Xinhua News Agency of China has solicited deeper collaboration with the News Agency of Nigeria, saying it wants its long-standing relationship with NAN to be sustained.
Xinhua’s West Africa Director and Nigeria Bureau Chief, Mr Yang Zhe, made the request on Wednesday in Abuja.
He spoke when he paid a congratulatory visit to the newly-appointed Managing Director of NAN, Malam Ali Muhammad Ali.
Zhe said that China and Nigeria are faced with common experiences and challenges, especially the prevalence of fake news in the social media space.
According to him, both countries can work together to tackle the challenge.
He said: “NAN is Xinhua’s most valued partner in Africa because it provides credibility, especially in the world of social media where there is an increase in fake news reporting.
“Nigeria is the biggest country in Africa and China is the biggest country in Asia.
“Both countries have the most population in each of their areas.
“We are all facing a lot of challenges in this changing world where there are lots of fake news, misinformation and disinformation.
“I believe that in the future under your leadership, we will work together in combating the challenges of fake news, especially in the social media space.
“We owe our audiences the responsibility of credible reporting in order to put an end to fake news and with this visit, I believe there will be a big elevation in our relationship and steps towards curbing fake news.”
Zhe congratulated the NAN Managing Director on his new appointment and on his invitation to the World Media Summit in China as a VIP to share Nigeria’s views on what the media should do in the changing world space.
“This is a special arrangement and I hope that the NAN MD has a successful stay in China,” he said.
Responding, the Managing Director of NAN assured Zhe of the agency’s readiness to work closely with Xinhua to deepen the existing cooperation between the two agencies.
Ali said: “NAN has been collaborating with Xinhua for ages and we have signed two major exchange agreements over the years.
“This is a relationship that I hope, under my leadership, will be taken further in matters of factual reporting and exchange of ideas beyond the stories and training, among others.
“Certainly, Xinhua is a global news brand, and any media organisation that wants to see Asia, not just China, reported accurately – I mean the whole world – must have a collaborative treaty with Xinhua.”
Ali noted that Nigeria has something to learn from China’s rapid economic growth and development.
He added: “Nigeria, like you rightly pointed out, is the biggest country in Africa, just like China.
“But China is not just big in Asia, it is the biggest country in the world and right now one of the leading economies in the world.
“In terms of economic growth, every part of China is simply amazing.
“I believe strongly that Nigeria has a thing or two to learn from China.
“NAN also has a lot to learn from Xinhua.
“So, we look forward to a greater relationship with Xinhua.
“I also look forward to delivering my speech at the world media summit with more than 300 participants across the world attending and to also learn from others.”
Ali described Xinhua and NAN as two very big news agencies, with the News Agency of Nigeria having offices in most parts of Africa, including South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and Ethiopia.
He added that NAN is one of the three resident news agencies in the United Nations building in New York, United States of America.