NAN MD mulls adoption of military-like retirement ceremony for staff

The Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Malam Ali Mohammed Ali said on Monday the agency would ‘adopt the military style of pulling out its retirees’ from service.

Ali said this during the send-off party organised for the agency’s immedi…

The Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Malam Ali Mohammed Ali said on Monday the agency would ‘adopt the military style of pulling out its retirees’ from service.

Ali said this during the send-off party organised for the agency’s immediate past Head of Politics Desk Mr Inuwa Ali, after 35 years of service.

Military pulling-out parades, also known as farewell parades, are held at the instance of retiring senior officers who have served the nation meritoriously.

According to the managing director, the military-style pull-out ceremony will be significant because it will indicate that their contributions and service of more than 30 years have been recognised and acknowledged.

‘I think we will now adopt the military style of pulling out its retirees because they have contributed enormously.

‘This style of celebrating our retirees in the newsroom will have to change and we will now have to pull them out like it is done for generals in the military,’ he said.

Ali reiterated his commitment to leve
raging technology to deliver the agency’s mandate by building a workforce that is in tune with technology and digitally savvy.

‘Recently we made some changes in the editorial department – at least in the multimedia unit – because we want to reposition the agency such that it can face the impending challenge of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

‘Now the shape of the newsroom in the digital or AI era is quite scary and unless we wake up to that reality and equip ourselves with the right knowledge and tools, we will be left behind.

‘We are determined to collectively confront and understand the threat of job losses because, with AI, you won’t need many people in your operations,’ he said.

He congratulated Inuwa on his retirement, describing him as a close friend, a selfless and generous man, and fun to be with.

In his speech, Mr Ephraims Sheyin, NAN’s Editor-In-Chief (EIC), said Inuwa was not only an effective staff member but also one of those persons a leader could rely on for their support.

Sheyin said Inuw
a always made everyone around him in the newsroom feel at ease and laugh even when the situation was tense.

‘He seemed to know many things happening in many parts of the country and would tell stories using the happenings and make everybody around him laugh,” he said.

The EIC described Inuwa as one of the staff members always willing to do their best and sacrifice for the agency, advising editorial staff to continue to offer their best services.

The agency’s Director of Administration, Mr Abdulkadir Khaliel, also congratulated Inuwa on his retirement and prayed to God to grant him a brighter future in his retirement life.

Also speaking, the agency’s Director of Special Duties, Mr Mufutau OJo, described Inuwa as an effective media manager who offered his subordinates effective leadership and trained them to become better reporters without having to bully them.

He urged other leaders in the agency to emulate Inuwa’s leadership style.

‘One thing we have learned about him is that you can be an effective me
dia manager without being a bully.

‘He is a type that has been doing a lot, even without being noticed,” he said.

Deputy Editor-in-Chief (DEIC) and Head of NAN Abuja Newsroom, My Kayode Olaitan, described Inuwa as a friendly and calm person with whom he had worked over many years.

‘One thing I know about him is that he is a very calm person who will never reject a request from you,” Olaitan said.

Another DEIC, Hajia Hadiza Aliyu, the Head of the Health and Gender Desk, described herself as a member of ‘Inuwa’s tea-drinking club”.

She said that Inuwa was retiring even when he still had so much to offer the agency and the nation.

She said Inuwa would be remembered for his sense of humour in the newsroom and for sharing tea with his colleagues.

Assistant Editor-in-Chief, Mrs Ese Eniola-Williams, also extolled the good qualities of Ali, describing him as a generous person always willing to share good things with his colleagues.

Another Assistant Editor-in-Chief, Gregory Mmadukolam, urged NAN managemen
t to find a way to re-engage Inuwa even after retirement for his wealth of experience and skills.

A politics correspondent, Emmanuel Oloniruha, described Inuwa as hardworking, jovial, and open-hearted.

‘Inuwa is a man who does not hide his feelings when you fail to carry out instructions.

‘However, the moment you let him see reason and apologise, he let go,” Oloniruha said.

He prayed to God to grant him a fulfilled life in retirement.

Another reporter, Angela Atabo, described Inuwa as a good boss always willing to assist reporters with their reports regardless of the time of the day.

‘As my desk head, I learned a lot from him, especially how to cover civil society organisations.

‘He will be greatly missed. I wish him all the best in life,” she said.

Responding to the encomiums poured out upon him, the retiree, thanked his colleagues for the outpouring of love and for celebrating him.

‘I started my career in the Lagos office of the agency on the sports beat and met colleagues who became like brothe
rs to me.

‘I have travelled to more than 10 countries across the world in the course of my job. I covered three Africa Nations Cup tournaments.

‘I have been to South Africa, Spain, the U.S., and Sydney, among others, covering sports.

‘I am proud to have worked in NAN.

‘All the experiences helped to shape my life and made me who I am today, and I am fulfilled because I am leaving NAN today feeling like a two-star general,” he said

According to Inuwa, journalists give their all in their jobs, yet what they are paid is not commensurate with what they put in for the sake of society.

He called for the implementation of a decent media salary structure acceptable to Nigerian journalists.

‘We are getting so much less. Nigerian journalists are suffering and I think it is time now for the NUJ to champion this cause, for them to have a better salary scale in this country.

‘That is the motivation. We have offered so much to Nigeria. We deserve so much from Nigeria too,” he added.

Source: News Agency of Nigeri