecurity for the National Development.
However, the Acting DG was represented by Dr. Nasiru Ibrahim, Director of Agric Biotech, said this technology has the ability to assist us in solving some of the challenges that conventional breeding cannot handle by proving to be a valuable tool in our quest to produce mass quality for the teeming population.
The OFAB Nigeria chapter media awards sponsored by African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and co-organized by the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) and Agricultural Research Council (ARNC), named Pretty Ngozi Onyejiaku, reporter with African Independent Television (AIT) the winner under television category and the overall winner of the 2020 Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology Nigeria chapter.
The fourth edition of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Nigeria Chapter Annual Media Awards was dedicated to celebrating Nigerian journalists and their efforts in promoting science evidence-based reporting on Agricultural Technology through responsible, professional, ethical and effective reporting.
Other winners include; Vincent Ayaka Yusuf of Daily Trust, Rabi Hope Momoh of Radio Nigeria who emerged first runner-up while the second runner-up went to Chibuzor Kelechi of Daily Independent.
Maureen Chioma Ekezie of FRCN, ups the print and online television and categories respectively, while Sylvester Thompson of NAN Abuja won the award for the best coordinator.