The Director-General, National Council of Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, says journalists deserve to enjoy the best in life and should not retire into poverty.
Runsewe spoke at Arepo, Ogun, on Monday evening, when he inaugurated the remodelled Journalists International School, Arepo.
Runsewe said that journalists contributed immensely to the democracy being enjoyed in the country, with some of them forced to live outside the nation’s shores in the fight for it.
According to him, such journalists defied all odds to write stories against military rule and called for democracy during the struggle.
Runsewe said journalism is a noble profession, and commended the initiators of the school for their effort to also affect their community positively.
Personally, the director-general said he had also benefitted immensely from journalism in his career.
Runsewe had worked as Marketing Manager at the New Nigerian Newspaper where he rose to the position of General Manager.
He said: “After God, journalism took me to where I am today.”
He promised to always support the school in its plan to add a secondary arm by September 2019.
Runsewe said: “It will start; it will be my joy to see the secondary school start.”
The director-general, who donated the building where the school started when its dream was shared in 2007, said it was a noble cause.
He said: “We need to empower our people, our communities to be better.”
Runsewe commended Funke Fadugba, former Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists Chairperson and current JERDA Chairperson, for spearheading the Journalists Estate project and the school initiative.
He described her as an “uncommon woman of uncommon courage”, saying there was still more for her ahead in view of her accomplishments.
Runsewe urged the school authorities to promote local culture when considering the uniform for the proposed secondary school.
Earlier, Fadugba thanked Runsewe for his benevolence and for believing in the Journalists Estate dream when it was still a bush.
She said Runsewe had always been a pillar of support and prayed that God would bless him.
Fadugba recalled how the director-general donated the first school building 11 years ago, which led to its take-off in 2014.
She thanked the former JERDA executive team led by John Ajayi for ensuring the take off, and urged Runsewe to also support the proposed secondary school to begin operation.
She said: “We’re doing these to make the place of learning more conducive.”
The Chairman, Lagos NUJ, Dr Qassim Akinreti, also thanked Runsewe for his support, promising that the union would also continue to support the school.