The President, African Public Relations, Association (APRA) Mr. Yomi Badejo -Okusanya, has charged officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to continuously build robust relationship with media men for responsible reportage of events in the industry.
He was speaking on Monday during a one day seminar for Customs correspondent with the theme "Enhancing National Economy and Security Through Responsible Reportage".
The APRA President stated that Public Relation is not the same as Media Relation, adding that the millennium nature of public relation must be interactive and sharing.
According to him "Public relations cannot be kept on lips service but rather should be integral part of policy formation to achieve results.
"And so media relations cannot be equated with Public relations and so for an effective and efficiency management of customs operations there’s need for adequate synergies with media.”
Okusanya also opined that the closure of land borders is in the interest of the nation, as he observed that the nation’s land borders are porous.
He identified some of the challenges faced by journalists to include lack of statistics which he said is affecting the quality of reportage, lack of of media access to economic and Security information, lack of modern days media tools among many others.
Speaking earlier, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) represented by the Zonal Coordinator Zone "A" ACG Kaycee Ekekieze stated that the theme of the seminar cannot be overemphasized owing to the security challenges in the country and generally all over the world.
She informed that the Zone was able to surpasse its revenue by 10 percent last year
She however urged the media to balance their stories as the information passed to the public mold the opinion of the public.
Speaking, the Customs Area Controller MMAII Comptroller Adewale Adeniyi who spoke on the topic "Journalism: The Imperative of Follow up and Investigation" took journalist down the line of the 5Ws and H and how important for journalist to carry out investigative journalism.
He further stated that for every breaking news there is a follow up that should be carried out, citing example of the 661 pump action riffles intercepted by men of NCS, he said there is need for journalists to follow up stories even after reporting what customs has given out up to the trial at the court of law.
“This seminar promises next level advancement aimed at sharpening the knowledge of media people who report customs activities.
“Nigerian Customs is driven by integrity and takes bold decision, and the reason why the journalists need to get the right knowledge and information to impact to the public,” he said.