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BusinessDay Aims To Reinvent Financial Journalism (Posted 29th Nov, 2001) Tell your friends about this page! Email it to them.

Olayemi Cardoso and Dr. Utomi at the PresentationNewspapers abound in Nigeria, but few are focused entirely on financial reporting. Many that have ventured into this rugged terrain have within a short time reached a brick wall. With this and many more reasons as motivational nuggets, a team of financial journalists with the political economist and social commentator, Dr. Pat Utomi as chairman, saw these as challenges and set out to overcome them. According to the chairman of the paper, Dr. Utomi, the paper aims to reinvent financial journalism in Nigeria.

The event was the public lecture and formal presentation of BusinessDay – Financial Times, London partnership at the Agip Hall, Muson Centre, Lagos. The occasion was graced by media executives and government functionaries. The Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu was ably represented by the Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Yemi Cardoso, Mr. Magnus Pako, Economic Adviser to the Vice President, Atiku Abubakar stood in for him. The occasion was chaired by Mr. Christopher Ikechi Ezeh, Chairman John Holt PLC. The former African Editor, Economist magazine of London, Richard Dowden delivered the lecture.

Richard Dowden, Olayemi Cardoso and Dr. UtomiUtomi started off the program by highlighting the objective behind the establishing of the weekly paper. According to him the paper is targeted at every strata of the Nigerian public, which includes the market women in the market. The determination to make a distinctive mark in the Nigerian financial milieu necessitated the recent strategic alliance with the Financial Times, FT of London. This will surely enhance the quality of the paper and give it an edge over other tabloids in the country.

"Who Needs Who?" Nigeria and Foreign Investment was the topic of the lecture. The lecturer, Mr. Richard Dowden analysed the African economic predicament before the democratisation wave blew through the continent. This brought about free market economy, democracy and human rights, and this recent development has shown the profound effect of these values in moving the economy of some Africa countries. Uganda and Mozambique was used as case studies to illustrate how the forces of demand and supply let loose can change situations with the former achieving consistent growth rates of 7% or 8% from the early 1990s and the latter by some 15% in the year 2000. The bottom line of the lecture centers on the need for Nigerians to believe in their country, with an attitudinal change and infusion of local private sector investment. This he argues will encourage foreign investors and transform the image of the country.

The speech of the Lagos State Governor was delivered by Mr. Cardoso. According to the Governor, the BusinessDay alliance with FT, London is a veritable source of influence for investment to Lagos in particular and Nigeria in general. On his part the Economic Adviser to the Vice President sees the medium as an investment magnet for both local and foreign investors. Mr. Foluso Philips who reviewed the paper was able to bring out the strong and weak points of the paper.

The event was rounded off by the formal presentation of the new improved BusinessDay with a 16-page pull out in partnership with FT of London by the representative of the Vice President, Mr. Magnus Pako. According to a media expert interviewed at the venue, who craved for anonymity "the financial reporting landscape is now open for competition. This will prompt qualitative delivery in order to corner the market".


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