The News agency of Nigeria, NAN is an an agency that produces news and it’s owned and controlled by the Nigerian government. This agency is similar to NTA, Nigeria television authority. The establishment of NAN is connected to the fact that the Nigerian government wanted information to be distributed equally among the states. Another important reason for the establishment of NAN is that it was established to disseminate the right information and eradicate the false ones that might come up from individuals in the country. The creation of the news agency of Nigeria was officially brought into law in 1976 but it came into full operation two years after that, 1976.
NAN is with the sole aim of disseminating impartial information that will suit the information needs of the populace. NAN is recognized as the leading news agency in Africa. This is solely cherished by the agency and the agency is determined to keep up attribute by increasing its capacity to in delivering quick, reliable, accountable, political, and economic information to the populace. NAN generally serve as a news deliverer even to many other news agencies like newspapers, bulletins, television and radio stations, magazines, etc
When NAN started in 1978, it started with the publication of a news bulletin with about 1,670 words. And, since it started to date, just as the world has gone through technical advancement, NAN has become more technologically advanced as its services have upgraded in many ways. NAN utilized the introduction of satellite technology in 1998 as it began the transmission of stories to the populace better than it was before. Apart from the normal regular news like the political, economical, social news, NAN now produces information related to business and capital market information. It has about 300 competent journalists across the 36 states of the county. The NAN practically reaches across the 36 states of Nigeria successfully and also has about 501 editorial staff members across the nation and a correspondent in New York. NAN is always available in the nuke and cranny it the nation and it disseminates information with immediate alacrity. As research will have it, it produces nothing less than 200 stories daily. This is done with the collaboration of the agency with some other news agencies. NAN remains the best agency to cover the whole of Nigeria.
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In 2019, the managing director and the CEO of the agency, Bayo Onanuga, opened up about some of the achievements of the agency. These will be discussed below.
- There was a culture that existed and was
practiced in the NAN back then. This culture is that journalists write news anonymously. Bayo Onanuga was able to eradicate this culture and news from NAN now carries bye-lines.
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- Bayo Onanuga organized special training and programs to train the staff members and increase their skills. These trainings include the ones given by invited outsiders like Google, code for Africa premium times, etc.
- At one point, NAN had a free online network for everyone to come online and read. The agency now has an online platform that separates normal regular readers from subscribers. With this, the income generated by NAN increased from the range of 110 million to 120 million and 150 million to 154 million.
- Aso, during the tenure of Bayo Onanuga, multimedia production was invented. This multimedia production was well equipped in two notable states in Nigeria; Lagos and Abuja. This invention brought the constant production of audio and video news production for subscribers. In addition to this, the agency posts photographs of last events to the email of interested subscribers. This is the website for the multimedia production; “multimedia.nan.ng”.
- The agency was running SMS through to its subscribers and as an achievement of the agency the SMS increased its human destination to about 500,000 just as their income increased.
- Bayo Onanuga also was able to achieve the extension of years of work for journalists. He claimed that with this, old and experienced journalists will be able to contribute their knowledge and experience to the industry, as new and young ones gain experience from them.
Notwithstanding the giant name and achievement of the agency, the agency faces or has faced challenges at one time or the other. These challenges will be discussed below.
- Poor salary and allowances; in 2021, the managing director and CEO of the agency, Buki Ponle, expressed this. He claimed workers are paid below their nature of work. As a news agency that is highly respected, workers aren’t expected to be underpaid.
- Another challenge faced by NAN is adequacy in infrastructure and some equipment that is needed for the effective running of the agency and also the number of staff members.