Be Politically and Ideologically Neutral- Dr. Kale Tells Premium Times
The Statistician General of the Federation/CEO of the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) Dr Yemi Kale has urged Premium Times, owners of the ‘DUBAWA and UDEME’, checking and verification platforms to always remain politically and ideologically neutral if the medium seeks the support of truth and facts-based journalism.
Dr. Kale stated this at the official launch of the platforms in his keynote address held at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.
He said that “but for these entities like DUBAWA to be successful, there needs to
be political and ideological neutrality as well as sufficiently trustworthy data that is reliable and accessible not only to such entities, but to which they can refer their users.
Dr Kale likened the roles being played by the launch of these platforms to that of the”role of NBS by hosting publicly-available reference data and its clear interpretation on nearly every facet of Nigeria’s socio-economic life so that even when fake news inevitably exists, fact-checkers and citizens can readily verify these by themselves”.
He posited that the growing demand for data especially on Nigeria can be attributed to an externally-driven force and domestically-driven force, adding that these demands include the ones driven by the interest of international investors to reap higher returns in Nigeria, given historically low interest rates in developed markets.
According to him, a prominent source has been because of data-reporting obligations for the sustainable development goals (SDGs), where data on the Nigerian economy is required for investment decision-making, resource allocation, programme design, and even allocation of voting powers (e g.at the UN, World Bank or IMF).
Citing concrete evidence where data has been on high demand, Dr kale said there are international pressures promoting good governance, which are reflected in the institutional partnerships that Premium Times has been able to put together behind the DUBAWA Initiative.
Earlier at the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer of Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism(PTCIJ), Mr Dapo Olorunyomi in his opening remarks said the gathering has given “consequence to one of the most important element in the definition of democracy, namely, the centrality of credible, truthful an accurate information”.
He noted that when Premium Times debuted six years ago, the company “sought to help restore the flagging nerves of the media profession through the promise of a professional and ethical practice, apart from helping to rebuild trust in readers and consumers of our products that decades of poor reporting had separated from industry by polluting public understanding”.
He said that “professional news and information providers know that their work remains undone if the commitment to a process of integrity and a credible outcome is constrained to only the work of individuals, if the wider media system remainss shackled by poor or failing practice standards of responsibility”
Present at the launch were dignitaries such as constitutional lawyer, Femi Falana, soft spoken and no nonsense Idayat Hassan, Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development(CDD), Dr. Otive Igbuzor, Executive Director, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, and Dr. Kole Shettima, Country Director MacArthur Foundation among others.