The High Commissioner of Pakistan to Nigeria, Mr Muhammad Azam has solicited collaboration from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) toward the success of the forthcoming Pakistan-Africa Trade Conference and Exhibition.
The conference and exhibition billed to hold from Nov. 23 to Nov. 25 in Lagos, targets the business community from not only Nigeria but from other West African and non-ECOWAS countries.
Azam, who is a retired major general, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday when he paid a courtesy visit to the Managing Director of NAN, Buki Ponle.
The envoy, who praised the agency for its credibility and reliability over the years, asked for NAN’s support in the area of publicising the exhibition.
“NAN is one of the very important segments of the society. You are doing a big service in making news and information get to people.
“It is a very dedicated task that you are performing. I heard about your experience, and I think it is very impressive.
“My purpose of meeting with you is that since we are having a mega event in Lagos from Nov. 23 to 25 – Pakistan Africa Trade Conference and Exhibition, we have invited foreign guests from the ECOWAS, local guests from Nigeria, and 100 companies from Pakistan.
“My request is because you have the complete network; you know the business community, so we seek that the message of this event is disseminated to the concerned quarters.
“We want to benefit from your experience and the kind of influence you have all over the world and the way you are credibly heard by the people,” he said.
Azam said that the event “is the biggest post-COVID event being organised by Pakistan”, adding that it would be mutually beneficial to both countries.
He added that 100 Pakistani companies, manufacturers, and investors would be at the event and would be meeting with the business community in Nigeria.
“One thing I am very sure of is that from this event, Pakistan and Nigeria will benefit.
“Your support will definitely matter in this regard once the information is disseminated and spread to all the corners of Nigeria,” he said.
He further called for collaboration between NAN and the Pakistani News Agency in the area of news exchange.
“Apart from that, we can do anything for the Pakistani News Agency and yours to collaborate. But we can consider this at a later time,” he said.
Responding, Ponle who thanked the envoy for commending the agency, pointed out that in its 45 years of existence, NAN had always prided itself in remaining credible.
He told the envoy that since the agency began operation in 1978, the Agency which exists in all Nigerian states and some other foreign countries, had not relented in performing its core functions.
He assured the high commissioner of the agency’s readiness to work closely with the Pakistani mission on news exchange, training, visits, and other areas of interest.
“Concerning your request for media coverage, that is what we are created to do and we will give you maximum coverage to ensure success.
“We have a vibrant multimedia outfit and our clients go beyond Nigeria. We are heard all over the world and once you talk to NAN you have talked to the whole World.
“I am proud to say that because that is what we are known for, no one has doubted our reports both within and outside Nigeria.
“This will not be an exception, we will come in full force and ensure that the occasion is given maximum coverage,” he said.
On the partnership, Ponle said that it could provide an avenue for both countries to share the right information and get rid of certain impressions or perceptions.
Ponle noted that Nigeria and Pakistan had certain things in common including population and culture.
“If we are able to partner with the Pakistani news agency, it would not be a perfunctory event; it will be a consistent event where news and activities of Pakistan will be beamed to Nigeria and Nigerians and vice versa
“Through this, some impressions and perceptions will be addressed; we will create a symbiotic relationship where everybody will benefit.
“I would request that we kick-start that partnership, not only in the form of news exchange but also in the form of training, equipment exchange as well as visits.
“This we will sit down and work out,” he added. (NAN)