Pat Utomi: How I caused cabinet reshuffle as a reporter

Pat Utomi, professor of economics, says he once caused a cabinet reshuffle with his works when he was a reporter.

He said this while encouraging journalists at the unveiling and public presentation on The Xpress newspaper in Lagos on Saturday.

“I feel very privileged to be able to tell you on this occasion of launching a new ship in the Nigerian media. In many ways, I feel like Metuselah in this business because forty-something years ago, I was the young rascally reporter, News Breed Magazine,” he said.

“At age 21, I caused a cabinet reshuffle in this country with my writing. I had the privilege of contributing again to the maiden edition of the Guardian in 1983.

“I tell young reporters and I challenge publishers to give us new conceptions on how we present today’s reality. The main target of a newspaper is to translate multiple realities into meaning. All kinds of things, how do we get meaning from all of those. My hope and my expectation is that with the pedigree of those who have gathered around this project, we would get new capacities for translating a rapidly changing world.

“We are operating an industry 4.0, a new industrial revolution where change is taking place at the speed of bot, not light. How does the newspaper manage to give meaning to that world? I have no doubts in my mind that there are talents in this country, but we must learn the discipline of having our talents work in a way that will help us push our vision forward.”

Stephen Nwosu, a former editor of the Sun Newspaper and publisher of The Xpress, said the newspaper is expected to bridge traditional and online media.

He said the newspaper would be strong on citizen generated news and give news as it is wanted.

In his keynote address, Modibo Kawu, director-general National Broadcasting Cooperation (NBC), said it takes a lot to publish a newspaper considering the current economic situation.

“It takes tremendous courage and deep breadth to plunge into the murky waters of newspaper publishing, in this time and industry, and within the economic situation today, and when a professional of Steve’s calibre decides to drill the horse, we must accept that a lot of thought has gone into the work and we must stand by him to success of the work and ensure the actualisation of the vision,” he said.

He added that; “Steve Nwosu has also stamped his imprimatur on this rich tapestry, with the glory of the profession and enrichment of the robust culture of journalism in the country.  We can only wish him and his team great success into the future.”

Notable persons at the presentation include Nurudeen Mohammed, former minister of state for foreign affairs who represented Sule Lamido— former Jigawa governor and co-chairman of the event, Tunji Bello, secretary to the Lagos state government and Steve Ayorinde, Lagos commissioner of tourism who represented Akinwumi Ambode, governor of the state.